City Demolishes Buildings, But Not Memories
The old Edge's Cafeteria and a couple of houses just off the square are coming down to make room for the Lawrenceville Lawn.
The sun was setting over Lawrenceville and a piece of downtown’s history.
“All this could be gone tomorrow,” Charles Whitehead said as he stood outside the old Edge’s Cafeteria Tuesday evening. The building with several broken windows stands at the corner of Clayton and Luckie Streets for now.
The city is making room for the Lawrenceville Lawn—a new park that will be just steps away from downtown, across from the First Baptist Church. Demolition crews have already knocked down one of the homes behind the old restaurant. The one that belonged to Clarence Oakes, the local shoe repairman according to Whitehead. Edge’s Cafeteria and the blue house behind it that belonged to the restaurant’s original owners are scheduled to come down in the next few days as well.
Whitehead and his daughter Charlene have come to the site to rummage through the rubble. Picking out stones and bricks that could be given new life with other uses. Finding mementoes and reminiscing about the bustling business that once stood on this corner.
“Oh, they had the best T-bone steaks,” Whitehead said as he remembered just how delicious they were. “And they had this black lady who made the best coconut cream pies, and boy, they would just melt in your mouth,” he said with a smile.
Having lived in Lawrenceville for 69 out of his 76 years, Whitehead has seen a lot of things come and go.
“They had the Greyhound bus terminal here too. And you can’t hardly believe it, the bus would make this loop around and pick up passengers.”
After the Edges left the restaurant business, the Holcombs took over according to Whitehead. “I used to eat breakfast here many a day. The thing about it, when you came in here to eat breakfast, you wanted to see Mr. Holcomb on the register instead of (his wife) Martha,” said Whitehead. “Because it was twice as much with her as it was with him,” he said with a gentle laugh. The Holcombs did not have a set menu price he adds. “They just rang up what came to their minds. Hers were very rich prices.”
Edge’s Cafeteria opened sometime in the 1950’s and closed in the previous decade. “There’s been a lot of food gone through there,” said Whitehead.
During the groundbreaking ceremony for the new park, Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson said she and her husband had their wedding rehearsal dinner at Edge’s. “But it is time for that to go! It is time for that to go,” she said.
While Whitehead has plenty of fond memories of the restaurant, he says he’s glad to see it go as well. “The new park will be so nice for the city.” And a chance for Whitehead to make new memories with his six year old grandson.
Do you have any memories from Edge's Cafeteria or the other buildings being demolished? Tell us about them in the comments section.