Weaver D's Delicious Fine Foods Set to Close

Athens rockers speak out about the closing of an establishment made famous by R.E.M. with their 1992 album "Automatic for the People."

Weaver D's, Athens, Ga.

Photo courtesy Weaver D's The unwavering Southern hospitality at this Athens establishment inspired the name of R.E.M.'s 1992 album, Automatic for the People

By now you might have heard about the closing of the legendary Athens soul food joint, Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods. The closing was announced via their Facebook page with these words: 

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 its 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!

Automatic for the People Album Cover

Photo courtesy R.E.M. HQ The 1992 Grammy-nominated album was named after restaurant owner Dexter Weaver's catchphrase. 

The restaurant skyrocketed into the public eye when R.E.M. titled their 1992 album, Automatic for the People, after Dexter Weaver’s catchphrase. For example, if you asked for a side of butter, Dexter’s response, “It’s automatic, baby. Automatic for the people.” 

Needless to say, the closing saddens many Athenians. 

“I was actually just talking about Weaver the other day and about how these new chain lunch restaurants try to have a slogan or greeting when you enter, like ‘Welcome to Moes!’ But these phrases scream fake and soulless so much louder that it makes you turn around and walk out,” Dead Confederate frontman Hardy Morris told FrontDoor. “Weaver’s automatic catch phrase is so authentic it makes you smile and want to come back to hear it again. It’s an extension of him and he wasn't told to say it by anyone.”

John Neff, founding member of Drive by Truckers and current member of Shonna Tucker and Eye Candy, seconded this emotion. 

"Weaver D's was always the perfect place to take friends visiting from up north," said Neff. "It's 'Automatic' that Dexter's most well known for, but my favorite was when you weren't prompt with your order, he'd say, 'Communication!'"

While campaigning in Athens in 1992, Al Gore was introduced by Michael Stipe with the politically charged Ignoreland (explicit lyrics) blasting in the background. In his remarks to the packed crowd, Gore pledged that he and Bill Clinton would be "automatic for the people." 

"For me Weaver D's was about much more than even the delicious soul food he served, it was about being greeted by his unforgettable personality as soon as you walked through the door," added Velena Vego, a longtime Athenian and booker for the 40 Watt Club. "Weaver D's is a star and he made everyone feel special when you walked into his restaurant. We will all miss this special place. Automatic!" 

Chattahoochee Park Pavilion, Gainesville, Ga.

Photo by: Jason Thrasher (L-R) Thayer Sarrano, Matt Stoessel and Hardy Morris performing "OK Corral" at the Chattahoochee Park Pavilion in Gainesville, Ga. It was built in 1910. 

Morris is passionate about the preservation of our historic locations and actually walks the talk. The outspoken rocker recently partnered with the Georgia Trust of Historic Preservation in an effort to raise awareness to the state’s historicPlaces in Peril.” 

“We are losing these authentic places and their quirks all across America. It makes me sad personally,” said Hardy. “Thanks giant corporations and food companies. Thanks for sitting around in rooms and trying so hard to think of ways to spend millions of dollars to create things that seem authentic when you could've just let the authentic people do what they do in the first place.”

Hardy says that he goes out of his way to spend his dollars at local places, as do many, many Athenians.  

“We will hold out as long as we can,” he said. 

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