ALDERSON (WVDN) – Decked out in large wagon wheels and framed newspapers featuring major stories from Alderson’s past, The Big Wheel has been serving the area for decades. Locals and travelers alike flock to the hometown restaurant for the food and atmosphere. The owners, Alexandra (Alex) and Kevin Battaile, are working to create and maintain a happy and kind atmosphere for the employees and the customers.
Last year, in December, Alex Battaile said they started a campaign to engage with the customers and bring a smile to their faces. During this time, the restaurant implemented several ways for people to get a free meal or item. Some of the options included thumb-wrestling an employee for free ice cream or getting the coveted plate marked for a free dinner.
Alex Battaile said, “[We’re] trying to spread kindness.” She went on to say, “That’s something that I really want to show at the restaurant is people being kind to other people and making somebody’s day a little bit brighter. Just because you come to get a cheeseburger doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave here happier than you did when you came in.”
As part of this effort, Alex Battaile noted that they have been utilizing the hashtag #SpeadKindness. The tag is found on their special board daily and in many of the posts found on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Family is a big part of The Big Wheel. As for biological family, before Alex and Kevin Battaile became the proprietors, the restaurant was owned by Kevin Battaile’s mother and stepfather. Alex Battaile said her sister-in-law and brother-in-law work at the establishment, as does her niece and nephew. However, the family ties run deeper than blood. She also spoke about the employees and customers who have become like family. She said, “It’s more than a restaurant, it really is. It’s more like a way of life.”
Many locals have been dining at The Big Wheel for many years. Alex Battaile spoke about knowing the regulars so well that they know what they plan to order as soon as they walk in. As such, they go ahead and begin preparations for their food. She spoke about one customer who is no longer able to get out and come to the restaurant. So, every time they have broccoli soup (the patron’s favorite), they put some in a to-go container and deliver it to her.
Alex Battaile said, “We learn every aspect of our customers; they become our family.” She continued, saying, “You take care of people that take care of you, and our customers take care of us, and they help keep our business alive. It’s our duty to make sure that we pay them back in some way, whether that means spreading kindness or just going out of your way to make sure somebody that can’t get in here anymore is still taken care of.”
According to Alex Battaile, there are a couple of booths in the restaurant where locals often sit to socialize. Throughout the day, regulars come and go from those seats, eating, talking and enjoying their time.
One of the most popular times at The Big Wheel is Friday evenings when they have all-you-can-eat fried chicken on special. People travel far and wide to partake in this classic, home-cooked country meal. Besides fried chicken, the restaurant serves various specials each day for lunch and dinner. They also serve a scrumptious breakfast menu. Additionally, there are several meatless options for those who do not eat meat, including a veggie burger.
If you have not been to The Alderson Big Wheel, stop by any time between 6:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily. The restaurant is located at 606 W. Riverview Ave. in Alderson. For more information, call 304-445-7832 or visit the restaurant on Facebook.