(WXTX) - Big Pete Hayes owns a family restaurant on highway 331 in Crenshaw County called "It Don't Matter."
He would describe it this way: it's nothing big, it's nothing fancy. But that don't matter because "it don't matter" is still Absolutely Alabama.
It Don't Matter, from what Fred Hunter understands, has put Highland Home on the map.
"We're a lil ole country restaurant," said Hayes. "We're nothing big. We're nothin' fancy but we know what people like and we try to please everybody we can."
As he travels the state, Fred Hunter's favorite places to stop and eat are the ones just opening the doors as the sun is peaking over the horizon.
"I grew up in Pinola about seven miles from here," said Big Pete Wilson. "I move off, come back, move off come back, ain't no where like home, man."
The home Big Pete Wilson is talking about is Highland Home. You'd hardly call it a town if you were just travelling down Highway 331on your way to the coast.
"And you in tell somebody I'm from Highland Home. Where's that? Well it's 25 miles south of Montgomery You ever go down 331? Oh yeah. You go right through it."
And Highway 331 always kept leading Big Pete back here.
"For some reason bought this restaurant. The man who built it in 2000 was a house builder and ever time he'd come home and his wife say honey what chew want to eat tonight? And he'd say It don't matter, so they named it It Don't Matter."
Over the years It Don't Matter became known for the name, the food and the hospitality.
"I had a customer fore we burnt said he was sittin' in Gulf Shores, Alabama, went to the restaurant Lambert's where they throw rolls. They told me it was gone be a hour and a half to a hour 45 minute wait fore he got in. He said, I kin be at It Don't Matter in bout two hours. He left Gulf Shores come here and eat."
Which brings up that fateful night when a lightning strike forced folks to change those travel plans which had always included a stop in Highland Home.
"Last year at the 17 of August it burnt. We worked hard for about 8 months get in it back open."
It wasn't just that Pete wanted to rebuild. He had to rebuild.
"You come up to a business you've had for seven and a half years and it's burnin' and you know ever body workin' for you depends on having a job."
"So that's what really hurt us me and my wife, you know? We had so many people out of work."
"I have people out of Destin, Florida that come once, twice a month and told me before when we's burnt, Man I'm so glad you opened back up cause when we come through there was nowhere to stop."
"You got people stays up late last night; got up this morning and's here early to make sure their job is took care of and the peoples took care of and that's the main thang."
Now Big Pete would probably say it don't matter tells the story of the restaurant but the truth is it doesn't matter if you're coming from Canada or Crenshaw County, it don't matter is a place which does matter and it's Absolutely Alabama.