History of George's
1948: George Najour, 27, moves from his job as a recreation director at state-owned Jekyl Island. Now in Atlanta, he helps run a business in East Point called George's Glass Bar.
1959~1960: East Point bans beer sales.
1961: 1041 North Highland Ave. becomes George's Delicatessen. It started as a deli in the front half of the store, and became a bar that sells beer and sandwiches in the back.
1961-1982: as quoted from an article from a bar calendar in October of 1980:
"George floats between the two in the uninterrupted space behind the counters and the bar, now selling a sack of imported groceries, now drawing a beer. Najour says the bar and the deli each account for about half of his business, so they deserve an equal share of his time."
"But it is the bar that attracts a crowd of neighborhood regulars, sport fans, newspaper types, and the occasional politician looking for votes, advice, or attention. There's nothing special about it, except that it's pinball machines are fast, the conversation is usually interesting, and the balcony offers an out of the way spot for a tete-a-tete if one doesn't mind bumping into the bumper pool players."
" At one end of the bar are Najour's baseball trophies, accumulated beginning with his Army service during World War II. When he was discharged in 1946, at 26 years old, Najour tried out for the Dodgers. He played third base and second base; they tried him at shortstop and first. Even so, he was having a good year with the class D Newnan Browns of the Georgia-Alabama league until he broke his ankle. Later, as an amateur, he played on four city championship teams in nine years.
Sports, as shown on the large television at the end of the bar and discussed on the barstools and in the booths, plays its usual part in making George's what Najour calls, "just a family bar, where most people feel they can come and not be bothered by bums and pests."
"Occasionally, arguments over remembered scores or perceived greatness verge on violence: the same is true of political discussions. When that happens, which is seldom, decorum is maintained by George, is wife Mary, or Sammy, who recently retired at 62 but still works part time.
Sammy's retirement in January of 1978 occasioned the largest crowd in George's memory. The band stopped playing long enough for a city councilman to read a proclamation from the mayor. Nobody else stopped at all. Sammy was so impressed by it all that he was back at work the next day.
1983: With help from son, G.G. Najour, George's installs a kitchen in the rear of the building, creating a limited menu that did indeed include the George's burger, as well as some appetizers, salads, and other items. Thus began a new era, and creating a need to use the name, "George's Bar & Restaurant" on the front window.
This photo was taken around '79-'80 by a former employee
and friend who used this in a George's bar calendar.
This photo was taken in the early 90's. George is about 70 years old here.
On May 11, 2006, George's was honored to raise money for the Vince & Barbara Dooley Scholarship Fund for Deserving Children. We were proud to have the former National Championship Coach for the University of Georgia sign autographs and take pictures for his charity.
Taken in September of 2006 for our 45th anniversary celebration
Ever wonder what things looked like on North Highland Ave. before George's existed? This was estimated to be taken in the early 1950's.
Celebrity Sightings & Famous Patrons
Over the years, George's has seen numerous celebrities dine with us, from athletes, to politicians, to soap opera stars. These are some of the name plates you might see on the tables and a little about them:
Vince Dooley (born September 4, 1932 in Mobile, Alabama) was the head football coach (1964-1988) and athletic director (1979-2004) at the University of Georgia. During his 25 year coaching career at UGA, Dooley compiled a 201-77-10 record. His teams won 6 Southeastern Conference titles and the 1980 National Championship.
Gerald Riggs (born November 6, 1960 in Tullos, Louisiana) is a former American football running back in the NFL. He spent seven seasons with the Atlanta Falcons from 1982-1988 and three with the Washington Redskins from 1989-1991.
Bill Fralic (born October 31, 1962) was one of the most disciplined, goal-oriented, and talented linemen ever to play football at any level. He was an offensive guard in the NFL, playing for the Atlanta Falcons for most of his career. He also wrestled at WrestleMania 2.
Mickey Mantle (October 20, 1931 - August 13, 1995) was an American baseball player who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. He played his entire 18-year major-league professional career for the New York Yankees and was a sixteen-time All-Star, and named American League MVP three times. Mantle played on 12 pennant winners and seven World Championship clubs. He still holds the records for most World Series home runs (18), RBI (40), runs (42), walks (43), extra-base hits (26), and total bases (123). Mantle died in 1995 at age 63 from liver cancer after years of alcohol abuse.
