Georgia City Task Force Votes to Demolish World War II-Era Restaurant That Honored Pre-Civil War South

Aunt Fanny’s Cabin, a long-shuttered restaurant that once one of the most popular eateries in the South during World War II, pictured on Nov. 18, 2021 in Smyrna, Ga. A city task force this week opted to tear the structure down. (AJC file)

Aunt Fanny’s Cabin, an iconic World War II-era restaurant that attracted countless diners to Smyrna over several decades, appears set to fade into history.

A city task force this week decided to demolish the 70-year-old cabin. It was decision partly based on the decaying state of the aging building, which has a number of structural issues. The cost to renovate the cabin would likely have eclipsed $500,000, according to city estimates.

Task force members were also unable to get past Aunt Fanny’s Cabin’s sordid history. The restaurant became world famous in the 1940s, hailed for its southern recipes and family-like atmosphere.

But it was notorious as a themed diner that used racially demeaning stereotypes from the “Old South” to entertain guests. Black boys hired as servers wore wooden menu boards around their necks. There were reports that framed slave advertisements decorated the walls. And city officials recovered some racially derogatory relics from the past inside the cabin.

“The story of Aunt Fanny’s Cabin was so troublesome to me, I just think it was time for it to go,” said task force chairman Travis Lindley, a Smyrna city councilman.

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SOURCE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Matt Bruce