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Weaver D's, R.E.M.'s famous namesake, is up for sale

7:41 AM, Dec 11, 2013   |    comments
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ATHENS, Ga. -- An Athens restaurant has its catchphrase printed on 18 million albums. Weaver D's is the namesake of R.E.M's famous album, "Automatic for the People."

The restaurant just may be in jeopardy. The building is for sale after 27 years of serving soul food.

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However if you learn one thing from owner Dexter Weaver, it's that you never quite know what to expect. Opportunity didn't just knock on the door to his lime green restaurant -- it walked right in.

"In 1982, R.E.M. came here and wanted to name their album 'automatic for the people,' which is our slogan here at Weaver D's," he said.

To the wait staff, "automatic for the people" means quick, ready and efficient. To the music industry it meant 18 million copies sold, and Weaver got a cut.

"We had (the phrase) copyrighted," Weaver said.

That's when opportunity walked in his door again. Hungry fans flocked to an album's namesake for dinner, eating chicken and collard greens and red velvet cake.

Then came the "for sale" sign posted outside the restaurant this year. Weaver has said he's closing before, but this is the first time the building has been put up for sale.

"I've been reporting here for duty for 27-and-a-half years. I don't even know what I would do," he said.

Weaver says sales are down. Everything must go, from pots and pans to the building.

But remember the one thing to know about Dexter Weaver? You never know quite what to expect. Since the building went up for sale, opportunity walked in ... again.

"They're coming from New York, Portland, anywhere just to eat this meal one more time," he said.

Weaver D's is open for now, but maybe not for long. It definitely never forgotten will never be forgotten thanks to four words that changed everything: "automatic for the people."

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