Willie Laboy and his daughters Sarah, 8, and Megan, 13, visit with customers. Photo by Sarah Baker.

By Sarah Baker
The new Willie’s Restaurant is now open in Seymour on Chapman Highway.  The new location is larger, but still has the bright, friendly atmosphere that is one of owner Willie Laboy’s specialties.  They have been open a month, but customers are already raving about it.  “It is exactly what we needed in Seymour,” said Lisa Lusby.  “We don’t have a lot of choices out here, and we really needed a nice sit-down place like this. It’s perfect.”
Willie’s menu has a lot of variety.  It is the kind of place that before you order, you have already decided what you’re going to order on your next visit, because you want to try everything.  Guests have their choice of various pasta dishes and the garlic knots are gooey goodness served with an awesome tangy tomato sauce.  The menu also includes grill-fired steaks and an array of seafood including salmon, grouper, trout, and scallops.  The desserts are divine as well, including chocolate lava cake, carrot cake, tiramisu, and New York Cheesecake.
Willie and Leah Laboy are not only respected business owners; they are also beloved members of the community.  At their previous location in Seymour, they hosted several fundraisers for school and church groups.  They’ve also sponsored Little League teams and done a lot of community outreach.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Willie Laboy oozes positivity.  Upon entering the restaurant he is greeted with several calls of “Hey Willie!  How ya doin’?”  He takes a few minutes to stop at several tables and catch up with customers.  His smile fills the room.  It is obvious that he has not only invested in the community economically, but emotionally as well.  Folks love this guy almost as much as they love his menu.  Waitress Lydia Merritt moved to Tennessee from Florida to work for Willie.  She said that he is like family.  Many of the customers and staff project that feeling too.
If you live in Seymour and you haven’t been to Willie’s you need to fold up this paper and take it with you right now.  You can read it there.  Get going now!  If you don’t live in Seymour, you need to plan a trip out there as soon as possible.  It is definitely worth the trip.  It’s also the perfect place to stop and eat on your way to or from Pigeon Forge.  The menu is incredible, and you really get a lot of bang for your buck.  The servers are pleasant and efficient.  There is everything to like about Willie’s.  They’re open Saturday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, and closed on Sunday.  For more information call, (865) 773-0170