Our Beginning

Wayne Wetendorf, former owner of Grits Café, graduated from the Culinary Arts program at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada in 1984. The first 9 years of his career were spent in Canada, working in a number of large hotel kitchens almost coast to coast across the country. From Halifax, Nova Scotia to Calgary, Alberta, Wayne had the opportunity to work alongside and learn from a number of talented chefs who mentored him and his culinary skills, and inspired him to believe that the future held whatever he wanted it to be.

In 1993, Wayne moved to Dallas, Texas after being recruited by another large hotel group. From there, a quick stop to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and then on to Georgia in 1997, where he spent the next couple of years working in Macon and Atlanta. His travels offered him the opportunity to learn a number of ethnic cuisines which he embraced with his classical French training, and fostered his creativity and interest in food fusion.

Terri Wetendorf, former co-owner, grew up in a restaurant family, and at an early age was lured into the business. Many years were spent working in the Front of House, learning the ropes of proper service and hospitality. Terri graduated from Acadia University and the University of Western Ontario, and continued on to become a Registered Nurse. While it appeared to be a detour from the restaurant business, it was all part of the master plan for Terri and Wayne.

Wayne had always dreamed of having his own place, and for years he and Terri collected ideas, storing them in their "Dream Book" and fantasized about being restaurateurs together. Then one day opportunity came knocking.

Interior

Past & Future

Terri and Wayne's vision was to provide upscale, casual dining, in a friendly, comfortable environment. They transformed the 125 year old building into a rustic yet sophisticated oasis of southern charm. In the dining room the glimmer of gas lanterns softened the mood, and texturized oil paintings by local artists attractively enhance the gently distressed pumpkin colored walls. Grits Café quickly became a neighborhood gathering place for hundreds of locals, and a destination restaurant for many travelers passing Forsyth along the I-75.

Tragically, on March 19, 2012, Grits Café experienced a devastating fire, causing the entire building to burn to the ground. For the team of owners, managers and employees, it brought grief and sadness of overwhelming proportion. The "baby" they had nurtured with dedication and love for the past 12 years was gone.

After grieving a metaphorical "death in the family", Wayne and Terri decided to take on the biggest challenge of their professional careers – rebuilding Grits Café from the ground up, literally. On February 2, 2013, Grits Café reopened its doors with a new look, but the same faces and smiles of the original team, and an unbridled enthusiasm to get back to doing what they did best – providing outstanding food, service and hospitality to their guests.

Wine
Hospitality

The entire Grits Café team understands the connection between a region, its history, its people and its food. Their commitment to providing great food in an upbeat setting, and exceed each guests' expectation every time they visit, is taken very seriously. Service is proper but unpretentious, and the mood is warm and welcoming with casual elegance. The service staff is hospitable, gracious, and loves to share their passion for great food, wine and spirits with each of their guests.

Dog
Philosophy

Grits Café's "Creative Southern Cuisine" focuses on traditional southern food, not exactly like Mom used to make, adding creativity and imagination by fusing old and new preparations. Many menu items spotlight local produce, beef, chicken, seafood and cheeses, a movement which Grits Café has embraced whole heartedly. The flavors are trendy and unique, and closely rival the artistic detail paid to the presentation of each plate. The wine list showcases the international wine stage, and features a number of handcrafted boutique wines produced in limited quantities, and many not readily available in other areas of the state or country.