On this day, Delmar's Lunch announced its reopening on Clayton Street:
(Click to enlarge)
Delmar's had been gutted by fire in the early morning hours of June 6th, causing their restaurant, the Woolen Mills Company, and the dentistry practice of L. C. Hiram, who also lived above the establishment, to be entirely destroyed. Dr. Hiram, his wife, and child escaped with only "the clothes in which they came out of the fiery building," losing everything else.
The building had been built by Pink Morton, with a "marble front, and was well constructed." Mr. A. H. Talmage owned the building, and did carry insurance to cover rebuilding costs. Delmar's owner, Mr. W. A. Ivey, also had insurance, but the owner of the Woolen Mills Company and Dr. Hiram had only some coverage, and not enough to fully replace all their lost goods.
Though early newspaper reports anticipated a reopening within 60 days, it took over 90 for Delmar's to be ready to serve meals again. During that time, Mr. Ivey tried to obtain a partial refund of his business license from the city council, but his pleas were not entertained.
Over the next four years, Delmar's rarely advertised their meals and specials in the city paper, but did advertise in the University of Georgia paper, the Red and Black, noting their business was run by "Two Americans." Their location on Clayton Street, between the Majestic and Elite Theatres, made them convenient a convenient meal option for the many businessmen, shoppers, and University students that came into downtown daily.
In 1918, new management took over the restaurant, promising the same good coffee and high standards, despite the food shortages associated with World War I. However, in May, 1921, the business was sold again, and while they continued to host post-meeting dinners for the Confederate Veterans and the Masons, by December, 1921, Delmar's Lunch had gone out of business and its fixtures and equipment went up for auction. In later years, ads for other businesses would use "Delmar's old stand" as a way of indicating exactly where on Clayton they were located.
Today, the building is home to the local gift shop Helix.
- Athens Banner, Sep. 1914 - Feb. 21, 1915 on Microfilm in the Heritage collection.
- Athens Historic Newspaper Archive collection in the Digital Library of Georgia.
- Red and Black Newspaper Archive collection on the UGA Libraries website.
- Minutes of the Mayor and City Council of Athens, Georgia, 1847 - 1960 on Microfilm in the Heritage collection.
- A Postcard History of Athens, Georgia by Gary L. Doster in the Reference and general collections.
- Athens, Georgia: A Pictorial History, 1801-2001 by James K. Reap in the Heritage and general collections.
- The Comfort Diner Cookbook: A World of Classic Diner Delights by Ira Freehof in the general collection.
- The Everything Guide to Starting and Running a Restaurant Business by Ronald Lee in the general collection.
- The American Heritage Cookbook: An Illustrated History of American Eating and Drinking by Cleveland Amory in the general collection.
- It Ain't All About the Cookin' by Paula H. Deen in the Biography collection.
- Starting a Small Restaurant: How to Make Your Dream a Reality by Daniel Miller in the general collection.
- Diner: The Best of Casual American Cooking by Diane Rossen Worthington.
- The Lunchroom of Doom by Daniel Pinkwater in the children's fiction collection.