WFMU Ichiban, Rock and Soul with Debbie D

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Swamp Guinea Fever Part 3

Back in November, Ichiban hostess Debbie D posted both sides of an oddball local Georgia 45 by the daughters of the owner of a local fish camp type restaurant. The songs detailed the menu and locale of a long-gone eatery outside of Athens called the Swamp Guinea, which opened its doors in 1961 and went out of business in the early 80s. Then Devlin posted a 1973 Daily News article about a tornado that pummeled the vicinity of the restaurant and a reader followed up with an extensive comment about actually being at the Swamp Guinea when the tornado struck.

So to keep the mania in motion, I dug through the archives of the University of Georgia student newspaper (The Red & Black) to unearth a 1966 Swamp Guinea restaurant review and a few old ads that do a good job conveying what kind of joint it was. The Swamp Guinea's ads can't always be trusted, though. For example, a 1967 ad (above right) that mentions the location as being 10 miles west of Athens, though it was really east of town. Hey, they were too busy fryin' fish to mess with proofreading!

The restaurant featured down home favorites like fried fish (catfish, perch AND flounder!) as well as fried chicken, barbecued pork, ham and steaks, among other crowd-pleasers. But the food was not the only attraction. As we learn from the ads, the Swamp Guinea also offered patrons the opportunity to browse antiques, as well as enjoy miniature golf and a full-blown driving range!

1972


1981


Lonzo & Oscar - Catfish Dinner (MP3, other than the topic this record has no connection to the restaurant)

7 Comments:

Anonymous said...

I used to eat at the Swamp Guinea. It also had an antique barn with beds and dressers for sale. I think we had to drive out past the horse statute in the field, going from Athens.
I was in law school at UGA from fall of 1967 to june 1970, and loved the Swamp Guinea. Plus Charlie, uh what was the place in the woods with bands and all for dances? My mind goes as I get older.

Anonymous said...

The Iron horse in on Ga 15 in Oconee Co, Swamp G. was in Madison Co in the other direction.

Devlin Thompson said...

That would be Charlie Williams' Pinecrest Lodge, where they would later film portions of POOR PRETTY EDDIE. Greg G. wrote about that on Facebook recently.

Debbie D said...

There were 2 Swamp Guineas. One in Hartwell, and another one, out past Oconee....

Anonymous said...

The one in Hartwell is still open but the food is real bad now.

LIZ said...

THR ONE IN HARTWELL IS STILL OPEN AND THE FOOD IS GREAT!! WE EAT THERE AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH AND WOULD MORE IF WE LIVED CLOSER.

Anonymous said...

OMG, walked into this place and it smelled like a RAT bed (I grew up on a farm so I know). Beat a hasty retreat. Very few cars there on a Friday night at 7pm, now I know why.

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