By Danielle Davis, Bayonet & Saber /
Nestled among the trees off Georgia Highway 26 is Four Winds Restaurant, “the home of the Ranger burger.”
A local favorite, Four Winds has been serving Soldiers and the surrounding communities since 1979 when the original owners, Susan and Donald Cox, opened it.
In 2015, Charles Jackson, a professional basketball player, took over as the restaurant’s owner and operator.
“I’m a fan of the restaurant. I grew up eating here. I’m from Buena Vista, Georgia, and this was one of those places I used to love to go to whenever I wanted to eat out,” said Jackson.
“When I heard that it was closing down, I couldn’t believe it. And I asked myself what could I do to help,” he added.
“I just had the opportunity to speak to a room full of Rangers at the 2016 Annual Ranger Muster, which is through the U.S. Army Ranger Association. It meant a lot to be able to stand there and talk to them. Rangers literally helped build this place from the ground up back in the 80s,” Jackson said.
“It’s an honor to be able to help serve them. They love this place. Being able to provide a service to them is something that I can hang my hat on,” he added.
Nancy Powell, a waitress at Four Winds, described being able to serve the Soldiers as phenomenal.
“They love to order the Ranger burger,” she said.
“We like to come here as a platoon. The food is very good. I enjoy it a lot. Whenever I come, I like to get the Ranger burger,” said Spc. Jacob Ripley, D Company, 1st Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment.
Pfc. Ti-jean Tennant, D Company, 1st Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, said he enjoys the atmosphere that the restaurant provides.
Claude Parris, a local who lives across the street from the restaurant, likes to order the Jr. Ranger burger. “I’ve been coming here for a long time,” he said.
Eddie Fugate travels from Columbus to eat at Four Winds.
“I come here often. The Ranger burger is my favorite thing to order,” Fugate said.
Fugate said he likes that the restaurant serves good, wholesome food and is very supportive of the community.
Looking ahead, Jackson plans to start hosting special nights in the future.
“We’re trying to reach out to the community. During the Soldier Nights, they’ll be able to come in and get some good food at a discounted price,” Jackson said.
“We’re also working on an outdoor area. It’s going to have some lights set up and the fountain,” he added.
Jackson is also preparing to add pizzas to the menu.
“I believe the community is really going to enjoy that,” he said.
Jackson said that a private lounge, available for free as long as individuals have a sizeable group and the restaurant caters the food, is opening up as well.
Customers can also participate in the new online ordering system.
“You can place your order ahead of time and we’ll have it prepared by the time you get here so that way you can take your food if need be and head back to work,” said Jackson.
“Ultimately we’re just trying to keep it going and not lose any of the tradition that the restaurant had so long ago,” he added.
Four Winds is open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.