Local restauranteur re-emerges as the “Place to Meat”

IMG-6676When the staff at Buck’s Diner learned of the impending sale of the building that housed Fairhope’s beloved breakfast/meat and three spot, they spent the final few weeks celebrating the longevity and success of the restaurant with friends, loyal patrons that had become like family, vendors, and all of the regular supporters that made this Fairhope icon a popular dining spot for more than eleven years.
This notification necessitated the rethinking of future employment options for everyone affected.  Formerly the manager of Buck’s Diner, Daneen Buck, knew she wanted to remain in the restaurant business, but in what capacity? After taking a few months off, Daneen began pondering her options.
What frequently came to mind was an old “hole in the wall” eatery from days long ago known as Boo-Boo’s. Wildly popular with the locals, this bar and grill was family owned and operated and featured very simplistic dining options.  “If I remember correctly, the menu consisted of a ribeye steak, a hamburger, West Indies salad, and gumbo” says Buck, “Oh, and Marie Higginbotham’s peanut butter pie!”
After meeting with the owners of the Point Clear Tennis Club, Daneen knew that this would be the perfect venue for her next adventure in the restaurant business.  The building is considerably larger than Boo-Boo’s was, and she knew a heartier menu offering would be necessary. She decided on a classic steakhouse style menu.
The name of the new game in town is CHAR 32 – “The Place to Meat”.  The menu is still evolving but currently consists of smaller plates, or appetizers, such as a classic shrimp cocktail, sautéed crab claws, shrimp remoulade, stuffed mushrooms, South Indies salad (Daneen’s special version of the local classic), roasted pork belly over braised collard greens, and a petite Chateau with horseradish cream sauce. Entree choices include filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, boneless ribeye, and a strip steak.  The menu also includes fresh, wild caught salmon, and the Char burger is to die for!  All entrees are served with a baked potato or fries, and a house salad. Desserts are homemade and include her mother’s famous banana pudding.
CHAR 32 also has a full bar offering beer, libations and fine wines, and “local celebrity” bartenders to enhance your dining experience. In addition to the spectacular dining room, there is a comfortable lounging area with a fireplace adjacent to the main dining room, and also a beautiful patio area for outdoor dining as the weather permits.
Although the restaurant is located inside the Point Clear Tennis Club, CHAR 32 is open to the public, so make plans to experience CHAR 32 – “The Place to Meat”. The hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 5:30pm until 9pm.
Char 32 at Point Clear Tennis Club • 17107 Tennis Club Dr.  Fairhope • 251-517-7700


Buck’s Diner looks to celebrate 10 years this June

BucksBunchAlthough the restaurant business was not the chosen career path of either sibling, Ken Buck and his sister, Daneen have worked many restaurant ventures together throughout the years. They always worked well together so, as fate would have it, they ended up conjoining their talents and focusing on the family’s business. Buck’s Diner is approaching their 10th year of business on Section Street in Downtown Fairhope. When the diner first opened, it was for lunch only. Shortly thereafter, a dinner service  was added and within a few months, breakfast was underway. It has truly been a work in progress and is still continuing to evolve. Various cosmetic changes have been made along the way. Last year the restaurant’s main entrance was relocated to better utilize existing space. This spurred the installation of a bar area which has been something that Ken and Daneen have always wanted to implement. Buck’s Diner has always served alcohol – mainly in the form of Bloody Marys, Mimosas, wine and beer – but now with the addition of the bar, the options appear unlimited.
Breakfast at Buck’s is served every day. You can go classic, piggy or deluxe with your traditional breakfast plate, opt for pancakes, french toast or an omlette or try their signature Cajun Eggs Benedict with a side of Diner Donuts. They also have shrimp & grits, breakfast sandwiches and  more a la carte breakfast items.
Buck’s features daily lunch specials and is home of your local meat and three with fresh meats and vegetables prepared daily. Good ole Southern cookin – country fried steak, meat loaf, hamburger steak with gravy, pork chops, fried chicken (on Tuesday), catfish, burgers and more!
Dinner is served Tuesday through Friday from 5pm until 8:30pm and features some of the same things that are on the lunch menu plus a few more items such as crab cakes, pasta alfredo and a chicken dish along with burgers, salads and sandwiches and a nightly fresh fish special. Buck’s Diner also offers catering – on and off site.
Buck’s Diner, 58 North Section Street, Fairhope (251) 928-8521 • Facebook “Buck’s Diner”