Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's installment comes courtesy of Amy Evans, oral historian and Eatocracy crush.
Earlier this morning, Dexter Weaver announced on his Facebook page that his namesake restaurant will close its doors at the end of this month:
"Weaver D’s Fine Foods is announcing that we will be closing the restaurant for good 2-3 weeks from today. The restaurant is for sale along with it’s contents. Come and get your last eat-on here at Weaver D’s, where our food has made us world famous for the last 27 1/2 years! Automatic, Dexter Weaver!"
Born in Athens, Georgia, in 1954, Dexter Weaver grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, where he tended an urban garden at his family home and began catering from his mother’s kitchen. When Dexter moved back to Athens in the early 1980s, he brought his culinary talents and entrepreneurial spirit with him, cooking for events and selling dinners from his home on the weekends.
In 1986 he opened Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods, naming the place after his childhood memories of being at the end of his teacher’s roll call. Weaver D’s quickly gained a reputation for freshly prepared soul food, as well as the unique personality of its owner. Dexter Weaver has a way with words, and his trademark saying, “Automatic for the People,” pushed him into the limelight when the Athens-based band R.E.M. used the phrase as the title for their 1992 album.
In the intervening years, Dexter has made television appearances and authored a cookbook. His singular style and soulful cooking will be sorely missed.
Visit the Southern Foodways Alliance's 2006 interview with Dexter Weaver for more.
Did you ever eat at Weaver D's? We'd love to hear your story in the comments below.
Read more at the Southern Foodways Alliance's blog