Andruw Jones, born April 23, 1977, in Willemstad, Curaçao, in the Netherlands Antilles, is an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves. He is considered one of the finest fielding outfielders of his time, collecting 8 consecutive Gold Glove Awards.
Eddie Mathews (October 13, 1931 - February 18, 2001) was an American third baseman in Major League Baseball. In 1978, Eddie Mathews was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and today still ranks second all-time among third basemen in home runs, RBI's, slugging percentage, and total bases. He is the only man to play for the Braves team in all three cities they called home: Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta. In poor health during his final years, Mathews died from complications of pneumonia at age 69 in La Jolla, California.
Jason Collier (September 8, 1977 - October 15, 2005) was a professional basketball player in the NBA. He completed his college career at Georgia Tech and was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 15th overall pick of the 2000 NBA Draft. He was traded on draft day to the Houston Rockets in exchange for their pick, Joel Przybilla. He then played for the Rockets and the Atlanta Hawks, averaging 5.6 points per game over his career. Collier died suddenly at the age of only 28 on October 15, 2005 in Cumming, Georgia. His jersey #40 was retired by the Atlanta Hawks on December 2, 2005.
Luke Schenscher (born December 31, 1982) is an Australian basketball player, currently playing for the Chicago Bulls in the NBA. He attended Georgia Tech from 2001 to 2005, starting a majority of his career at the center position, and in the 2003-04 season along with Portland Trail Blazer Jarrett Jack was a member of the Yellow Jackets team which played in the NCAA championship game against the Connecticut Huskies where he received all Final Four Team honors.
Billie Jean King (born November 22, 1943 in Long Beach, California) is a retired tennis player from the United States. During her career, she won 12 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 Grand Slam women's doubles titles, and 11 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. She is generally considered to be one of the greatest female tennis players and female athletes in history. King has been an outspoken advocate against sexism in sports and society. The tennis match for which the public best remembers her is the "Battle of the Sexes" in 1973, in which she defeated Bobby Riggs, a former Wimbledon men's champion who had been the World No. 1 tennis player for the years 1946 and 1947.
Kelly Evernden (born September 21, 1962 in Gisborne) is a former professional tennis player from New Zealand, who turned professional in 1985. Evernden won his first tour doubles title in 1986 at Cologne. His first top-level singles title came in 1987 at Bristol. His best singles performance at a Grand Slam event came at the 1987 Australian Open, where he reached the quarter-finals before being knocked-out by Wally Masur.
T.J. Middleton is a former Wimbledon mixed doubles finalist as well as an Australian and Italian Open quarter-finalist. T.J. led the University of Georgia to NCAA Championships. He was a 2004 Wimbledon seniors doubles champion and 2005 and 2006 finalist.
Robbie Weiss, the 1988 NCAA singles champion and two-time all-America at Pepperdine, is the assistant coach for Georgia Tech's men's tennis team. After turning professional in 1988, Weiss enjoyed a successful career that included wins against Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and Ivan Lendl. In 1990, he won the Philips Open in Sao Paulo City, Brazil.
Larry Mize (born September 23, 1958 Augusta, Georgia) is an American golfer. Despite a creditable career on the PGA Tour he is mainly known for just one shot - the chip from off the green at #11 - which secured his only major title, the 1987 Masters. Mize attended Georgia Tech and turned professional in 1980.
Mark O'Meara, one of the more popular international figures in golf, turned pro in 1980 and has 30 career professional wins. He has also won two major championships, the Masters and the British Open, both in 1998
Hollis Stacy (born March 16, 1954 in Savannah, Georgia) is an American professional golfer. She is the only golfer to win the United States Girls Junior Amateur Golf Championship three times, doing it consecutively between 1969 and 1971. In 1970 she also won the prestigious North and South Women's Amateur Golf Championship at Pinehurst. She attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1974. She has won four major championships.
Mary Beth Zimmerman joined the LPGA in 1983 and is a four-time winner on the Tour. She was an All-American at Florida International University in 1983. She played the LPGA tour for 21 years.
