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Adopt-A-Scarecrow!

Looking ‪#‎DONATIONS‬?? Need help ‪#‎fundraising‬ for your little league program? Then, ‪#‎BeCreative‬ and submit your entry into our Adopt-A-Scarecrow program! KirbyG’s is hosting an Adopt-A-Scarecrow program designed to help non-profits, ‪#‎schools‬ and charitiable organizations raise funds. Here is a little bit on how our Adopt-A-Scarecrow program works:

• If the selected Adopt-A-Scarecrow(s) wins any of contest awards in McDonough’s Annual Scarecrow Contest , KirbyG’s will match the dollar amount won. For example, if the scarecrow wins “Best in Show (a $500 value), the school or charitable organization will receive the $500 prize money plus a matching donation of $500 from KirbyG’s Diner.

• And, to make sure everyone doesn’t go home empty handed, KirbyG’s Diner will donate another $500 to each school or charitable organization even it their Adopt-A-Scarecrow doesn’t win.

• So, the minimum amount a charitable organization or school would take home is $500. The maximum amount is $1,500 if you win the annual scarecrow contest.

Lastly, we will provide a maximum design budget of $75 for each of the selected Adopt-A-Scarecrows. KirbyG’s Diner will also pay the entry fees and be responsible for any entry forms for the selected Adopt-A-Scarecrows. The entry will be registered in the name of the school, charity, or KirbyG’s Diner.

So, head over to the diner and pick up the full details of our Adopt-A-Scarecrow program! ‪#‎WhatAreYouWaiting4‬

From Humble Beginnings

Alabama Cigar2

 

We often get asked, “Why did we settle on a Fifties theme or where does the name KirbyG come from?” Well, today, we thought we would share a bit of our family with your family. “KirbyG” is Raleigh Kirby Godsey, born in 1936, the youngest of three sons. Growing up in relative poverty with barely money to afford shoes, Kirby learned from an early age about the necessity of hard work. Kirby wrote about his early years:

My mother, Chloe, worked for a living before working moms were the social norm. My most unyielding impressions of her, even at a young age, were fortitude and resolve. I didn’t know what to call it. Perhaps I called it determination. Chloe had three sons: Jack, the brightest; Max, the kindest; and me. I was conceived in joy but was born in the shadows of her sorrow. Her husband and my father, Spearman, was killed in an accident at work, leaving her pregnant and scared. She found work and raised three sons. She did it the hard way. She labored long hours in the school lunchroom and on World War II assembly lines. Not well-educated herself, she wanted to assure that we were well-fed, well-churched, and well-educated. At the time, it never occurred to me that we were poor. We were nurtured with good faith, strict discipline, and lots of up close lessons about self-reliance.*

At the age of 18, Kirby landed a job at the Alabama Cigar & Soda Co. (pictured) in Birmingham, Alabama as a “soda jerk.” About his time there, Kirby wrote:

I learned my first lessons … behind a soda fountain where work after school provided far more than a little spending money. This fountain was my window onto a world of theatre and commerce, a world of discord and celebration, a world of trading and profits. … My brother, Jack, had worked there as a college student, and I could think of nothing grander than to follow his steps into the calling of being a “soda jerk.” That’s what we were called because that’s what we did. In that day and time a person “jerked” sodas, spewing high pressured carbonated water into tall glasses of ice cream, foaming our way toward a soda to be topped with a mountain of whipped cream and a syrupy red cherry.*

One afternoon at the Alabama Cigar & Soda Co, the owner told Kirby that he was leaving for the day and asked him if he would lock up the joint. Kirby obliged. Every night after that during his tenure as a soda jerk, and without another word from the owner, Kirby was responsible for closing up. The managerial skills Kirby learned in this first professional endeavor served him well. He worked his way through school, ultimately earning two doctoral degrees. Kirby then immersed himself in academia, serving as a professor of philosophy and religion, department chair, college dean, and finally, university president. Kirby’s academic career culminated in his 27-year tenure as president of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. Under Kirby’s leadership, Mercer was transformed from a small, liberal arts college to a comprehensive university.

