Fun Weekend & Other Things Too...Friday, June 11, 2010
First opened by Felix Weidmann in 1870, the restaurant was run by the same family all the way through the 1990's.
Under the Weidmann family, Weidmann's became one of the most well-known restaurants in Mississippi, beloved for its history, food, and quirky atmosphere. Among other things, the restaurant was known for its black bottom pie, peanut butter crocks on each table, and hundreds of pictures of famous patrons hanging on the walls.---
"You could go anywhere in the U.S. and tell somebody you were from Meridian, and they would ask you about Weidmann's," Martin said. "We thought that was a valuable part of our city's heritage, and that we could not allow it to fade away."
Frazier said his goal is to blend Weidmann's history with the modern practicality of the renovated building.
"We won't be the same restaurant," he said. "We can't be the same restaurant, but I think we have to bring back some of it. You can't turn your back on 140 years of history."
To bring back that legacy, Frazier is planning to offer some of the menu items from the "old" Weidmann's, along with new dishes.
He's also brainstorming ways to bring back some of the old atmosphere. He said he hopes to recover some of the pictures that once hung on the wall, but that many of the quirky aspects of the "old" Weidmann's will be impossible to resurrect. The peanut butter crocks on the tables, for example, are against today's health codes.
Frazier also wants to make Weidmann's accessible to more Meridianites by lowering prices, which were relatively high under McGehee.
"In a sense, the restaurant belongs to the citizens of Meridian," said Frazier," and it needs to be accessible to them... We're ready to welcome Meridian back to their Weidmann's."
When it reopens, Weidmann's will serve lunch and Sunday brunch along with dinner. Frazier said that, thanks to many requests, vegetable plates will be on the lunch menu.
In that spirit of community, Frazier is reaching out to the public in his plans for Weidmann's, asking for e-mails with suggestions for improvements to the restaurant.
"I'd...like to hear from the public as far as what they would like to see there," he said. "I'd also like to hear their memories of (Weidmann's)."
Suggestions can be e-mailed to weidmanns1870 AT yahoo --dot-- com.
"We don't want to become a K&B, McKenzie's or Schwegmann's," he said. "We want to prayerfully get our waters back. We want our family of farmers to be able to pass on their tradition to their kids. We want to be there for them when they come back to be able to provide for our restaurants."