One of my favorite shows growing up was Cheers, a sitcom about a Boston bar and the lives of the people who frequented it. The theme song and tag line of the show was “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”. I think every community yearns for that kind of place and thanks to Rob & Jen Burton, Coach’s Corner in Purcellville has become ours.
We first met Rob about 14 years ago while I was the golf pro at Westpark. He was a bartender at Shenanigan’s in Leesburg and would come out to play nine holes before heading off to work. I can honestly say I had no inclination he would eventually become the proprietor of the most beloved spot in Purcellville, but we are certainly glad he made it happen. Before I get into how Coach’s Corner came to be, let me tell you a little about the Burtons. I think anyone you talk with would say who they are is the reason this place has become so successful.
Jen grew up in McLean and played basketball for McLean HS. She attended the University of Tennessee, but Rob says Pat Summitt had no idea who she was. Rob was born in Michigan but moved to LoCo when he was 5. He played youth football in Leesburg and Upper Loudoun and has coached in both leagues for over 25 years. They moved to Purcellville in 2003 because they wanted to raise their oldest son Blake, now a freshman at Loudoun Valley HS, in a small town atmosphere. Bailey and Brooke followed and all three are likely to be caught hanging at Coach’s Corner. Rob is currently coaching in the Upper Loudoun Youth Football League and has been helping out with the GYFL War Eagles for the last two years.
Now to the story of how this place came to be. A little more than four years ago the Burton’s learned about an opportunity in Purcellville Gateway. When Rob first met with the developers and explained he wanted to open a sports bar where families would feel welcome they told him he was crazy. Undaunted, he convinced them it was possible and went to work.
The name had already been picked out. Coach’s Corner came from a segment by local sports casting legend Glenn Brenner. In a twist of fate the corner location they currently occupy became available and they jumped at the chance. The menu is all homemade recipes, including the Cheeseburger Egg Rolls. Jen’s idea that would never work has become their most popular appetizer. All of the ingredients are fresh with locally grown vegetables delivered daily and the freezer is only used for french fries and ice cream. Most of the staff has been with them from the beginning, Ben, Agnes, Kim, Melissa and Joyce keep things running smoothly. Having owned my own business I know exactl what Rob meant when he said they allow him to have a life.
If you had to pick one reason why Coach’s Corner has become even more successful than Rob & Jen had hoped it would be the amount they give back to the community. Whether it’s sponsoring the Loudoun Breast Health Network, hosting fundraisers for youth teams, or donating to community organizations it seems they are always helping others. That giving spirit has created a loyal following of customers who believe it is as much their place as it is the Burton’s. Rob & I both know from coaching, when the team is more invested in the group success than their own individual achievements we have done our job.
Rob & Jen have created that atmosphere at Coach’s Corner and it’s the reason why our family and many others stop by after games. Keep up the good work, we’ll be up there doing our time soon. 😉