With churches closed to in-person worship, online platforms used for Easter services and community egg hunts not held because of coronavirus social distancing, a Kingsport family restaurant in business for nearly half a century is helping keep the tradition of ham for Easter alive.
And if barbecue is more to your liking, Tom Pratt has you covered there as well. All the fixings will be offered, too.
Pratt’s, 1225 E. Stone Drive, is a fixture in Kingsport with the “big Indian” or “Big John” standing guard at the front of the restaurant. Although Pratt’s recently closed temporarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pratt has decided to reopen temporarily for the five days leading up to Easter Sunday, although the restaurant will be closed that day.
His parents took over and renamed the eatery in 1971, and the 30-foot Native American came from the former Honest John’s restaurant, gas station and gift shop on Memorial Boulevard. Pratt’s parents later bought the operation.
“We’ve been there 49 years, and we’re hoping to make it another one,” Pratt said Friday afternoon. “Easter has always been real big for us.”
Pratt said for those wanting a taste of tradition from Pratt’s, the window of opportunity is Tuesday through Saturday until further notice.
“We’re just opening back up because it’s Easter week,” he said. “The bills keep coming. We can’t do enough in carry-out to offset labor and utilities.”
Although the traditional Sunday Easter buffet won’t be offered this year, folks will have Pratt’s ham and barbecue options to eat at home.
For eating at home, the restaurant will offer a $62.99 meal of bone-in ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and fresh cranberry salad. Pratt said a free pumpkin pie normally selling for $12 will be included “until we run out.”
In addition, for $24.99, $5 off the regular price, Pratt’s will offer one pound of pork, one pint of smokehouse beans, a pint of cole slaw and a pint of potato salad, five buns and barbecue sauce, ready to heat and serve.
In addition, Pratt’s hams will be sold at four Food City stores: the one on Eastman Road in Kingsport and one each in Johnson City, Bristol and Abingdon, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Bone-in hams will be $10 off at the restaurant and at the Food City stores.
He said all restaurants are struggling during the pandemic, with dining rooms and buffets shuttered.
“I think it’s going to have a profound effect on the industry,” Pratt said. “I think a lot of mom and pop places will have a tough time.”