Weidmann's, Meridian MS

Weidmann’s in Meridian has closed.

I have to admit that there is a part of me that isn’t surprised because of what the new ownership (well, I say “new” but that team had been in place since 2001 or so – but for a restaurant that’s been open 140 years…) had done to what used to be an establishment just **exuding** character. It had been a destination for so long.
And the kind of character the ‘old’ Weidmann’s had – hundreds of framed autographed photographs of celebrities (plenty of local football players, twirlers, and musicians plus Bear Bryant, Dizzy Dean, Ted Williams…), the looong lunch counter, the tables and booths which also probably dated back to the ’40s, the neon script sign out front, the servers who had been there forever…

There was a bank of photographs of Meridian’s soldiers who had died for their country.
The Front room. The Plate room. The 1870 room.
The new Weidmann’s had nothing on it. The new version was the same brick-walled, trying-to-be-upscale restaurant that’s in every mildly successful strip mall in America.
Back in 2003, the Mississippi Business Journal wrote about the new styling:

The changes begin at the entrance – moved from the southwest corner to the northwest comer. A maitre d’ greets customers alongside a temperature controlled wine cellar. There’s an exposed modern kitchen with the latest equipment including rotisserie ovens. The dining room seating has banquettes (McGehee calls that “A fancy name for benches”) in addition to the normal table seating. Shining crystal glasses are placed meticulously at each setting.

The imposing 11-inch by 17-inch, two-tone menu is printed daily on quality tan paper marked by the restaurant’s new logo. The food items are on one side and the wine and champagne list is on the other. And, yes, for the big spenders, there’s a $300 bottle of Brut champagne – the rest of the bottles go for normal price expectations. Note: There’s also a Weidmann’s card that mentions “Hedonistic Desserts” and “Martinis, Martinis, Martinis.”

Many comments about its closing here. *Lots* more here.
Well, anyway.
We have this crock we bought there back in the late ’90s, when every table had one of these with peanut butter and crackers.

Weidmann's Peanut Butter Crock, Meridian MS

There are some great pics of the old Weidmann’s with a nice commentary here. eBay usually has some old postcards of it too.
May Weidmann’s return soon, in whatever form. But I sure do hope it’s someone who has a love and reverence for that first 130 years.
I’ll make their famous black bottom pie tonight and we’ll make a toast to its future.

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