Scott Russell is best known in the United States for earning the title of "Mr. Daytona" for winning the Daytona 200 a record setting five times. In the 1990s, the brash, hard-riding Russell practically owned America's most prestigious motorcycle race, taking victories at Daytona International Speedway in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1998. Born in East Point, GA, he is in the motorcycle hall of fame.
Norm Abram (born 1950) is an American carpenter known for his work on the PBS television programs This Old House and The New Yankee Workshop. He is referred to on these shows as a "Master carpenter."
Tygert (Ty) Pennington (born October 19, 1965 and raised in Marietta, Georgia) is a carpenter, TV personality, and former male fashion model. He is most famous for being the host of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition which currently airs on ABC. Previously, Pennington was a carpenter on the TLC reality show Trading Spaces.
Heather Tom (born November 4, 1975 in Hinsdale, Illinois) is an American soap opera actress. She is well known to American daytime drama fans for her role as Victoria Newman on The Young and the Restless on CBS. She played the role from 1991 until December 2003. She won two Daytime Emmy awards in 1993 and 1999 for "Outstanding Younger Lead Actress" along with nominations in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2005. Heather Tom holds the record for the most Emmy Award nominations for actresses under the age of thirty.
John Cassavetes (December 9, 1929 - February 3, 1989) was a Greek-American actor, screenwriter, and director.
Ben Jones (born August 30, 1941) is an American actor and politician. He was born in Tarboro, North Carolina. He is best known as "Cooter Davenport" on the successful television series The Dukes of Hazzard, in which he participated for the entire series run (1979 to 1985). Following the end of The Dukes of Hazzard, Jones entered the political arena as a Democrat. In 1986, he (unsuccessfully) ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives from Georgia.
Abigail Breslin (born April 14, 1996), is one of the youngest actresses ever to be nominated for an Academy Award. Her notable movie apperances were in Signs, at the age of five, Little Miss Sunshine, Nim's Island, Definitely, Maybe, My Sister's Keeper, and Zombieland.
Jimmy Carter (born October 1, 1924) was the 39th President of the United States (1977-1981) and the Nobel Peace laureate in 2002. Previously, he was the Governor of Georgia (1971-1975). In 1976, Carter won the Democratic nomination as a dark horse candidate, and went on to defeat incumbent Gerald Ford in the close 1976 presidential election.
Hamilton Jordan (September 21, 1944) served as White House Chief of Staff in 1979-1980 and was a key advisor and strategist for President Jimmy Carter. He played a powerful role in the formulation of election strategies and government policies. He and his wife, a pediatric oncology nurse, founded a camp for children with cancer - Camp Sunshine Retreat - in Georgia. He is an honorary board member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
Maynard Jackson, Jr. (March 23, 1938 - June 23, 2003) was an American politician, a member of the Democratic Party, and the first African-American mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He served three terms, two consecutive terms from 1974 until 1982 and a third term from 1990 to 1994. He helped rebuild Hartsfield International Airport to modern standards, which was renamed Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in his honor shortly after his death.
Johnny Cash (February 26, 1932 - September 12, 2003) was an influential American country and rock music singer and songwriter. Cash was the husband of June Carter Cash. He sold over 50 million albums in his nearly 50 year career and is generally recognized as one of the most important musicians in country music history.
Emily Saliers (born on July 22, 1963 in New Haven, Connecticut) is a singer-songwriter and member of the Indigo Girls. Saliers has a passion for wine collecting, and is the co-owner of Watershed Restaurant in Decatur, Georgia. Emily also co-founded the Flying Biscuit Cafe in Atlanta, Georgia.
Damon Dash (born May 3, 1971), is the co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z and Kareem "Biggs" Burke. Dash also has produced a reality TV show for BET, and is currently working on his own clothing line.
Pat Conroy (born October 26, 1945 in Atlanta, Georgia) is a New York Times bestselling author who has written such acclaimed works as The Lords of Discipline, Beach Music, The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, The Water is Wide, The Boo, My Losing Season, and The Pat Conroy Cookbook : Recipes of My Life.