But Kirby never lost his love of his days as a soda jerk. So it is fitting that he partnered with his oldest daughter, Erica, to open this diner in April 2008. (Erica and her husband, Neil, get credit for all the sweat equity!!). It is their hope is that KirbyG’s will continue to stand as a symbol of the simpler days of ice cream sodas, cheeseburgers and sock hops. Of a time when telephones were rotary, and throngs of people lined up to see a movie at the Alabama Theatre. So, take a few moments to enjoy the simplicity …and, hopefully, a milkshake (or an ice cream soda). But, don’t be surprised if, when “Kirby G is in the house,” your tab is on him…

*Excerpts from: When We talk about God . . . Let’s by honest, by R. Kirby Godsey

About KirbyG’s

Welcome to KirbyG’s,® a cook-to-order family owned diner that began in 2008 as Chevy’s Diner and Ice Cream Parlor.  In 2012, the owners trademarked a new name, KirbyG’s®, in honor of Dr. R. Kirby Godsey.  Kirby is the former president of Mercer University and a soda jerk during the 1950s,  Some of you may recognize him for the Kirby Kraut Dog, but we know him best is best as a mentor, father, grandfather, and father-in law for those of us at KirbyG’s®.  He is the inspiration behind KirbyG’s and the reason the diner is a tribute to the golden age of the 1950s.

So, take the Pit Crew challenge and stroll down memory lane. Put a name to a face, a quote to a star & a character to a movie. For the very brave, you may even attempt to find them on our walls. Patrons are treated to handpattied burgers such as Ike‘s “I Like Cheese” Burger, Ole Blue Eyes and The Duke. And, if a hamburger isn’t for you, diners will find mouth-watering delectables such Desi’s Fried Dill Pickles, Rock-a-Billy’s Grilled Chicken, and the Whiz Kids Philly Cheesesteak. Topped off with a hand-spun shake or a cold microbrew, patrons will find that “The 50’s Never Tasted Better.

Awards and Honors
————————–——————–
2013 World Food Championships | World Burger Competition
(aired on July 10, 2014 on AE FYI Network)
2013 Best of the Big A | Best Burger in Atlanta (ajc.com);
2012* Best of the Big A | Best Burger in Atlanta (ajc.com);
2008* Top 5 Burger Place on Southside I-285 (Metromix.com);

*The 2012 and 2008 awards were won prior to trademarking the new name, KirbyG’s. However, we are still the same owners, managers and staff.

45 Macon St · McDonough, GA
http://kirbygs.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/kirbygsdiner
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KirbygsDiner
Email: thebackseat@kirbygs.com
Twitter: KirbyGsDiner
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+KirbyGsMcDonough/posts

“Without Hard Work, Nothing Grows But Weeds”

Gordon B Hinckley once said, “Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.”   Sort of reminds me of growing up on a farm.  Not the weeds, though I saw plenty as a kid growing up on a south Georgia farm, but the hard work.  We always had chores to be done, and they were done come rain, sleet, or shine.  Some days it was plowing a dusty field, or others it was laying scorching hot irrigation pipe.  To this day, I can still remember the sights and sounds of tending to pigs at the “Hog Barn.”  It’s work you just don’t forget!!

In those days, I couldn’t wait to get time off from the farm.  I really didn’t grasp the magnitude of picking vegetables in the garden for the wonderful home cooked meals made by mom.  Meals that I can still taste to this day….the speckled peas, the yummy butter beans, the itchy okra, and the bright red tomatoes for tomato sandwiches.   It was hard work that one doesn’t completely appreciate or understand until you have a family of your own.  Yet, looking back, I can honestly say that I miss the simplicity of sitting on that hot tractor and hearing the droning noise while plowing a 40 acre field.  It was hard work, but it truly gave me an understand of  “Happy Labor Day.”

For those of you old enough to remember, the musical group Alabama  put out a popular song in 1985 called Forty-Hour Week.  The song was a huge success because most Americans could relate to its lyrics:

There are people in this country
Who work hard every day
Not for fame or fortune do they strive
But the fruits of their labor
Are worth more than their pay
And it’s time a few of them were recognized.

Hello Detroit auto workers,
Let me thank you for your time
You work a forty hour week for a livin’,
Just to send it on down the line
Hello Pittsburgh steel mill workers,
Let me thank you for your time
You work a forty hour week for a livin’,
Just to send it on down the line.

This is for the one who swings the hammer,
Driving home the nail
Or the one behind the counter,
Ringing up the sale
Or the one who fights the fires,
The one who brings the mail
For everyone who works behind the scenes.

You can see them every morning
In the factories and the fields
In the city streets and the quiet country towns
Working together like spokes inside a wheel
They keep this country turning around.

Hello Kansas wheat field farmer,
Let me thank you for your time
You work a forty hour week for a livin’,
Just to send it on down the line
Hello West Virginia coal miner,
Let me thank you for your time
You work a forty hour week for a livin’,
Just to send it on down the line.

