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Clubs find homes at restaurants
Meet, greet ... and eat
Forsyth County Democratic Party Chairwoman Ricia Maxie, standing right, leads a recent meeting at the Coo Coo’s Nest restaurant. - photo by Jennifer Sami
Some people refuse to talk politics at the dinner table. But in Forsyth County, organizations are all for it.

They may be on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but both Democrats and Republicans enjoy a little food for thought at restaurants throughout the county.

The Forsyth County Republican Women recently began meeting at Golden Corral on Market Place Boulevard in Cumming.

Peggy Green, the group’s chairwoman, said members decided to make the switch this year after previously meeting at a local funeral home.

“Just having food available is always a nice replacement and it brings people out,” she said.

“It works well so people can have the meal that they’re going to have anyway and get some information at the same time.”

The Forsyth County Democrats recently started holding regular meetings at the Coo Coo’s Nest on Freedom Parkway.

Party Chairwoman Ricia Maxie said the organization’s previous meeting space at another local eatery is no longer available.

Maxie said she had heard good things about the Coo Coo’s Nest, among them that it was wheelchair accessible and had a quiet meeting room.

“It’s not super expensive and ... it gives a good variety so not everyone has to have the same thing,” she said.

Like the Republican women, the Forsyth County Tea Party frequents Golden Corral.

“Some of the groups have their favorite servers that they request,” said restaurant manager Dan Kundell. “One of our servers ... she always does the FairTax group. They request her and she’s definitely into that.”

Kundell said the restaurant’s meeting rooms are often used by a Vietnam veterans chapter, the county’s AARP group, the Lions Club and several insurance companies.

“We’re in business for that,” he said. “If they want to come use our facilities for their meetings, we’re more than happy.”

He added that the restaurant offers something for everyone.

“We have low-fat selections for people that are on diets,” he said. “For people that are on the Atkins diet, we have a lot of meat. We have a huge salad bar ... it’s great food, great service and you can get whatever you want for the same low price.”

The public setting gives the groups visibility and allows them to “attract different people and make it so that it’s convenient for as many people as possible,” said Green with the Republican Women.

The Democratic Women of Forsyth County are all over the map.

This month, the group will meet at Golden Palace. Last month it was the Firewater Chophouse and the month before they were at The Ridge.
They’ve also been to the Kani House, Norman’s Landing and Provino’s, said Chair-woman Mary Chatfield.

“It is a challenge for me every month to figure out where we’re going to go,” she said. “We debated about using one particular place for all of our meetings. We’ve actually been there, but the members like to try different kinds of food.”

Maxie said the county’s Democratic Party is content with eating at one restaurant for now and the Coo Coo’s Nest is able to meet members’ needs.

“We can get our business done, they take care of us and we can actually eat,” she said. “It can be a place where people can socialize too.

“There’s more freedom to get there a little bit early to socialize or stay a little bit later.”