PINEVILLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY HOMETOWN) — The brown building off of Nations Ford Road in Pineville clashes with the industrial area around it.

“We’re famous here at the Kopper Kettle,” laughed Sara Morris.

It used to be a house, but since 1971 it’s been the ‘Kopper Kettle Family Restaurant.’

“It was literally a house and just a field,” remembered Sara. “We have customers that come here and said, I came in in 1971.”

52 years ago, Penny and George Karnezis opened up the restaurant. Now Sarah, their daughter, runs the place.

“There was a jukebox, remember the jukebox?” said Sara, chatting with a longtime customer named Mark.

They serve some of the same dishes that had people lining up around the building.

“He was open breakfast, lunch and dinner, it was immediately busy. It drew people from everywhere. It was busy breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said Sara.

Sara grew up in Pineville and a lot has changed.

“There was that one-lane bridge,” Sara remembered.

She came back to run the place in 2014 after her dad had a stroke. It’s not been easy, COVID nearly shut them down.

“I think the PPP saved us,” said Sara. “It was really difficult.”

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Six days a week, she’s there hustling because it’s not just a business to her, or to the other people who are here.

“Selma is our head cook who’s been here 20 years,” said Sara. “Stacey’s four. Sherri’s ten years serving.”

Of all the people who file in for their lunch rush, Sara knows most of them.

“I’m grateful, I’m grateful,” said Sara.

52 years ago, the house may have been turned into a restaurant, but it’s always stayed home.