Just like the city of Hesperia, the folksy, American food restaurant chain Country Kitchen has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1939. It started out as a tiny hamburger stand in Cincinnati, Ohio and has grown to become a full-service restaurant chain across the U.S.

Country Kitchen is set to open its first Southern California location at 17398 Main St. in Hesperia. According to Chris McGrath, vice president of marketing for Country Kitchen, the restaurant will add another much-needed dining option for the High Desert, where he believes American food establishments are few and far between.

“We’ve been wanting to expand into California for quite some time, so Hesperia seemed like the perfect place,” said McGrath. “From our research, the area is in need of some more dining options, especially those that offer solid comfort food. And that’s what Country Kitchen restaurants are known for.”

McGrath said although Country Kitchen serves up three meals a day, it prides itself on its breakfast business. The chain’s menu features a variety of gourmet pancakes, breakfast skillets and omelettes.

“We serve breakfast all day long, which makes us very unique,” said McGrath. “There’s been a real resurgence in this type of thing over the years and that really has become the cornerstone of our company.”

Lunch and dinner fare at Country Kitchen in Hesperia will include hamburgers, soups and salads, a variety of sandwiches and comfort food dinners, such as roast turkey, meatloaf and country fried steak.

The restaurant also offers appetizers, kids meals, lighter fare and an array of desserts.

According to McGrath, all items are made from the freshest ingredients.

“Country Kitchen prides itself on the quality of its food,” said McGrath. “The restaurant will never jeopardize that for any reason.”

Hesperia’s Country Kitchen took over the former Carrow’s restaurant building, which went out of business about a year ago. McGrath said the establishment has undergone a complete overhaul both inside and out.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the way the building turned out,” said McGrath. “I think the community is going to be very fond of it and super excited all the way around.”

An employee at the location told the Hesperia Star last week that they originally planned to open Tuesday, but small hurdles have delayed the opening.

When they do open their doors, McGrath said the restaurant plans to offer daily specials and other incentives to what it hopes will be its long-term clientele.

“There are definitely plans in the works for a big grand opening but we wanted to make sure all of our workers were trained really well before moving ahead with that,” said McGrath. “Our desire with this event will be to reward the community for allowing us to be there.

“This is a big deal for us to be opening our first location in California, so yes, there’s going to be a lot of fanfare.”

Country Kitchen’s hours will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information and updates on the restaurant’s opening, visit www.facebook.com/HomeAtCK.