This commercial block, the most substantial remaining historic retail structure in Hahira, was built in the 1890s by R. Y. Scruggs. Numerous business, including Hahira Hardware and the City Cafe, have occupied the building over the years. It was also home to the Hahira Post Office at one time.
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This structure was built to house the growing food business of the Dudley family when Dudley Funeral Home became the sole occupant of the nearby C. D. Dudley & Sons General Merchandise building. Herbert (Hub) and Mayme Ford Dudley were already leaders of the black community of Dublin and their Retreat Cafe became a community center. Well-known entertainers, including Little Richard, James Brown, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe all visited here while traveling through Dublin. I met a nice lady while I was photographing the property who remembered Mrs. Mayme Dudley quite well.
During World War II, Mr. Dudley operated a USO in this building for Black servicemen. The structure remains sound today but was listed as a 2023 Place in Peril by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation because it has been in disuse for many years.
Hunter’s Cafe is one of the best loved local hangouts on the Georgia coast and it’s the epicenter of “downtown” Shellman Bluff. Open since 1951, it’s located in a World War II-era army barrack acquired as surplus from nearby Fort Stewart.
It’s a no-frills kind of place that caters to locals while welcoming the occasional tourist. If you’re in a rush, go elsewhere, because they don’t get in a hurry here. If you read internet reviews, you’ll hear people complaining about the wait time, but that misses the point of Hunter’s Cafe. It’s as much about the experience and atmosphere as it is the food. The original section of the restaurant feels like a neighborhood gathering place, and the bar, added in the 1970s, has the ambiance of a classic dive. And the staff are very welcoming and friendly, even if you’re not a local.
The food is really good. I visited with my parents and my aunt. My mother ordered fried green tomatoes, which I generally don’t care for, as an appetizer. There was something different about the Hunter’s version and I enjoyed them. I also don’t care for battered french fries, but their perfectly floured shoestring potatoes were memorable and way above average. The fresh Georgia shrimp was excellent, as it must be in a place like this, and it was accompanied by the most perfectly fried hush puppy to be found, amazingly light and flavorful. My mother and I agreed we could have made a meal of the hush puppies.
No, I don’t eat frog legs. And I don’t care whether they taste like chicken or not. But they’re quite popular with some folks and they were the dinner special at S & S Seafood Market in Sylvania the day I made this photograph in 2014. Most frog legs sold in restaurants are commercially raised. Their popularity in the South probably comes from early French immigrants, and they’re still considered a delicacy in France.
This place had some of the best homemade biscuits I’ve eaten anywhere. I was here in 2017 and think it may still be open but under another name. I just hope it’s still as good as it was when I visited.
The building is located near Hartwell Dam, hence the unusual name.
The first Bullochs came to the area of present-day Greenville, Georgia, from Edgecombe County, North Carolina, in the early 1800s and Cyprian Bulloch remained in the area and was a successful businessman . [This branch of Bullochs were not related to Archibald Bulloch, the first governor of Georgia].
The town of Bullochville was established by Cyprian’s sons, Cyprian Jr. and Benjamin Franklin. It was incorporated on December 20, 1893. Benjamin built this home on a prominent hill overlooking the town. He and Cyprian were large landowners and their other interests included a mill, gin, bank, and coffin factory. It is often stated that the town was renamed Warm Springs by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1920s, but my friend Joe Kitchens notes: My distant cousin Dr. Nepali Kitchens left a lucrative practice in Columbus and retired to Bullochville where he was elected mayor. His training was in hydrotherapy and he claimed to have been the influence behind changing the name of the village, which preceded FDR’s first visit.
Fast forward to 1990: Judy Foster and Charles & Sylvia Garrett purchased and renovated the Bulloch House and converted into a popular restaurant serving Southern favorites, done right.
As someone who never likes fried green tomatoes, I can attest that I actually loved theirs! And of course, they excelled in fried chicken.
Peter and Sandy Lampert purchased the business in 2011.
Sadly, the Bulloch House was struck by lightning and completely lost to an ensuing fire on 10 June 2015. Luckily, for fans of the restaurant, the Lamperts relocated to an historic commercial space in downtown Warm Springs and were up and running by December 2015.
The history shared here comes from their website. If you plan on visiting Warm Springs, you just have to try it. I think you’ll like it.
When I stopped at Maebob’s Diner in 2017 [the date of this photograph], it was the first time I’d eaten there since my college days, and the food was just as good as it was in the early 1990s. I’m not sure how long the place has been open, but I’m saying it’s at least 30 years. There is nothing pretentious about the place and nothing fancy, but the homestyle Southern food does all the talking. It’s really the only gathering place in tiny Irwinton and much of Wilkinson County passes through here at one time or another. The day I was there, a soap opera was playing on the television, and one of the servers and a couple of the customers were paying attention when they could. It made me think of my grandmothers referring to soap operas as “the stories”. They watched them religiously and you knew not to call them while they were on, which, depending on the shows they watched, was anytime between 12:30 and 4PM.
Steffens Restaurant has been a Kingsland and Highway 17 landmark since it first opened in 1948. Trellis Crews writes: I owned & operated Steffens Restaurant from August 23, 1989 until December 31, 2007. This is the original location which is about 4 miles from the Florida line. As a note of interest I worked there as a waitress in the late 60’s before the interstate I 95 came through & in the 80’s (a fire shut it down in the 70’s) with the previous owners Darrell & Willie Mae Dyal who purchased it from the Steffens family 23 years earlier. It retains much of the charm of the roadside diners that once thrived along the Coast Highway when it was the main route to Florida on the Eastern Seaboard.
The restaurant is almost always busy, attracting both locals and road trippers.
This a soul food-seafood restaurant. The murals are nice.