George J's Serves Residents For More Than a Century

By Forrest Sanders | 

It's been a pharmacy, a soda fountain, an ice cream parlor and a restaurant.

That's a lot of changes. But George J's in Glasgow, Ky. has had over 100 years to cover that much ground.

We stopped by this staple of downtown Glasgow to see what they're serving up.

Rachel Poynter is fulfilling something of a family tradition started by her mother.

"She used to always tell me that every day after school, she'd come in here and get a Cherry Coke or a milkshake. Now, I'm coming in here and getting a Cherry Coke or milkshake just as she did," Poynter admitted.

It's the sort of story you hear a lot at George J's.

"There are people who are older now who will come in and say, 'I remember coming in to get a soda or hamburger,'" explained Larry Waller, George J's co-manager.

That's because the building's become a permanent fixture on the Glasgow Town Square.

No one seems to remember exactly when George J's arrived but on a door handle outside is the vague inscription of 1880.

"It's an old restaurant, so it's got close ties to the community, and yes, it's a good community gathering place," assured Patricia Waller, also a co-manager of the restaurant.

But like most things this season, the fall has brought change.

George J's has new management, but they're not exactly shaking things up.

They're determined to hold onto the sort of 1950s nostalgia that's been a trademark for decades.

"I think that was just a real fun era. It just takes you back to that slow time when things weren't so rushy rush," Patricia said.

But others argue, they keep coming back for a different reason.

"The food, I guess. It's real good food. It's just a hometown restaurant, and it's been here for a long time," assured lifelong Glasgow resident Tommy Fitzgerald.

And according to the management, they're ready to keep serving up some southern essentials, along with sweet treats, to the next couple of generations.

"You can just come in here and relax, and forget about everything outside," Larry Waller added.

But don't think George J's is completely caught in the past.

The managers are thinking about bringing the restaurant up to 2007 with low calorie sandwiches.

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