Mama Mia's Spreads Out at Mountain Park Location
A Stone Mountain favorite for more than three decades reopens on Five Forks-Trickum Road.
For a girl who started out as a salad clerk in the “old” Mama Mia’s location in Stone Mountain Village, Karen Parker seems happy with her decision to move her restaurant to Mountain Park.
Many folks, who regularly ate at the Stone Mountain location, are making the drive over to Mountain Park – to eat the food, and to see Parker, the lady in charge.
Mama Mia's is now located at 5394 Five Forks-Trickum Road, just north of Rockbridge Road.
During her opening week, customer after customer came in to say hello and give her hugs. She’s kind and happy to see them, but keeps her eye on tables and the kitchen.
“I need bread on table 2,” she says while pulling away from an embrace. “Where is this cannoli going?”
And on it goes.
Like an oiled machine, Parker keeps food moving and people happy. Customers come in and seem to be amazed at the size of her new spot.
“The old place,” says Sue Tolson of Smoke Rise, “wasn’t this big. She will love having all this room!” Her husband, Brad, nods in agreement. “There’s a bar here and TV screens so we can watch the games.”
The Tolsons have been fans of Mama Mia’s for around five years.
According to customer reports and to Parker herself, the “other” location only seated about 50 folks. And, on a busy Friday or Saturday night, made it hard to get a seat to eat, so for many, calling in a pizza order became what they just “did” to get her good cooking. Some diners said that it was standing-room-only some evenings and that they loved her food, so they did it, time after time.
These same customers were shocked, at first, that Parker was leaving Stone Mountain Village.
Sam and Robin Thompson are sitting with their good friend, Linda Myers. As residents of Stone Mountain, the Thompsons have been eating at Mama Mia’s for the last 25 years.
“It is totally worth the drive,” says Robin Thompson. She adds that it’s not that far at all and that they all will continue to eat wherever Mama Mia’s is.
As customers come in they’re all amazed at home much more space Parker has in her new location, which has doubled in size. She can now seat 110, including several private dining rooms for meetings or luncheons and the vault, leftover from the Bank of America that this building used to be.
Parker says that she kept most of the same menu, only adding some items to her lunch selections. She still has folks driving over for their “regular weekend pizza orders” on Fridays and Saturdays. Her most popular and best-selling dish continues to be her three-meat lasagna.
Her move to Mountain Park was emotional, but she tried to bring some of her old Mama Mia’s with her. She had art students from Parkview High School recreate a mural she’d had in Stone Mountain in the restaurant. She also brought the turtles everyone loved with her.
As an owner, though, Parker continues to be hands on, doing all the prep daily for her restaurant. All of it. That says something about the dedication she has regarding what goes onto the plates. Her salads are topped with a house-made dressing. The dough for her popular pizzas? She does it all herself. The sauces and all the rest of it, she says are “from scratch.” And that is something her customers will travel for, whether they are here in Mountain Park or from the Stone Mountain area – or seemingly from anywhere else.