Editor's note: This is part of a series the Aiken Standard will run periodically on locally-owned restaurants around Aiken County. To have your restaurant included, email Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might want it small or with chili on top or with a side of onion rings.
No matter how you order it, one factor will always be the same – it will always be freshly made.
For more than 60 years, hamburgers have been the signature of Graniteville's Blue Top Grill.
They come in three different sizes and can be ordered several different ways.
“My first hamburger and order of french fries was probably from this restaurant,” employee Wanda Hayden said.
Hayden, a 10-plus-year employee, grew up going to Blue Top, she said.
And she is not the only one.
When she was a kid, current owner Renee Lutot would often stop in with her mom.
It wasn't always for the food, either.
For around 30 years, Lutot's grandparents Jimmy and Emmie Overstreet owned Blue Top.
The couple started the restaurant in 1951.
Lutot started working there when she was 12, she said.
Her mother, Linda Smith, took over ownership of the restaurant in 1980.
Lutot followed in her steps in 2008.
Not much has changed in the last few decades, Lutot said. A few items have been added to the menu, and the employees have rotated.
Items Smith and Lutot have brought in include chicken and dumplings and mac-and-cheese bites.
Specials can be ordered Monday through Friday. All specials change except one – the chicken and dumplings can be ordered every Thursday.
On a regular basis, customers can also get hot dogs, fried chicken sandwiches, flounder or grilled cheese sandwiches.
To go with that main dish, you can get sweet potato chips, vegetables, corn nuggets or freshly-cut french fries.
“We peel (on average) 150 pounds of potatoes a day,” Lutot said.
Various cakes and pies are also baked for sale.
In the winter, Lutot will serve up some soup and sandwiches.
This summer, guests can look forward to fresh fruit and vegetable salads.
“I get my ideas from my mom,” Lutot said. “Everything she used to do stuck in my head.”
Lutot and Hayden are joined by Casey Sign, Vanessa Miller and Vicki Hook.
When it comes to their jobs, these women can do everything.
“You work here, you do it all,” Lutot said.
From cleaning to serving, Lutot did it all while working for her grandparents, while working for her mom, and it's something she continues to do.
Blue Top Grill is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It is located at 212 Aiken Road.
Orders can be called in for eat-in or carryout, Lutot said.
For more information, call 803-663-3971.
Stephanie Turner graduated from Valdosta State University in 2012. She then signed on with the Aiken Standard, where she is now the arts and entertainment reporter.
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner This picture of Jimmy and Emmie Overstreet hangs beside the entrance to Blue Top Grill. The Overstreets opened the restaurant in 1951.×
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner This sign gives you a fair farewell as you leave Blue Top Grill.×
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner Good friends Vanessa Miller, left, and Casey Sign are two of the newer employees at Blue Top Grill. Blue Top Grill opened in 1951.×
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