FENWICK ISLAND – Inside
Warren’s Station, pictures and documents of the little beach town dating back
to the 19th century decorate the walls. In addition, the family
restaurant has recorded a history of its own, comprised of employee pictures
dating back to the 1980s.
One of the owners, Scott
Mumford, points himself out in one of the photos as a teenager. He notes that
the restaurant, now celebrating its 50-year anniversary, often sees generations
of employees. Kids can come in to work and point out their parents in the
employee pictures that adorn the crisp white walls.
Scott is the son of Jeff
and Paula Mumford, owners of Warren’s Station. His wife, Elise, joined the
restaurant’ staff in 2003. Their family picture is among the many other photos
on the walls.
The original owner of
Warren’s Station was Warren Johnson, a turkey farmer from Pennsylvania who
opened the restaurant in 1960, and since then turkey has been an integral part
of the Warren’s Station menu. “That will never change,” remarks Scott.
Eleven years after
opening, Johnson sold the restaurant to Jeff and Paula, employees of his.
Though Warren was the name of the owner, it was also a family name for the
Mumfords and subsequently the name stuck.
The name was not the
only thing that remained constant through the restaurant’s 50 years in
business. The Mumfords have strived to keep the tradition of having “the best
product for the best price,” says Scott.
In keeping with
tradition, the Mumfords have local, fresh crabmeat delivered daily. In peak
season, the restaurant can cook up to six 32-34 pound turkeys a day.
“We’re not skimpy,”
Scott says when talking about the restaurant’s good portions. “My family name is on that plate”.
Turkey is the house
specialty, but Warren’s Station also offers an array of seafood, sandwiches,
salads and steaks.
Though the Mumfords have
top quality food, they have managed to keep all entrees under $20. Families
keep the business running, and Scott says “we try to make it a good experience
provides its customers, both returning and new, with the assurance of good food
for a fair price. In fact, returning customers will find that very few things
have changed over the years. Even the restaurant baker, Mary Lynch, has been at
the restaurant since the original owner.
One of the notable
changes to the restaurant was not in the menu or the atmosphere, but in the
physical restaurant itself. In 1983, Jeff Mumford remodeled the restaurant after
the Indian River lifesaving station.
“There isn’t anything my
father can’t build,” Scott says proudly. When walking in to the actual
restaurant, with its high wooden ceilings and beautiful craftsmanship, Scott
remarks, “Dad did all of this”.
The family atmosphere of
Warren’s Station isn’t limited to the customers and management, but it is also
a commonality among employees.
“Too many good stories,”
Scott says of the 100-plus person staff of Warren’s Station. “I really should
write a book … we have a lot of laughs here.”
But in peak season, when
the restaurant is serving up to 500-600 dinners a night, and up to 1,000
customers a day, the loyal staff really knows how to buckle down.
When Scott leaves his
office, younger employees joke around with him and he jokes back. The Mumfords
try to keep the staff local and encourage younger employees to work part time
so that they can enjoy their summer.
The present employee
picture shows people ranging in age from early teens up to 83 years old, but
every single face is smiling.