Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
However, I began to think about the nearby town of Jefferson City where I work. There are several long time restaurants that have closed their doors forever in the time that I have been working there: Pops (which was a big hangout for teens), Kay's Ice Cream (an institution that had one of those old signs that you just love), the Cookhouse (which had been there a long time and served homestyle food), and even the Krystal (which always did great business with the college students because of those low cost square burgers on rolls). On the road to Knoxville, Helma's (another one of those roadside diners of a bygone era) closed, reopened under different management, closed again, was renamed, etc.
Then I thought back to the town in which I grew up (Amory, Mississippi). I'm happy to say that most of the restaurants I remembered most are still around -- Bill's Hamburgers (which has been around since the early part of the 20th century), Knight's Drive Inn, the Dairy Kream, Pickle's, Stanford's, the County Barn, Country Boy Hamburgers, the Pizza Inn, Sonic (although it's at a new location). There are a couple of places that are gone. The Fountain Grill was actually torn down to make room for a shopping center with a grocery store even before I graduated from high school. There was a lunch counter in the back of G & Y Drug Store that I loved going to when I was a kid, but it disappeared before I graduated too, I think. The Park Hotel had a restaurant. It closed for a few years, but it's back open again (unless it has closed, and I haven't heard). There were always a few short-lived restaurants, but they didn't stay around long enough to gain a following. Amory's first Kentucky Fried Chicken bit the dust early on because someone battered the chicken in detergent on the opening weekend. There is a new KFC in another location now. There used to be a Coleman's Barbecue in Amory, but it was also gone, possibly before I even entered high school.
Restaurants come and go. It's sad to see some of the hometown ones that have been around for a long time go out of business though.