A member of Gov. Roy Cooper’s staff bestowed the award upon O’Keefe last Saturday during a community farewell party at Joey’s.
As a recipient, O’Keefe joins the ranks of such illustrious North Carolinians as Maya Angelou, Dale Earnhardt, Andy Griffith, Billy Graham, Catfish Hunter, Michael Jordan, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson and Haywood natives Balsam Range and former county commissioner Mark Swanger.
The town of Maggie Valley also honored O’Keefe and the restaurant she and her husband Joey turned into a beloved institution by proclaiming June 13 as Joey’s Pancake House Day.
“Brenda and Joey spent endless hours perfecting their skills on how to prepare and serve the most delicious breakfast foods to hungry customers,” the proclamation stated. “This dedication to consistently great breakfast staples earned them a loyal customer base that would faithfully wait in line no matter the conditions.”
For decades, 4309 Soco Road has served not only as a beacon of consistency in an ever-changing world, but a legendary landmark that links generations of Maggie Valley residents and visitors to its glorious past and optimistic future. Since announcing the closure on June 6, locals and visitors from all over the country have lined up at Joey’s to get one last breakfast from their favorite establishment.
While the days of Joey’s have come to an end, O’Keefe will likely lease out the space to another business in the future.
“Although we are sad for ourselves, mainly for our taste buds and stomachs, we as a community are happy for Brenda as she enters in the next chapter of her life — a chapter in which we hope is filled with the same kind of happiness that Joey’s Pancake House has brought each of us for the past fifty one years,” Mayor SaralynPrice wrote in the proclamation.
Read the complete story about Joey’s Pancake House closing on The Smoky Mountain News website, https://tinyurl.com/y9rjgv8h.