This is for the one who drives the big rig,
Up and down the road
Or the one out in the warehouse,
Bringing in the load
Or the waitress, the mechanic,
The policeman on patrol
For everyone who works behind the scenes.

With a spirit you can’t replace with no machine
Hello America, let me thank you for your time…

 

Happy Labor Day, fans!  Whether you’re working “in the factory” or spending time with your families, the Pit Crew wishes you the very best.

Sincerely,

Neil, Erica, and the Pit Crew

YouTube:  “Forty-hour Week” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-G2J3RzURA)

Food for Thought: A Desire, A Dream, Or A Vision

WFC Decal

World Food Championship decal adorning the window of Kirby’s Diner.

It was really great to see the World Food Championships from the from the other side of the camera.  The adrenaline started pumping just watching the intensity and imagination of the competitors.  I sort of felt like I was in a sequel to the movie Groundhog Day!

For those of you that missed it, the World Food Championships | World Burger Competition finally aired on A+E FYI Network.  The Pit Crew of KirbyG’s competed in the Las Vegas event after receiving an exclusive invitation as Atlanta’s Best of the Big A | Best Burger in Atlanta.  We competed against some of the best burger chefs, home cooks, restaurateurs, and professional competitors from around the world.  Some were even legendary.

As I told a physically and mentally drained Pit Crew afterwards, I was very proud of them.  Although we did not win the event, it’s quite an honor to be considered one of the best.   Your boundaries are pushed beyond their limits while your creativity is literally stuck in overdrive.  It’s like riding a roller coaster while flipping one behemoth burger.  It is extremely hard.   Yet, in the process, we made some great friends, learned valuable lessons, and we had a lot of fun. 

Muhammad Ali once said, “Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision.”   Six years ago, Erica and I never dreamed of being at the World Food Championships.  For that matter, we never envision championship caliber burgers.  Our dreams were far more simple.  We just wanted to open a family diner that had great food and a great fifties experience.  Then, the financial world came crashing down , and we were hanging on for dear life.  Miraculously, our family diner  survived the crash thanks to family, friends, fans, and of course God’s grace.  Looking back now, I realize that sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.  We were pursuing some of the same qualities that lead us to the World Food Championships.  We were willing to take a risk, fall on our face, then get up and do it all over again.  #VegasOrBust2014!

About KirbyG’s Diner & Pub
————————–——————–
2013 World Food Championships | World Burger Competitor 
(aired on July 10, 2014 on AE FYI Network; formerly Bio./Biography)

2013 Best of the Big A | Best Burger in Atlanta (ajc.com);
2012* Best of the Big A | Best Burger in Atlanta (ajc.com);
2008* Top 5 Burger Place on Southside I-285 (Metromix.com);

WWW: http://kirbygs.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/kirbygsdiner
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KirbygsDiner
Twitter: KirbyGsDiner
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+KirbyGsMcDonough/posts

About the World Food Championships
————————–—–
The World Food Championships and the World Food logo are a production of Trybe Targeting. © Copyright 2013 • World Food Championships. All Rights Reserved.

We’re not raising grass!

Fathersday#FathersDay…Baseball legend Harmon Killebrew once said, “My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, You’re tearing up the grass. We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply. We’re raising boys.”

Each day, father’s around the world are “playing ball” with their kids. They are working hard at the game of life to solve the problems in the next at bat for their families. Some of these home runs are not noticed until you are older and wiser, and some you will noticed almost immediately. The truth is that the effects of being a father can be most profound and one doesn’t even realize it. On this Father’s Day, we salute all the Father’s that are out there for all the things that you have done for your families.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY FROM #ThePitCrew!

NOTE: We are CLOSED ON FATHER’S DAY so the Pit Crew can be with their fathers and families. We will reopen on Monday as normally scheduled. Thank you for your patience.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Ashlea Knight and Paige Akins smiling for the cameras at the 2013 World Food Championships.

Good Golly, Miss Molly!  Did I read that email right?  The World Food Championships?!

I stared at the screen again.  I could hardly believe my eyes.  KirbyG’s® Diner, our small fifties diner, had just received an exclusive invitation to compete in the World Burger Championship in Las Vegas.  I quickly phoned my wife Erica, who started the family diner.  I can still hear the shock when I said, “Honey, you are not going to believe this! We’ve just received an exclusive invitation to the World Food Championships in Las Vegas!”  The stunned silence on the other end of the phone was deafening.

Marilyn Monroe once said, “This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is, you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up.”  Marilyn really wasn’t kidding!  We were staring at the opportunity of a lifetime, yet it came with the potential to be a huge mess.

