By SHERRY DIGMON
Six outstanding citizens will be inducted into the Atmore Area Hall of Fame in April.
They are Dr. Wil Baker, Robert Faircloth, Ann Gordon, Novy L. Hale, the Rev. Isaac Holt, and Wayne Stacey.
The 14th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner is set for Saturday, April 27, 6 p.m., at The Club. Tickets, $25, each are available at Atmore News, 128 N. Main Street. Everyone attending must have a ticket.
The Hall of Fame committee extends a special invitation to former inductees.
Each week, Atmore News will feature one of this year’s inductees.
Robert Willard Faircloth, Sr.
Robert Faircloth was born June 6, 1930 in Wallace, Alabama. He moved to Atmore as a child where he eventually became involved with the family grocery business.
In 1968, he bought The Ponderosa, a teenage hangout, from Joe Linam. After a series of trails and errors, he came up with the Party Burger, which sold 5 for $1. If you ask anyone today what they remember about the Ponderosa it would be the Party Burger.
As mentioned, The Ponderosa was a teenage hangout. On Friday and Saturday nights, all the teenagers would make the trip from The Ponderosa to the Dairy Bar and back again. He really enjoyed having a parking lot full of teenagers. He would fondly recall the special bond that he had with the teenagers. He never called parents but handled any problems himself. He made sure that if your parents were looking for you that you got home!
Robert also opened a chicken restaurant in the Winn Dixie Shopping Center that served great fried chicken.
In 1985, he and Rob opened their first Church’s Chicken Franchise. At one point he was involved with 12 restaurants. He received the Franchisee of the Year Award and the Home Town Hero Award from Church’s. The Hometown Hero Award was for his community involvement in his hometown of Atmore.
In 1993, Robert transitioned The Ponderosa to David’s Catfish. He wanted a simpler menu and to work less hours. The menu was simpler than The Ponderosa’s, but he continued to work the hours.
Robert continued his community efforts through David’s. He was generous with his restaurant supplies and donations to his community. David’s is still a family-owned restaurant and Rob continues this legacy today.
Prior to Robert’s death, David’s was honored as Business of the Year by the Atmore Chamber of Commerce.
He was an active member of First United Methodist Church and proud to be a member of the Barnes Boys.
(Bio provided by the Hall of Fame Committee)