The restaurant that inspired R.E.M.'s Automatic For The People is closing

The restaurant that inspired R.E.M.'s Automatic For The People is closing

Weaver D’s, the Athens, Georgia restaurant that inspired the title of R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People, is actually, finally, really closing. The little soul food spot has been in limbo since 2010, after owner Dexter Weaver began falling behind on his bills. Last year, Weaver put out a distress call via his Facebook page, and though that inspired “a line waiting to order” for a while, it apparently wasn’t enough to save the joint. Yesterday, Weaver posted to Facebook that the restaurant will be closing “for good 2-3 weeks from today,” and that the “restaurant is for sale along with its contents.”

Weaver D’s opened in 1986 and quickly gained a reputation its fresh soul food and charismatic owner. R.E.M. members frequented the restaurant and named their 1992 record, Automatic For The People, after one of Weaver’s catchphrases. Weaver has said that he was paid “a pretty good amount” of money for the right to use the phrase, but intimated he probably would have sought more if he’d known how popular the band was.