 

Once you receive an invitation, you literally play The Clash’s song over and over in your head — “Should I stay or should I go?” There are lots of considerations. The competition comes with extra planning and unexpected costs that can squeeze your budgets.  You face extra payroll expenses for your team and, of course, the travel costs to Sin City. You have to ensure that you have the right equipment on hand: answering the important questions on shipping goods and securing the ingredients needed for your recipe.  Finally and most importantly, you have to face the elephant of all fears: falling flat on your face.

Erica and I certainly were familiar with facing big challenges.  We had been swimming in the deep end ever since we opened in April 2008.  Our little fifties diner miraculously survived the 2008 financial crash thanks to family, friends, and fans.  I’d like to think that “Lady Luck” played a role as well.  When we built the diner, we dug up the 1922 floors to make room for new plumbing. During the process, we found several horseshoes buried beneath the floors.  Not wanting to buck tradition, we took those horseshoes and hung them up inside one of the kitchen walls.  Now, thinking back, I have to wonder if Lady Luck wasn’t looking out for us.  Not only did we survive the second-worst financial collapse in U.S. history, but we garnered a Top Five Burger nomination and won two Best Burger Awards for metro Atlanta.

Then, we were blessed with another titanic challenge — the World Food Championships.

Participating at the World Food Championships is an honor that comes with huge rewards.  You must win somewhere, be it a publication award or a live-event contest, in order to receive an invitation.  Besides the $10,000 purse for winning your category, you get the chance to compete for big bucks against each category winner at the Chef’s Table.  Winning this round delivers the heavyweight title of World Food Champion and the sweet accolades of knowing you beat some of the world’s best cooks.  If you are going to mess up in life, the World Food Championships is one event that is worth the risk.  The real question is not, “Should I go?”  It’s really, “What am I hoping to achieve?”

 

Like the rest of the burger champs from across America, our most coveted goal was winning the “Hunka Burnin’ Love” award.  So, with the decision made to attend, we began to identify and conquer all the obstacles that can prevent you from winning the World Burger Championship.  But, we were also pragmatic.  We are a small diner with no professional chefs, no competitions under our belt, and little knowledge of cooking outside the confines of our tiny kitchen.  So, Erica and I felt that our secondary goal was to become a better diner.  We wanted to become sponges and soak up as much knowledge as possible.  We felt it was important to include our staff and for everyone to have fun.  It had been a long and arduous process of opening and creating a successful restaurant.

Looking back at our goals, the fun part was really easy to measure.  It’s Sin City. You are literally thrust into the Fremont Street Experience when you participate in the World Food Championships.  If you can’t have fun in Las Vegas, something is wrong.  There is literally something to do at all hours of the day and every day of the week.

Our other goals were a different matter.  Dr. Seuss once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”   We did not win the World Burger Championship when we competed in Vegas, but we most certainly are smiling.  The World Food Championships absolutely drove our desire to become a better diner.  We began to pay more attention to the quality of our products and how they were put on a plate.  We learned to step out of our comfort zone and think outside the box.  We started Taste Test Tuesday to stir up creativity in our staff.  Each Tuesday, everyone is involved in creating new recipes and burger ideas.  We also ask fans to taste test our creations and give us feedback.  Six months later, Taste Test Tuesday is a permanent part of our culture.  Suddenly, we have gone from chasing the perfection of a World Burger Championship to pursuing excellence every day, with every customer, and with every burger … just as the legendary Vince Lombardi pushed his players achieve perfection every snap, in every quarter of every game played.

To read our guest blog for the World Food Championships, please click here:

http://worldfoodchampionships.com/blog/wfc/2014/05/should-i-stay-or-should-i-go

Vegas Or Bust!

APRIL 2013

KirbyG's Gets Invited to the 2013 World Food Championships | World Burger Competition

KirbyG’s Gets Invited to the 2013 World Food Championships | World Burger Competition

VEGAS OR BUST! The bags are packed & we’re cruisin’ to the World Food Championships in Las Vegas. The Pit Crew has graciously accepted an invitation to compete in the World Burger Competition in Las Vegas, NV on Nov. 7th-10th! Be sure you tune in each week as Atlanta’s Best Burger place test drives NEW creations in preparation for “KirbyG’s Goes to Vegas!”

