The Cafe located in Discovery Park of America in Union City is under the new management of Connie and Johnny Babb of Union City.
The Babbs began managing the popular Cafe on January 2, 2018. “It was a lifelong dream of ours to have a restaurant,” Johnny said. “We love it!”
When Discovery Park of America opened in November of 2013, Bill and Jan Coffee, who owned the Penny Hill Restaurant at the time, took on the management of the cafe. While under their care, the cafe consistently received positive comments from guests about the quality of the food and the reasonable cost, compared to other similar venues.
CEO Jim Rippy said that when the Coffees told him that they were planning to retire at the end of 2017, they also suggested that he consider the Babbs to take over. Connie was managing Snappy Tomato Pizza in Union City at the time, having previously managed the local Pizza Hut. “She has years of management experience, and I like to cook,” Johnny said with a grin. Johnny says he does all the grocery shopping and cooking at home, and has a lifetime of unique experiences in dining. “When we travel, we always look for the local “mom and pop” restaurant and try the most popular item on their menu,” he explained. “I have some great ideas and plan to add new items to the already popular menu in the future,” he added.
When the idea of managing the cafe was suggested to Johnny, he was working in maintenance at the park. “Bill Coffee and I were fishing together,” Johnny explained. “Connie and I had been wanting to open a restaurant, so I decided to pick his brain and ask him how to go about making our dream a reality. He told me that I couldn’t have picked a better day to ask him this question, because he and Jan had just decided to retire! We discussed the possibility of Connie and I taking it over with Mr. Rippy, and he agreed. We were able to spend some time with the Coffees learning their processes and procedures,” Babb said. “The transition has been great. We are so happy to be here, we love it!” Connie added.
The Cafe at Discovery Park is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. There is no admission required for people to eat in the cafe, so come visit and check things out! The Babbs will also be managing “Eats and Treats,” the outside venue that is open during the busy summer months.
The Babbs are the parents of Union City natives Kimberly Babb and Blake Babb. They have four grandsons, all living in Union City.
Discovery Park of America is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN. You can see the complete 2018 Calendar of Events, including upcoming educational and entertaining events, by visiting the website at www.discoveryparkofamerica.com . The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture and art and offers hours of fun for visitors of all ages.