Southern Kitchen On The Market

Longtime Family-Owned Eatery On Sale For $1.4M

Posted: March 8, 2014

Southern Kitchen, a well-known restaurant in New Market, has been open since 1955. Randy Newland and his wife, Rebecca, bought it from Newland’s family in 2005 and are hoping to sell it so they can pursue other ventures. (Photo by Kassondra Cloos / DN-R)

NEW MARKET — Southern Kitchen has a long history as one of the most well-established family restaurants in the Shenandoah Valley. Locals frequent the beloved restaurant and tourists come from near and far for an original ’50s dining experience and good old Southern comfort food.

Now, 59 years after Lloyd and Ruby Newland founded the New Market restaurant, it’s on the market for $1.4 million.

Randy Newland, who bought the restaurant from his family with his wife, Rebecca, in 2005, was clear that the restaurant will keep running the same way it always has been until a new owner takes over. They’re not closing the doors, they’re not retiring and they don’t plan to go out of business.

The restaurant is in the best financial and physical condition of its life, Randy Newland said. It’s just time for the couple to move on to other things.

“It is well-known everywhere, and it’s got an impeccable reputation,” Randy Newland said. “We’ve got everything perfect. The business is good, it’s on the upswing now with the economy. If the economy starts picking up, this place just gets better and better and better. …  We have bought this business and invested back in this business in the hardest times in the economy in this country, and we’re still making money and going strong.”

Randy and Rebecca Newland, who have been running the restaurant together since 1991, said they plan to pursue “other ventures.” That includes investing more time in and expanding their travel agency, Travel Pleasures Unlimited.

When the restaurant is sold, it will essentially be the first time in Randy Newland’s life that he hasn’t been intricately involved in the daily workings of the restaurant that’s just slightly younger than he is.

“I was washing dishes back here at 7 years old,” Randy Newland said. “I was making sandwiches at 11 years old, and I was running the entire line, cooking, at 16. … It was a part of our life, it was all we knew. And it’s always been a part of my life.”

With a few minor changes and updates, Southern Kitchen still looks like it did when Randy Newland started washing those dishes. It even has its original tables and chairs.

“We have postcards from the 1960s, and it looks almost identical,” Rebecca Newland said.

The Newlands often work seven days a week, frequently starting their days before the sun rises and finishing long after it sets. Deciding to put the business on the market was hard for them.

“We just feel, I really feel it’s just the right time to do it,” Randy Newland said. “I think the best time to sell something is when it’s in its prime, at the top of its game.”

The business has been on the market for about a month. But even after it’s sold, the couple won’t be completely distanced from the Kitchen. They say they “absolutely” plan to come back to the restaurant for a good meal when it’s under new ownership.

“Along with everybody else in the community,” Randy Newland said. “They’ll keep supporting their community, because this is their town.”

For more information about purchasing the business, contact Edwin Newland at Home-Land Realty Co., Inc. at 740-3176.

Contact Kassondra Cloos at 574-6290 or

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