About KirbyG’s Diner & Pub
———————————————-
2013 World Food Championships | World Burger Competition (Nov 7-10th)
2013 Best of the Big A | Best Burger in Atlanta (ajc.com);
2012* Best of the Big A | Best Burger in Atlanta (ajc.com);
2008 Top 5 Burger Place on Southside I-285 (Metromix.com);

*KirbyG’s is the newly trademarked name for the Stockstill Group, LLC. The new name was chosen in honor of Dr. R.Kirby Godsey, the former President of Mercer University. The 2012 Best Burger award was won prior to trademarking our new name. However, we are still the same owners, managers and staff.

45 Macon St · McDonough, GA
http://kirbygs.com/
https://www.facebook.com/KirbygsDiner
Twitter: KirbyG’s Diner

About the World Food Championships
——————————-
The World Food Championships and the World Food logo are a production of Trybe Targeting. © Copyright 2013 • World Food Championships. All Rights Reserved.

http://worldfoodchampionships.com/

—————————————————————————————-

All Good Things Must Come To An End

FEBRUARY 2013

Photo: R. Kirby Godsey standing in front of the newly renamed diner, KirbyG's

Photo: R. Kirby Godsey standing in front of the newly renamed diner, KirbyG’s

ONWARD AND UPWARD – “All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~ Walt Disney

Our family owned diner has been a blessing in disguise for my wife and me. Although we have shed many tears when times were hard, we have laughed many laughs in the best little 50’s diner in metro Atlanta. We have met some truly great people, and we have also made friends for life.

Unquestionably, the economy has been tough since we opened in 2008. In fact, I can remember a day when there was only one server, one cook, and the two of us. We had one table that night, and we thought there was no way we would make it. But we have managed to survive, and it’s simply because of “The Pit Crew” and you, our fans. Your continued support and feedback has kept the wheels on the “Old 57,” and we truly want to thank you.

Now, we have come to a crossroads with the diner that you voted as the 2012 Best Burger Place in Atlanta (ajc.com). Where do we go from here? After much discussion, Erica and I have decided that it’s time for a change. We started out with a simple dream to open a small restaurant, and now we have grown well beyond our expectations.

As we finish our fifth year of existence, we are excited to tell you that we are renaming the diner to facilitate growth and move into new markets. While Chevy’s Diner has served us well, we cannot trademark and license the name because there are numerous restaurants named “Chevy’s” in America. So, it is with great honor that Erica & I announce to our fans that we have officially trademarked a new name…KirbyG’s!

We have chosen the name KirbyG’s in honor of Dr. R. Kirby Godsey (photo above). Dr. Godsey is the former president of Mercer University, and he is a partner in our family owned restaurant. Some of you may recognize him for the Kirby Kraut Dog or by his photos that have been hanging in the front of the diner. He also happens to be a mentor, father, grandfather, and father-in law for those of us at Chevy’s Diner.

It is through his guidance, patience and financial support that we are in existence today. He believed in us during the Financial Crash of 2008, and he is one of the reasons we have continued to grow during this slow economy. We are honored to change our DBA name to KirbyG’s, and we hope that you will join us in honoring him in the years to come.

Sincerely,

Neil and Erica

A Whoopie of a Treat

whoopie-pie

Whoopie Pies

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”  It’s also that time of year to dust off your cookbooks and find a favorite treat.  We’ve decided to share a 50s classic that the kids (both big and small) will just love.  

The whoopie pie is a 50’s goodie that some consider to be a big fat Oreo style dessert.  It’s two round mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake, or sometimes gingerbread cake, with a sweet, creamy filling.  You can also sandwich cake frosting between them.  While it traditionally has been considered a New England or Amish tradition, they were increasingly sold throughout the United States in the 1950s.  According to some historians, Amish women would bake these desserts (known as hucklebucks at the time) and put them in farmers’ lunch pails or lunch boxes. When farmers would find the treats in their lunch, they would shout “Whoopie!”
Whether the tale is true or not, they are a fabulous 50s treat! We like to think these trendy little cakelettes are like the best parts of a cupcake squished into a big delicious sandwich. So, treat your tastebuds to an oldie but goodie this Christmas!
WHOOPIE PIES
2 C. unsifted flour
1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3/4 C. milk
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
Filling:
2 C. marshmallow spread
1 C. confectioners’ sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in bowl; set aside.
  3. Combine milk and vanilla in measuring cup; set aside. Beat egg and oil in bowl of electric mixer until combined.
  4. Add sugar to egg-oil mixture; beat until pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add flour and milk mixtures alternately to egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  6. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the batter onto greased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake until top springs back lightly when touched, 5-7 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  8. For filling, combine marshmallow spread, confectioners’ sugar, butter and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spread filling between 2 cake halves to make sandwich.  Tip: make the filling while the cookies are in the oven.