Junior's Grill | End of a Tradition

by Melissa on April 22, 2011

Yesterday marked the end of a long dear-to-my-heart tradition at my alma mater, Georgia Tech.

When I was a student at Tech, I worked long days at the multimedia studio in the library and would frequently take the 5 minute walk over to Junior’s Grill to grab a hamburger or their famous chicken tenders, always served with their amazing seasoned french fries and washed down with sweet tea.

The line of students and alumni waiting to get the last bit of food that Junior’s had to serve winded out the door and came close to the stadium. We should’ve known, but by the time we got to the front of the line they were out of their incredible french fries and were only down to gyros, fish sandwiches and veggie burger entrees. So, Esther settled for a gyro and I got a veggie burger, both with a side of potato salad. Somewhat disappointing, but we were still happy to have been able to eat at Junior’s on their last day open. Even the soda machine was running low.

Although Junior’s Grill had been in business since 1948, the recent openings of chain restaurants (Subway, Waffle House, Starbucks, etc.) nearby had taken away much of the business that Junior’s used to have. As an avid supporter of small, local businesses this saddens (and somewhat enfuriates) me even more.

Now, you can’t have an article about Junior’s Grill without mentioning Tommy Klemis, the operator of Junior’s. He is such a nice guy. Especially for the restaurant being a school owned, Tommy would always make you feel like a part of the family as soon as you entered the door. Or well, usually due to the long lines, as soon as you saw him.

Even though Esther and I met long after we were both done with college, we sat and reminisced about the “good ol’ days” of being in school at Tech and going to Junior’s Grill for lunch. The longer we sat at that old, blue booth with the sounds of student and alumni still waiting in line for a last taste of Tech tradition, the sadder we became as we realized that this is the last time we will be sitting at Junior’s.

Goodbye Junior’s! I’m glad you were around while I was in school at Tech and I’m glad that I was able to say good-bye on your last day of business. And thank you Tommy for the wonderful memories. We will miss you!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

May 19, 2011 at 12:31 am

Ha! Ha! Esther’s pout is cracking me up.


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