Katy Bagdon, co-owner with husband Ken Bagdon, purchased Mario's Pizza & Grill last November (2019). After moving to East Tennessee three years ago, the couple found the opportunity they were looking for.
Initially from Michigan, the Bagdons wanted a business they could call their own. "Ken has always had an entrepreneurial streak," said Katy. "So when we saw Mario's was for sale we decided to go for it." Previous owners Janet and Randy Bulman were ready to retire but spent time working with the Bagdons. "They helped with everything," Katy said. "It was an easy transition."
The Bagdons had already given some thought to rebranding the restaurant and came up with the new name, The Farragut Table. "A table is where people gather together," Katy said. "We want to be part of this community and give back."
In a way, the coronavirus shutdown worked in their favor. "We were able to use the time to remodel and create what we wanted," Katy said. Husband Ken did most of the work himself and made all of the wooden tables now in use.
A kids menu offers chicken tenders, of course, and spaghetti. Katy is looking into adding a macaroni and cheese dish, noting, "That's a go-to for my kids." The Bagdons have six children, the oldest being 12. The family includes two adopted siblings; the third sibling's adoption is about to be finalized. It keeps them busy, but they have help from extended family.
Have the Bagdons had any regrets about buying a restaurant only to shut down four months later? "It was an opportune moment," said Katy. "Everything happened when it was supposed to, and we don't regret anything." She said her faith played into the decision, as it has done throughout her life.