Debra Barker and Greg Cairns met in Miami, Florida while both were working in a new IHOP on the corner of 441 and 191st street.
Greg was a cook at age 16 and Debra was a waitress at age 15, her first job.
They met and fell in love. Shortly after, they moved in together and in 1973 they were married.
The Barker/Cairns family relocated to Blowing Rock, NC where Debbie and Greg worked for Debbie’s folks who owned and operated The Roaring River Chalets.
Debbie also worked at The Cedar Rock Country Club, The Mountain House (the original one owned by Bea Story) and Alpine Steak House (owned by The Dales). Greg ran The Cozy Corner Restaurant (owned by The Byrums) where Shoppes on the Parkway is now.
While at his second job doing construction at Hound Ears, Debbie’s father Don kept talking about how there were no restaurants or coffee shops along Highway 105 or in Foscoe. And the newlyweds got to thinking.
As luck would have it, in 1975, Greg and Debbie were awarded insurance money from a car accident. This money would soon purchase the plot of land where Grandview Restaurant is today.
In 1976, just as 321 was widening in Blowing Rock, Rip Collins, who owned a canoe rental business next to The Roaring River Chalets, was bought out by the state.
Greg and Debbie saw this as a great opportunity.
They decided to purchase the modular homes, formerly Collins’ home and business, and moved them to the Grandview lot.
After a year of renovations and remodels, Grandview Restaurant opened on July 2, 1977. A smaller version of what it is today, inside you would have found a bar with about six bar stools and only a handful of tables. A couple years later they expanded to what you see today.
Greg and Debbie worked around the clock in the beginning, Monday through Sunday- breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Poor Greg would mow the lawn late at night as that was the only time he could find. Luckily, they lived in the apartment right next door- so no commute! Debbie’s parents got into the habit of coming out for dinner every night, right at closing and would hang around to help clean and close things down.
Years went by and soon they outgrew their Grandview apartment. Their son Charles was born in 1981 and daughter Leigh Ann in 1983. With the new additions, the family packed up and moved just up the road to Seven Devils, where they built a home on the mountain.
But in 2013, tragedy struck and The Grandview family lost their dedicated “King of the Grill” Greg on September 19.
Today, Grandview continues to carry on his tradition and his legacy or “eggacy,” as they like to say.