Red’s Little School House reopens on July 20 by the next generation


If Southern date had a flavor, it would taste a lot like the fried cornbread from Red’s Little School House Restaurant in Montgomery County—handmade with love, extra crunchy.

“I think that’s one of the things that made us different,” said Debbie Daisy, Red’s longtime owner.

Thanks to family involvement, it’s a flavor that guests will enjoy for a while to come. The iconic restaurant, which closed on July 3, reopened on July 20 under a third generation.

“Our vision is to continue this great legacy that my grandfather and my mother created,” said Ray Culver, daughter of Dess, who will run it with her brother, Burt Springer.

Since 1985, the restaurant at 20 Gardner Road has been a gathering place for nearby Grady and Rammer residents, city visitors, celebrities and politicians. They came to the former Hills Chapel Community School building in 1910 to eat the Deese family’s recipes of barbecue, fried chicken, homemade pancakes, garden fresh vegetables, and more.

These recipes do not change with reopening.

“It’s the same country that cooks, and we still have a buffet and a few short orders,” Culver said.

Deese retires to spend more time with her elderly father Red, the restaurant’s namesake. Prior to the restaurant, Reed had been in the hairdressing business for 30 years at the Montgomery Country Club.

“When my mum told us they were going to be closing, we were very excited for her, so she could get some rest and rest,” said Colfer, owner of Le Rae Events. “That was as far as I had in mind at the time.”

He credits the return with an almost overwhelming wave of community support in what were believed to be the restaurant’s final weeks.

“I knew people loved my mom,” Culver said. “She’s an amazing person.” “I knew people like food. It’s not like anything you can get anywhere.”

The scenes inspired Sprenger, who suggested that Culver take over the Red’s. Culver was hesitant about that at first. But seeing customers and hardworking employees convinced her to make the move.

“We’re really excited,” Culver said. “Our people are really excited.”

The new Red’s Little School House hours are Wednesday and Thursday 11am-3pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-9pm, and Sunday 11am-3pm

“It gives our manager and chief cooking officer some time as well,” Culver said.

Even though she’s “retired,” Deese still serves guests another way through all the fresh vegetables they eat. They have a family garden that supplies the restaurant.

“I’ve never seen anyone like being in this field like her,” Culver said. “Now that she’s kind of retired, so to speak, we’re going to make sure we can still keep her in the field, because she doesn’t have to come to the restaurant as much.”

Deese will be at Red’s on reopening day, but not as early as her family and crew. She had a doctor’s appointment that morning, and asked her daughter if she should reschedule the appointment.

“I said, ‘Not at all,'” Culver said. “Go to your date, and then come and have lunch with us. It’s going to be kind of weird for her, but she’s excited.”

“I said, I love what I hear,” said Des.

The restaurant’s website is

Contact Montgomery Advertiser Shannon Heupel at

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