The Carousel

Story and photos by Renee Durham


Some of the best advice I’ve ever had was about small town diners;
“To find the best place to eat in town, ask where the locals eat breakfast.”


I found that place in Marvell at The Carousel, thanks to a new friend who lives there.  It was the end of the day and she suggested it would be better than the gas station chicken I’d become accustomed to.  She was right, and I don’t regret it.

She led me off my beaten path to 309 Highway 1, where I met a delightful couple and discovered great food.  The “locals” would remember it being on the main road until June of 2008, when there was a fire.

Connie and Steve Chastain will celebrate ten years for The Carousel on Hwy 1 in October.  At one time they had another restaurant in Clarendon, but realized Marvell was the sweet spot for them, and running two restaurants is not an easy thing to do.  Connie confessed she runs the restaurant; Steve is the chief decision maker and works the crowds with his friendly banter.

They got into the restaurant business when Connie retired after 21 years with Clarendon Public Schools.  Steve thought she should have a restaurant, and so she does. They have been married for 45 years; with three kids and six grandchildren.  They don’t take many vacations, but if they had a week to themselves, they would spend some time at Storm Creek to get away from it all.

The burgers are good, the sandwiches are good, and the fries are homemade.  And there are a lot of other choices on the menu. Heck, I have my next three menu items picked out already for future visits, but The Carousel will always be special to me for dessert.  I had my first fried pie with ice cream there, and next time I visit it might be a dessert first day! So drop by and tell Connie and Steve hello, have some breakfast or start the day off right with a fried pie!

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