by: Diana Davis Updated:
ATHENS, Ga. - A legendary Athens, Ga., restaurant may soon have to close.
The owner of Weaver D's Delicious Fine Foods told Channel 2's Diana Davis business is so bad he can't pay the bills.
The restaurant serves fried chicken, collards, corn bread, steak and gravy, meat loaf and pork chops.
Dexter Weaver has been serving up southern soul food at Weaver D's for more than 25 years.
For the last couple of years, the restaurant, that once was always jammed, hasn't been.
Robert Guillard told Davis he comes once a week, and he's noticed the difference.
"I remember years ago when I used to come in here, you know, the whole place was packed. But lately I can come in here at lunch at there's just one or two people here," he said.
Weaver said he's two months behind on bills.
"They came last Friday to cut off the gas in the middle of lunch. I'm like, 'Lord, it's getting bad now,'" Weaver said.
By noon Thursday, with the word of the restaurant's problems getting out, the green shack on East Broad Street in Athens was looking like its old self, with a line that snaked through the dining room.
Kylee Hubbard, from Athens, said it was her first time at the restaurant,
"It's great. I love
it. Good southern food," she said.
Now, the register is ringing again with Weaver hoping he'll survive.
"Praise God, amen! They're tipping, they're doing everything that we need them to do before. And we've got to keep on at the same pace in order to stay on top," Weaver said.
Weavers slogan "automatic for the people" became the title of Athens rock band R.E.M.'s eighth album.
Weaver D's is known nationwide, even internationally.
James Beard named it an American classic.
Weaver said the economy hit him hard like everyone else. He told Davis his efforts to bring back business with daily deals and Groupons may have back fired.
"I mean, the 50 percent off that might be what got us in the shape we're in," Weaver said.