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Athens, GA Restaurant Behind R.E.M.'s "Automatic for the People" to Close

Photo: Dexter Weaver / Facebook
Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

The iconic Athens, Georgia restaurant Weaver D's Delicious Fine Foods is closing in the next few weeks after 27 and a half years in business. Owner Dexter Weaver posted to Facebook yesterday: "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." Weaver had announced his intentions to close the restaurant back in February. In October 2012, Weaver told the Athens Banner-Herald that he had been facing "final notices and warnings of imminent shut off" since 2010.

A 2007 James Beard Foundation America's Classics Award winner, Weaver D's opened in 1986. SFA's Amy Evans writes on Eatocracy: "Weaver D's quickly gained a reputation for freshly prepared soul food, as well as the unique personality of its owner." Weaver's catchphrase "Automatic for the People" became the title of rock band R.E.M.'s blockbuster 1992 album. R.E.M. hails from Athens and were frequent customers. Weaver told the LA Times in 2003 that R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe stopped by the restaurant with an attorney to seek permission to use the phrase as the album title. Weaver agreed in exchange for "a pretty good amount" of money in a deal, not knowing R.E.M.'s fame. After the release of the album, Weaver said his "life changed." A beloved institution, Weaver D's will certainly be missed.

· Athens Loses a Landmark Restaurant Made Famous by R.E.M. [Eatocracy]
· All Georgia Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods

016 E Broad St, Athens, GA 30601