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Mayflower Restaurant Is Closing and More Food News

After 75 years (or close to it) in business, the oldest restaurant in Athens will close some time in the near future. This summer Mayflower Restaurant hasn’t done lunch, only breakfast. Sometimes it’s been closed for a few days at a time. The restaurant’s owners, who also own its building, filed a request with Athens’ Historic Preservation Commission for a certificate of appropriateness (for the meeting scheduled on June 21) for “storefront modifications including changing the siding, openings, and awning. Also proposed is replacement of the building area at the rear courtyard.” Reached via phone, owner Ricky Vaughn confirmed that, “We probably will not be open this fall.”

Vaughn’s family has owned the business since 1963, and he and his wife Lisa took over running the day to day in 1990. The breakfast and lunch counter has attracted a loyal clientele for years and keeps things so simple, including not taking credit cards, that it was big news when it added a website. Vaughn said that he and his wife are in negotiations to lease the space to a “national business,” but the hashing out is taking a while longer than expected. The good news about that is that you still have a little while longer to get your hotcakes. When the Mayflower closes, I believe Strickland’s (opened in 1960) will take the title of oldest restaurant, although it’s not in its original location and hasn’t been for a while.

In other news regarding businesses opening, a small grocery store to be named Prince Market is currently moving into the 100 Prince building, on the side facing the parking garage not the street. It will have a more curated selection of goods, opposed to offerings at a larger grocery store, serving the attached apartment building and surrounding downtown area. Back in 2018, it was reported Piggly Wiggly was interested in occupying this space.