This Mother’s Day, the Copper Kettle will prepare for yet another packed house. Their magnificent brunch display will overflow with all-you-can-eat pastries, crisp Belgian waffles, plates of eggs Benedict and all the extravagant fixins one would expect from times past. But there will be one major difference felt by the staff and regulars, owner Lana Robb won’t be perfecting the display and brushing to and from the kitchen.
After a courageous year-and-a-half battle with breast cancer, Robb passed away last November at age 43. She had been a fixture in the Nashville community since 2002 when she founded The Copper Kettle and launched her successful catering business along with it. In March, the restaurant was renamed Lana’s Copper Kettle and the staff introduced a casual, weekday breakfast menu in her honor. We spoke with Tim Tomes, the restaurant’s general manager, about Lana, her breakfast and how things have changed (and ultimately stayed the same) since her passing.
“Lana was one of a kind. She was supportive, big hearted, an incredible teacher, a great mother and wife and daughter and sister,” Tomes remembers. “She was so talented and creative when it came to displaying food. It was just unbelievable what she came up with, and she always made a point to educate the staff.”
Tomes includes himself among her loyal students—she had taken a chance on him over 10 years ago by allowing him to live out his dream of running a restaurant after 20 years in the corporate world. And she did this for a lot of people, too, particularly those down on their luck and in need of a second chance. Like a true family-run establishment, she, along with husband and joint-owner Jon Robb, cared deeply for her staff and involved their children (of which she had six, varying in ages from four to 21) in the business.
So why an honorary weekday breakfast?
“Lana’s favorite meal of the day was breakfast. She would’ve had it for dinner if she could,” Tomes remembers fondly. “We worked with her on the concept, and she knew we were going to do it, but we waited to implement so everyone could have time with her … the breakfast is purposely affordable, really good and quick.”
Lana’s breakfast typically features 12 homey breakfast basics, ranging from fluffy scrambled eggs topped with fresh pico de gallo to biscuits slathered in sausage gravy and daily grab-and-go burrito specials. To keep things fast and casual, the menu is priced by how many items are chosen, with a combination of five not tipping beyond $7.50.
Though breakfast is now in full swing, an in-memoriam portrait hangs in the dining room and the restaurant plans to replace the building’s sign to reflect the new name, no other major changes are in the works for Lana’s Copper Kettle.
“We plan on continuing the business how she wanted it. From catering to the restaurant, there are no other major changes—we’re all just doing our part to keep it the way she would’ve wanted. And we will!” Tomes says.
Lana’s weekday breakfast is served Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m.-10:30 a.m., in addition to lunch and dinner, which are offered Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday lunch is available from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and Sunday brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Mother’s Day brunch (no reservations) will be served from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and will be priced at $24.95 for adults, $8.99 for children ages 6-11 and free for those under the age of 6.
For more information on Lana’s Copper Kettle, visit copperkettlenashville.com.