The story of one seafood eatery’s remarkable Macon legacy

The story of one seafood eatery’s remarkable Macon legacy


When it comes to sit-down restaurants,
there aren’t many in Middle Georgia that have lasted as long in the same location,
or in any location for that matter, than this well known
national chains eatery has. It sits alongside an automobile
dealership, directly behind a shuttered Credit Union,
in the parking lot of a long demolished shopping center, that was once
anchored by a now vanished Kmart. The Red Lobster at 2077 Riverside Drive
in Macon was built in 1972. A seafood staple for
going on half a century now. The somewhat tucked away Red Lobster,
which is all but blocked from view by that closed Credit Union and
the sprawling riverside forward beside it, is a testament to the power
of popcorn shrimp. The restaurant didn’t make much of
a splash in the local newspaper when it opened in May of 1972 and began serving
its broiled fisherman’s platter. Lobster, sea bass, shrimp,
scallops and deviled crab, which came with hushpuppies,
potatoes and cole slaw, all for $3.75. Jane McCallister who wrote
restaurant reviews for the paper, in September 1978 captured
Red Lobster’s essence in the opening lines of her writeup titled,
Red Lobster Brings Sea Inland. McAllister writes, what sultry Macon
could really use is a sea breeze. Even more enjoyable would be
the sea that usually goes with it. But restaurant fanciers, such as myself,
would be willing to settle for one of those rundown shacks on the wharf. Unfortunately, Macon has not been
on the coast for 7 million years. But it has a substitute for
the shack, Red Lobster.

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