One of Music City's most beloved institutions is situated at 8400 Highway 100, twenty five minutes from the hustle of downtown Nashville and a tenth of a mile from the scenic 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway. No, it's not the Grand Ole Opry or the Ryman Auditorium, but the roster of country music stars who have frequented this establishment might sound like a guest list at a VIP party on CMA Awards night. Its design hardly rivals the architectural mastery of Nashville's Parthenon on West End Avenue, but even the Greeks themselves could not have created a more inviting, hospitable setting. And, while others like it have fallen by the wayside, the Loveless Café is among those last remaining southern vestiges where the nostalgic can experience a slice of Americana and a slice of country ham or homemade pie. With so much tempting fare from which to choose, why settle for just a slice of anything? After all, this is the Loveless Café! Like church---where you're supposed to come in one way and leave in another---patrons of the Loveless might come hungry, but they are sure to leave well-fed and thoroughly satisfied. Somebody say "Amen!"
Formerly the Harpeth Valley Tea Room, the Loveless Motel and Café first served its trademark fried chicken and biscuits in the early 1950s when the property was acquired by Lon and Annie Loveless. The early 1900s home quickly became a favorite dining spot among locals and hungry motorists traveling U.S. Highway100 prior to the advent of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. The Loveless family sold the business to Cordell and Stella Maynard in 1959, passing along their coveted biscuit recipe to the new proprietors. In 1973, Charles and Donna McCabe bought the establishment. Their 12-year-old son, George, performed a variety of chores around the motel, and eventually became a partner in 1982. George McCabe created the Loveless Motel and Café "Hams & Jams" catalogue and, with the demise of the motel, emphasis was placed on the cafe and mail-order business. In December 2003, TomKats, Inc., a company noted for its movie-location catering business and award-winning Nashville eateries Saffire and SoBro Grill and Catering, purchased the Loveless along with its fabulous biscuit recipe. Subsequently, the quaint 75-seat restaurant was extensively renovated and expanded to accommodate more diners, but the Loveless Café's reputation for serving great southern food remains uncompromised.