Weidmann's Square: Time for interested investors to pony up
July 15, 2001
Belly on up to the lunch counter, folks, and lift the lid on a crock of peanut butter. Have a glass of sweet tea. Browse the menu while you seek out that favorite photo on the wall. Talk to friends, enjoy a good meal. Wonder what it must have been like in days gone by.
It's been that way at Weidmann's Restaurant since 1870. If a group of local investors has its way, Weidmann's will be here for a long, long time.
It's hard to imagine Meridian without Weidmann's and, let us hasten to add, no one is saying the landmark restaurant is about to close. It isn't.
It's just that ownership held by members of the Weidmann family for the last 130 years or so will change and some fortunate Meridian residents who harbor fond memories of the place may be among the shareholders. Management and the menu may change, too, if Jackson restaurateur Nick Apostle is part of the mix and brings over some of his very delectable specialties.
Developers are seeking 50 people willing to invest $20,000 each in Weidmann's Square LLP, a downtown revitalization project they have associated with renovation of The Grand Opera House of Mississippi, the old Marks Rothenberg building and other projects. Reportedly, 20 investors have already signed up.
For these folks, Weidmann's is more than a memory. It is a living, breathing, bona fide institution from the quaint old lunch counter to the eclectic collection of old photographs to real cloth napkins. It's the place you went to get a bite to eat after the big dance. Now, Weidmann's itself is going through some changes as it prepares for a new lease on life.
Local investors should be in a good position to know what will work in the revitalized downtown expected to happen sooner or later. Bet they'll even keep the peanut butter.