By Ariana Lovitt
In 1952, a restaurant called Alta's Place opened in the city of Franklin.
Owned by siblings Alta Spicer and Elton Leach, the restaurant began as a small hangout spot that quickly grew in popularity within the community.
As time passed, the restaurant faced minor setbacks such as a change of ownership and name, relocations, remodels and competition among new local businesses.
Immediately, I was greeted with a smile. A server delivered a fresh cup of coffee to me at a nearly inhuman speed. Despite the constant barrage of customers, Ann’s employees are always on their toes.
General manager Jim Klein sat with me and discussed his work. Despite only holding the position for three years, Klein is lev el-headed, diligent and knowledgeable about all things Ann’s.
As a nonprofit restaurant, the goal of helping people drives business.
Tara Treatment Center, a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation center established in 1985, leased Ann’s Restaurant in 1998. The restaurant pairs specifically with the center’s traditional rehab and residential program, taking volunteers who can later be hired as permanent employees. All of the proceeds earned by Ann’s benefit the center.
Klein also owns apartments on 801 West Jefferson St. as a place for volunteers to stay during their time in Franklin.
“It’s not just like putting money into someone’s pocket,” Klein said. “We’re literally trying to help people get back on their feet and in their lives.”
Since the restaurant’s opening, Franklin students have consistently visited Ann’s, most likely due to its proximity to campus and the downtown area.
As the local scene evolves, older restau-rants and businesses like Ann’s may fear stiffcompetition from new storefronts. But Ann’s is a cut above the rest and a staple of the city, and not just because their food is so good.