This has not been a good month for meat-and-three fans. First came word of Martha’s Skillet closing as of this Friday, Oct. 29. Well, there’s another surprise. The original Pick O’ Deli on Dean Avenue has closed, at least for now.
Customers arriving Saturday afternoon were greeted by be digital sign telling them the location at 1403 Dean Ave. next to The Gravy Boat served its last meat-and-two (three available) on Friday. Customers are directed to the newer location, at Riverside Parkway and the Bypass across from State Mutual Stadium.
On the digital sign, on a typed notice on the double entrance doors and now on Facebook as well, customers are being told “we are hoping to remodel and be back in business sometime in 2022.”
The note on the door is a bit more optimistic, saying they hope the remodel is done “sometime after the first of the year.”
The report comes full circle as in 2019, Pick O’ Deli was planning to build a new restaurant behind the current one and then demolish it for parking. That was still viable as late as February 2020 (see photo). But in March 2020, Fuddruckers closed suddenly and later in the year, the Turners bought the location and began a remodel for a second location on Riverside Parkway. It opened in late February of this year and has been drawing big crowds since.
The back story on Pick o’ Deli and 1403 Dean Ave.
From the website: Gravy Boat Restaurant actually started up the road on Rockmart Highway as a distribution center.
After producing and distributing frozen foods such as pizza pockets and BBQ, James P.Turner Sr. decided to start serving fresh food and rented the little building we have now in 1981. It soon became the go-to biscuit place for fresh, made from scratch biscuits and homemade meats we prepared ourselves in store.
He then decided to buy the building next door that was an old convenience store. Mr.Turner gutted and turned the place into a sandwich shop that served sandwiches, some groceries, cigarettes, etc. Several ideas were worked with until in 1985, country meat and vegetable took off! People loved the homemade country food and family atmosphere we provide.
The owner Jimmy Turner (Jr.) came to work with his father in 1983 and sought to help make his father’s business successful as it was taking off. After some years, Jimmy bought the corporation from his dad.
Turner Food Systems was comprised of the businesses Pick-o-Deli Cafeteria and Gravy Boat Restaurant. We always say you can get your breakfast at one place and stick around long enough to get your lunch at another place.
Jimmy’s two daughters followed along in his footsteps, becoming the third generation to work in the business. They spent their childhood helping their dad grind sausage while standing on milk crates, and later joined the staff and worked here until they finished their college educations. After James Turner Sr. passed away in 2014. Jimmy purchased the Pick-O-Deli building and property from his sisters and Debbie Turner White purchased Gravy Boat so Turner Food Systems was dissolved.