Juliette, Georgia from “Fried Green Tomatoes”Jul 6th, 2015 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
I have a very special post coming to you today – the first of its kind at IAMNOTASTALKER! Sara Johnson, one of my longtime readers, recently headed to Juliette, Georgia for an epic Fried Green Tomatoes stalking trip and was kind enough to write up her experiences to share with my fellow stalkers. So, without further ado, I present to you the first ever IAMNOTASTALKER guest post. Enjoy!
We drove all night from New Port Richey, Florida to Juliette, Georgia and arrived at the The Old Mill Riverfront Cabins, where we were staying, at around 6 a.m. The first thing you see driving down to the cabins is the train tracks and the Whistle Stop Café on your right and the Juliette Grist Mill on your left. As you pull up to the cabins and shut the engine off you can hear the river just down below. Just a few minutes later, you hear a train coming by with the whistle blowing so close you could throw a rock at it. I close my eyes and I can imagine Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker) and Idgie Threadgoode (Mary Stuart Masterson) throwing cans of food off the train to the homeless people.
First thing in the morning we walked over to downtown Juliette which is basically one small little road. The Whistle Stop Cafe wasn’t open yet, but some of the gift shops were starting to open and the tourists were already walking around taking pictures.
There is one small restaurant called Romeo’s in Juliette that was open for breakfast so we decided to stop in and eat. Ladonna, the owner of this restaurant, is also from California. Her father was the baker at a bakery called D’Eliso’s in Whittier and at 72 he is baking bread and muffins for Romeo’s in Juliette. The food there was amazing and the people so friendly that we came back a few times to eat.
This is the third time I have visited Juliette and one thing is for sure, everywhere you go you will meet somebody who has lived there their whole life. As my boyfriend, son and I were sitting talking, a gentleman, named Mark, at the next table overheard us and asked where we were from. We told him Tampa and he pointed to the yellow house across the street and proceeded to tell us that that was his grandmother’s house. Well, you know this opened the door for me to ask a ton of questions about the history of Juliette. He used to own the antique shop, which is now the Whistle Stop Cafe. He has lived in Juliette his whole life and still lives just up the road. He told us how the dam was built in 1920 and that they are currently trying to tear it down, but the town is fighting it. He remembered when the movie crew first showed up in town, looking around and asking questions. In fact, the restaurant where we were eating breakfast was the same place they used to feed to movie crew. The movie crew made the Whistle Stop Cafe the way it is today and part of the deal was the owner requested it be left that way after they were done filming. We were sitting across the street from the Sheriffs station and the Opry House, where they still have concerts once a month. Mark’s church donated some old pews to replace the shaky seats that used to be there.
He also told us the cabins where we were staying were originally made with parking spaces underneath for motorcycles. When we came back to the cabin and saw the space underneath it made total sense. I took some pictures with Mark with the thought that we would see him again before heading home. After all, it is a small town and I’m sure he is a regular at Romeo’s because everybody sure knew who he was.
After leaving Mark, we walked over to the Whistle Stop, which was still closed. The restaurant is only open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, but you can go around back to see Smokey Lonesome’s (Timothy Scott) house and the famous grill.
In a cement slab right by the grill you will find the words, “Here lies Frank Bennett of Valdosta. ‘The secret was in the sauce’ and here!” You can almost smell the BBQ cooking just standing there.
The whole time you are in Juliette, the trains go by often. After leaving the small town we walked back to the cabin along the train tracks and found several railroad spikes, which I collected to bring home. I have had people ask me to bring a rock from Juliette, but I think the railroad spikes are much better souvenirs.
We decided to take a walk up the river towards the dam that Buddy Threadgoode (Chris O’Donnell), Idgie and Ruth walked across right before Buddy got hit by the train. If you ever decide to do this, make sure you wear water shoes because the rocks hurt to walk on. It really is a beautiful sight to see and looks exactly as it did in the movie. You can also see where Idgie sat fishing when Ruth was trying to make friends with her right before they jumped into the train car and threw food to the homeless, and where Idgie sat by the fire with Big George (Stan Shaw) right after Buddy died.
The one thing we had to do was walk across the dam like they did in the movie and I figured out that the water was shallow enough for me to carry my camera to take pics. The view from the dam with the Juliette Mill in the background is a beautiful sight to see.
That night my boyfriend and I took all four kids to eat at the Whistle Stop Café. It’s a pretty busy place on a Saturday night with locals and some tourists. The menu offers good ol’ southern cooking with all the fixin’s, like mac and cheese, greens, stewed tomatoes, creamed corn, and fried okra. I had fried chicken and it was so yummy. My boyfriend Alex had the BBQ pulled pork (“The secret’s in the sauce!”), and, for sure, we had fried green tomatoes as an appetizer.
The inside of the cafe looks almost exactly as it did in the movie, except that the booths are situated a little differently now. After dinner we took all the kids around back to take pics of the BBQ pit and Smokey Lonesome’s house.
After dinner, we went back to the cabins and I hung a sheet off the deck, pulled out my portable projector that I bought from Brookstone and we all sat and watched Fried Green Tomatoes with the trains going by in the background – the perfect way to end to a perfect day in Juliette, Georgia.
Last but not least, we visited the Juliette United Methodist Church where Buddy’s funeral was held.
The sad part is that the Threadgoode house, the train tracks where Buddy was killed, and the club where Idgie and Ruth played poker are all pretty far away from Juliette. I really wanted to see the train tracks where Buddy got his foot stuck.
All in all, this was by far one of the best vacations I have been on. The people of Juliette are all very sweet. I also highly recommend the cabins where we stayed: Old Mill Riverfront Cabins. If you are a Fried Green Tomatoes addict like our family is please make sure you put this on your bucket list.
A huge, special THANK YOU to Sara for writing this amazing guest post!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Whistle Stop Café is located at 443 McCrackin Street in Juliette, Georgia. Romeo’s in Juliette Italian restaurant is located at 465 McCrackin. Juliette United Methodist Church is located at 69 McCrackin. The Old Mill Riverfront Cabins are located at 5543 Juliette Road. You can visit their Facebook page here. The Old Mill is located just south of downtown Juliette and the dam is located just due east of the mill.