Celebrating 40 years, Compton’s Kitchen is like a family

By Karamie Sullivan

A Midlands restaurant turned 40 on Wednesday.

Compton’s Kitchen, on B Avenue in West Columbia, celebrated its anniversary with a discounted “bacon breakfast” plate and prize giveaways all day.

The restaurant its staff said is known for home cooking with fresh ingredients, served by friendly employees.

Perry Compton originally opened the restaurant Nov. 1, 1977 at the corner of Platt Springs Road and Charleston Highway. It was moved to its current location on B Avenue in the mid 1980’s. The ownership changed in 2000 when it was bought by Martha Cooke, who had been the restaurant’s manager for 13 years.

Cooke has now been a part of the Compton’s Kitchen family for 30 years, and said she has always enjoyed it.

Of course there are headaches like any job, but the customers make it all worth it,” she said.

According to Cooke, the majority of the customers are regulars, and most of their staff members have worked there for many years.

The stability has allowed the Compton’s employees to get to know the people they serve on a daily basis.

You know, me and the other employees who have been here a long time, have really formed lasting relationships with our customers,” said Cooke.

It’s not just Martha and the staff who feel a part of a family. Customers like Mike Benton said he has a sense of loyalty to the restaurant. He has been coming to the restaurant for 20 years. He moved to Pelion eight months ago, but still drives to Compton’s about three times a week.

I would say the people, food, and service are the reasons I come here,” Benton said. “My son and I would come here every Saturday when he was little, until he finally started asking if we were going to the ‘egg store.’ He thought that’s what we should call it since we came here all the time.” Benton says he enjoys talking to the other repeat customers, and seeing new people come in to try out the food.

You could talk to anybody you want to in here right now, just about all of them are regulars,” said Cooke.

She and the staff is happy to celebrate the restaurant’s 40th anniversary with the customers who have kept coming back over the years. Compton’s Kitchen is open from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays, 6 a.m. to noon Saturday, and closed Sundays.