One year ago yesterday, Wilson's Soul Food closed its doors. Owner Angelish Wilson said the economy was to blame. This week, another Athens, GA, soul food icon, Weaver D's, may suffer the same fate.
On Monday, Dexter Weaver posted a plea for support of his namesake restaurant on his personal Facebook page:
Hello everyone. I am sorry to announce that we may be closing if we are not able to raise enough revenue to meet our budgets. We ask that the public support our business to save this business. If you have enjoyed our food for the last 26 years we ask that you support us now. We enjoy serving you and would like to continue!
The news went viral, and soul food supporters from coast to coast wrote on the Weaver D's Facebook page to offer their support. One fan has planned an eat-in:
Later in the day, Online Athens spread the word on its website. From the article:
It was reputation that saved Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods from shutting down last week, but owner Dexter Weaver hopes sentimentality will help keep it afloat.
Years of declining business, combined with higher energy and food costs, caught up with his shop on Friday when the gas company came to cut off the vital restaurant utility. He talked them down, and paid what he could, but now is pleading for the Athens community to support a nationally recognized eatery and a unique part of the city’s culture.
“(20)10 is when we really felt it,” Weaver said of the business drop-off. “But we were there, we were whole, we were able to pay our bills. But anytime when somebody comes in Friday ready to cut your gas off — that’s what we cook on! That would put us right out. I’m so glad that he didn’t do it. And I’m glad that my 26 years is good for something.”
For more information on the "We Support Weaver D's Lunch" scheduled for this Friday, Oct. 5., go here.
Visit our 2006 oral history interview with Dexter Weaver, go here.