Eidson Restaurant Closing After 56 Years

Owners Sell East Ridge Landmark Building To Neighbor

Thursday, September 02, 2010
Landmark restaurant comes to an end
Landmark restaurant comes to an end
- photo by Wesley Schultz

One of the Chattanooga area's longest-operating restaurants is closing its doors. Friday night will be the final meal at Eidson Restaurant at 5308 Ringgold Road.

Evelyn Seagle, who took over the restaurant along with her brother, Jim, after their parents finally retired, said, "We had an offer to sale the property, and it was just time."

She said, "When my parents were running it, they had us to fall back on. But if something happened to us, there is no one to fall back on."

Mrs. Seagle has been busy this week consoling customers, some of whom have eaten there about every day for years and others who stop in at least once a week.

She said, "We've done it so long that it's bittersweet. We have mixed emotions.

"We have people who tell us they ate here as children and then their children and grandchildren ate here."

Mrs. Seagle said some tourists plan a stop at Eidson Restaurant on their trips from north to south. She said, "We have people who come up from Atlanta to eat with us. They tell us they wish they had something like us there."

Eidson Restaurant was founded by James and Mary Eidson in 1954 at the current location. There have been several additions as well as a major remodeling about 35 years ago.

The Eidsons operated the Central Cafe on Dodds Avenue across from the old Central High School from the late 1930s until Mr. Eidson went off to war.

After the war, he started The Donut Cafe in 1947 across the street from the present restaurant.

He bought an old house on the site in 1954 and opened the Eidson Restaurant after tearing down the house and constructing a new building.

The Eidsons, who both are still alive at ages 92 and 87, worked there until about 2004.

Mrs. Seagle said she worked there while in high school and college and has been at it "about all my life. But we've worn ourselves out."

The building was sold to a man who owns a business next door. Mrs. Seagle said he first talked of expanding that business, but she said he also has a catering firm and may operate it from the Eidson Restaurant building.

Evelyn Eidson Seagle
Evelyn Eidson Seagle
- Photo2 by Wesley Schultz

Many Waldens Ridge Scenes Featured In Stokes Picture Book

A number of early views of Waldens Ridge are among the rarities found in the Stokes Photo Collection. There are many photos of the roads up the mountain showing streetcars, wagons and early autos. There are scenes at Rainbow Lake, Falling Water Falls, Signal Point and other scenic spots. Several photos are included of the Signal Mountain Hotel. The more than 700 photos ... (click for more)

Man Shot At Apartments On Tunnel Boulevard Wednesday Afternoon Dies; 2 Juveniles Shot At Rec Center On Oakwood Drive With Suspects In Custody

A 24-year-old man who was shot at the apartment buildings at 404 Tunnel Blvd. on Wednesday at 1:21 p.m. has died. He was identified as Kenny Breylon Hall. Residents said they heard multiple shots fired.  Witnesses said they saw multiple suspects fleeing the scene on foot behind the complex.  Later Wednesday, two people were shot at the Washington Hills Recreation ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Stays Alive In State Volleyball

SMYRNA, Tenn. – As the old saying goes, It ain’t over til it’s over. That appears to be the philosophy for the Signal Mountain volleyball team as they beat the Harpeth Lady Indians in the opening match here at Stewarts Creek High School in the second day of the state tournament. Contrary to other reports in Chattanooga, the Lady Eagles had a letdown in their second match on ... (click for more)

South Greene Ends Boyd-Buchanan's Bid For State Volleyball Title

(Story will be updated) MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Tears flowed like spillwaters through the Chickamagua Dam locks. Players sobbed. Mothers creid. Grandmothers, too. It was a tough ending to Boyd-Buchanan’s volleyball season. The Lady Bucs (33-16) fell to South Greene, 3-2, at Blackman High School and was eliminated from the TSSAA Class A state tournament on Thursday. ... (click for more)