The Nutcracker 50’s Family Restaurant is an old-fashioned ‘50s-style diner that serves as the center of the community of Pataskala, Ohio. It is a favorite stop for area residents and out-of-town customers who come in for breakfast, lunch and dinner or to satisfy their sweet tooth with a large selection of candy, ice cream, shakes, malts and homemade pies.
Celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, the Nutcracker 50’s Family Restaurant is owned by Nancy and Steve Butcher, who originally opened the doors as a 1900’s ice cream shop in the old downtown area of Pataskala. They chose the name Nutcracker for the colorful statues Nancy hoped would remind people of the holidays—the happiest time of the year. After relocating to a more visible location in 1997 and expanding their menu, the couple was sadly hit with a devastating fire in 2005 that destroyed their business. However, thanks to the support of the local community, the Butchers were able to reopen and rebuild the Nutcracker 50’s Family Restaurant into the successful diner it is today.
Today, the restaurant is known for its throwback diner menu and décor, which happens to include more than 150 nutcrackers donated by customers. The staff has grown to more than 36 employees, including many high school students. As dedicated “mom-and-pop working owners,” Nancy and Steve run all of the day-to-day business operations yet Nancy’s first love is making her specialty desserts and homemade pies—which are in such demand that she often has to make as many as two dozen pies each day.
Nancy says she is always looking for pie recipes that are quick and simple and make efficient use of ingredients, which is why she likes experimenting with cake or brownie mixes for unique pie possibilities. For the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest, Nancy created Chocolate Snickers™ Candy Bar Cookie Pie that uses Gold Medal® Chocolate Chocolate Cake Mix to make an indulgent cookie layer with Snicker bites mixed. This winning recipe pie now has a permanent place on Nancy’s revolving pie menu.
The Butchers take great pride in their restaurant’s longevity and success, which they are quick to attribute to their dedicated staff, a supportive community, and being conveniently located for day-trippers from Central Ohio area. After meeting in the military (Nancy was a traditional Guardswoman in the Ohio Air National Guard and Steve was on active duty in the same unit), it was only natural that their appreciation and admiration for Veterans led them to provide free meals to Veterans twice a year at their restaurant. The annual tradition earned them recognition from the Ohio Restaurant Association with the Outstanding Community Service Award in 2014. They are also very active in supporting the community schools, scouts, local pool, museum, and numerous other various charitable endeavors.
Address: 63 E. Broad Street • Pataskala, OH 43062 (population: 18,000)