Athens landmark facing tough financial times, may close

The Athens restaurant known for coining the phrase “automatic for the people,” which later appeared as the title of an R.E.M. album, is facing hard financial times and may be forced to close, the Athens Banner-Herald newspaper reported Wednesday.

Weaver D’s, owned by Dexter Weaver, has been an Athens institution for decades. Located in a neon green building on East Broad Street near downtown Athens, the eatery is a favorite for locals, University of Georgia college students and alumni alike.

“We have been experiencing very slow business, and if things do not improve, we would have to close down,” the Red & Black newspaper quoted Weaver as saying. “We are an icon of this area, and we need people to patronize.”

The James Beard Foundation in 2009 named the restaurant an American Classic.

2010 “is when we really felt it,” the newspaper quoted Weaver as saying. “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.”

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