North Knox County restaurant opens despite snow

Cold temperatures and snow don't keep North Knox County restaurant from opening

Posted:
Before The Amber Restaurant opened, James Linklater put the salt down to melt the ice. Before The Amber Restaurant opened, James Linklater put the salt down to melt the ice.
Owners say the people who live in the area rely on the restaurant to be open, especially when there's inclement weather. Owners say the people who live in the area rely on the restaurant to be open, especially when there's inclement weather.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - By the time the Monday morning commute traffic started around 8 a.m., temperatures in Knox County were already 20 degrees. The low temperatures and already wet roads meant a frigid and slick start for many drivers.

Employees at The Amber Restaurant in North Knox County normally get to work at 6:30 a.m., but Monday morning the owner told workers to come in an hour later due to the weather. James Linklater and another employee rode to work together.

"[The] car was frozen shut. I had to pull my door open and kick her's open from the inside so I didn't mess up the handle," said Linklater.

Linklater drove 40 minutes to work from Blaine.

"A lot of slick spots off of Emory Road. There's spots you hit, hit a curve. We slid a few times, but not too bad," said Linklater.

He says while the drive to work was relatively easy, walking in to the restaurant was hard. Linklater joked that he should have worn ice skates.

At 4:00 am many parking lots were just covered in slush, but as hours passed and the temperatures dropped, the slush turned to ice. Before the restaurant opened Linklater put the salt down to melt the ice.

The Amber Restaurant owners Donald and Bonnie Padgett have owned the restaurant for 36 years. They say they've only closed one time. The Padgetts say the people who live in the area rely on the restaurant to be open, especially when there's inclement weather.

"So many people's power goes off, and they'll always come here for breakfast, and we figured that's something people might need to eat," said Bonnie Padgett.

So even as the temperatures continue to drop, Linklater says he's fine with being at work.

"I'm from up north. I went to high school in Wisconsin where this is nothing, but I've been here so long it's cold. It is a bit frigid," said Linklater.

According to dispatch in Knox County, the morning commute was relatively uneventful. Only a couple of fender benders were reported.

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