Larry Rexroat, his wife Rita and daughter Lisa continue to own and operate what has become Mammy Frog’s Diner. It was formerly known as Ellis Dairy Dee.
In Feb. 7-13 issue
by Derek Aaron, Times Journal Reporter
RUSSELL SPRINGS - A well-known Russell County restaurant recently underwent a name change and created a new identity. But the owners maintain it will serve the same food, plus one addition on Friday nights-frog legs.
Mammy Frog's Diner, formerly Ellis Dairy Dee, located at the junction of Lakeway Drive and Ky. 80 in Russell Springs, brings that down-home feel to your dining experience.
The restaurant, which has been owned by Larry and Rita Rexroat for nearly five years, changed its name to Mammy Frog's Diner after their granddaughter, Suzy, recently began calling Rita "Mammy Frog," and the name stuck.
"We re-decorated the inside and will be adding some new menu items as time goes on," said Lisa Rexroat, Larry and Rita's daughter and a do-it-all worker at the diner. "A lot of people thought that all we served was ice cream and we wanted to put diner up there so people would know we served food, too," she said.
But the ice cream is still a selling point. The diner's homemade milkshakes, available in innumerable amounts of combined flavors, have been popular for years with customers.
"We sell them all year 'round," Rexroat said.
The new look to the inside of the diner should also make it more appealing to young people.
A jukebox has been set up and colorful "old-timey" advertisements have been placed on the walls, creating an appeal that is sure to take some folks down memory lane.
The addition of Friday frog legs, either a half pound dinner for $6.95 or just adding a pair for $2, is also a big deal to customers, according to Rexroat.
"We're selling out of them every Friday," she said.
The Rexroats have in some way been involved with the restaurant business for years, especially at the former Ellis Dairy Dee where Rita worked for seven years and Lisa worked for eight, through her high school and college years.
Rexroat said when the Ellis's put up the Dairy Dee for sale; deciding to buy it was the right thing for them to do.
"It was a spur of the moment thing, really," she said. "But we love doing it."
A new feel to the diner is noticeable when you enter into it. Rexroat said that since the name change, customers have been bringing in frog items, such as stuffed animals, toys and ceramic frogs.
"We want to bring a fun atmosphere to the county," Rexroat said. "We want to be that place where you can go and relax and have fun, play the jukebox and have a good time.
She said that many high school students have discovered the diner and have fun playing tunes on the jukebox.
"A lot of times parents have to explain to their kids what the jukebox is and how it works," she said.
Larry Rexroat, one of the owners, said it was the "down-to-earth, good ol' country people" that kept their business alive and made them want to serve the people of Russell County.
"We have a lot of the same customers every day and it makes us feel good that they enjoy coming here that much," Lisa said.
She said the diner had been toying with the idea of adding new items for summer but wouldn't yet reveal what those items were. Along with the regular menu items, a daily selection of fresh vegetables as sides and homemade desserts are readily available.
The diner, which has focused to become more family oriented, is open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturdays.
Customers can either dine in, or call in an order to take-out or dine in, especially around lunch, she said. Mammy Frog's Diner's telephone number is 270-866-3183.