Joseph starts off by thanking the sponsors and giving a message from the sponsors. He discusses an apple festival that’s coming up in the Smokies in Renville and reads a poem by Mary Oliver that encapsulates this feeling of the festival and Maggie Valley itself. Joseph introduces his guest for today’s episode, Erin Mahoney, she owns and operates J Arthurs Steakhouse, and comes from a family of Hospitality Industry Entrepreneurs. Joseph and Erin discuss their past, and how Joseph was close to Erin’s grandfather as well. Erin discusses her journey across the country, as well as her journey through the hospitality industry. Joseph and Erin discuss how long Erin has been in Maggie Valley and what brought her there from Florida. Erin discusses her first job in the family business, and how she would wash dishes in the restaurant. She continues to discuss her father’s time in the restaurant industry and how he was a natural at it.
The two discuss how Erin’s mother stepped up in the restaurant after her father passed away young. Her mother took the helm of the restaurant and was able to keep it running even in her grief. Erin explains how her parents didn’t want her to follow the family and go into the hospitality industry, as it is not the best industry and it’s a path that is difficult, but Erin was always drawn to it. Erin explains why she was drawn to the hospitality industry and why she enjoys it, even though it was not the path her parents wanted her and her siblings to take. Erin explains that her secondary education was in psychology and social work, and even though hospitality was originally out of her wheelhouse, she is incredibly grateful to be in this industry. Erin explains her ideology in hospitality and how she tries to follow her father’s way of running a business. Erin continues by explaining how her restaurant has evolved over the years, and that for her business to continue to be successful she needs to change with the world around her. Her example being how the original draw to the restaurant was the steak, but now it is more of a family restaurant.
The two talk about the actual physical building of Erin’s restaurant, which was built by Joseph’s father. Joseph discusses the high ceilings in the restaurant, as well as the model train that runs throughout the entirety of the restaurant. Erin says how whenever the train isn’t running in the restaurant the customers notice immediately even though it is just a small detail of the restaurant. The two discuss the small details within the restaurant and how they’re important, and how Erin appreciates that they are important to the customers and staff alike. Joseph discusses how the masonry within Erin’s restaurant was done by Cherokee people, who were hired to do the work by Joseph’s father because of their extreme mastery in stonework, which he was unable to find in any other masons. Joseph continues by saying how each of the men who were hired to do the masonry in the restaurant signed their work with their personal signature. Erin continues off this point saying how she loves finding the signatures all over the restaurant. The two discuss events held in the restaurant and how Erin operates these events.
Joseph and Erin discuss how Erin’s restaurant appeared in the film Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, and how this appearance came to be. Erin discusses how she was not aware of what she signed up for as it was very long hours, but she found it very rewarding and enjoyed it immensely. Erin also brings up how several customers she’s had since the movie premiered wanted to sit at certain tables just like in the movie. Joseph brings up how he wants to create a tour of Maggie Valley of all of the film locations, as many films had been filmed within the area. The two discuss the future of Maggie Valley, and what Erin expects for the town’s future. The two also discuss breakfast and lunch spots in Maggie Valley.