The restaurant sells food “that your mama used make,” including fried chicken, meatloaf, fish, pork chops and hot chicken, the dish Osborne raves about.
“We specialize in hot chicken,” he said. “We’re from Nashville and have the culture of hot chicken. It’s the top items on the menu. Some of the people have compared us to the best, Prince’s Hot Chicken [in Nashville], Hattie B’s and others. We’re very proud of that.”
He said there is a difference in the types of hot chicken.
“Some people like a wet bird, but we do the dry rub here,” he said. “It has been homemade and customized by my sister and me. A lot of people like the fact that it is a dry rub. The bread isn’t soggy; there isn’t grease everywhere. People can enjoy a thorough-cooked spicy hot chicken. We do it in three flavors, mild, hot and ‘have some grace, like ‘have mercy.’ A lot of people would say, ‘have mercy,’ but we say ‘have some grace,’ because we are Grace Dining.”
He said the restaurant is for everyone, who likes traditional, home-cooked food.
“We’re traditional meat and three, soul food, tradition black-culture food,” he said, adding the restaurant also sells mashed potatoes, chicken and dressing, turnip greens, macaroni and cheese and more.
He said there was an “open market” for soul food, “particularly in the African American culture up here. There are not a lot of black-owned businesses up here, so we decided to cook. That’s something that we love to do. I left a corporate restaurant and started my own business. It’s mainly for the love for it and the need for it.”
He said the restaurant has been “semi-successful” since they opened, and the location is a “great place” for the restaurant.
“Many people don’t mind coming on this side of Lebanon,” he said. “We have people coming all the way down from Hartsville, Carthage” and other areas. “This is a good location.”
They sell food dine-in, take-out and delivery, he said, noting they prefer a two-order minimum, and the delivery cost is a flat $2.
Osborne’s family, including Osborne, his wife, Stanetra, his sister, Quen Cunningham, and mother-in law, “Aunt” Dee Mayberry, who has a popular hair styling business in Lebanon, own the restaurant.
“We’re getting ready to open a second location, which will be our food trailer, and we’re going to be catering to warehouses right here in the area,” he said. “We’re also going to be at the Wilson County Fair this year, so we’ll be at the fair selling our delicious hot chicken.”
Grace Dining Soul Food is at 700 E. Main St., off Sparta Pike. For more information or to view the menu, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.