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Miss Olivia's Table closing after nearly 20 years

People came to the Maryville restaurant for years for the food and atmosphere and stayed for Miss Olivia.

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — She's known for her chicken salad, sweet tea, and southern hospitality. You may also know Miss Olivia as a cooking guest on Live at Five at Four.

After over 19 years, she is closing her Maryville restaurant, 'Miss Olivia's Table.'

Located in an old house on Broadway Avenue, the people who came to eat there over the last two decades saw it as a home. But a lack of business, an increase in prices, and expensive repairs needed for an old home led Miss Olivia to the decision to close.

"I have sold it and it will close this week. And he didn't ask me what I was gonna do with the money. And I didn't ask him what he was gonna do with the building," she said.

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It wasn't an easy decision, but one she felt she needed to make.

"You can only increase your sales prices to the point where they are still a value for the customers' money," said Miss Olivia.

During her closing week, she got a few first-time customers, like Joe and Lea Blaha, who learned about her from her guest column in The Daily Times.

"We needed to scurry down here and sample the food and meet her finally," said Joe.

Other customers, like Judy Allen, have been coming for years and make it a family affair.

"I've been coming I don't know how many years to be honest," said Judy. "And then my daughter started coming with me, and now my granddaughter."

WBIR viewers have come to love Miss Olivia for her regular cooking segments on Live at Five at Four.

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She didn't learn how to cook until she turned 30 years old, but she's pretty good at it now.

"I love to eat and I'm nearly impossible to please," said Miss Olivia.

Over the years she's fed countless people with recipes she'll never stop learning.

"Hundreds of people have given me recipes. Hundreds of people have given me cooking tips. I have learned from everybody that walked in that door," she said.

Miss Olivia will continue to cook and bake in retirement, and looks forward to spending more time reading and sewing.

She'll still be making regular appearances on Live at Five at Four.


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