When I came in at 4 o’clock, the first thing I would do was make coffee…I had so many people that wanted to know, ‘Hap, when do you cook all this food here?’ I’d point at that little stove, regular coal oil stove. We had to cook it right here on this stove.
Hap Townes Restaurant
Hap Townes Restaurant (CLOSED)
In pretty much the same manner for almost sixty-five years, the two Hap Towneses of Nashville, father and son, served up Southern home cooking to a long line of faithful and appreciative customers. Hap the elder started the tradition in 1921 with a curbside eatery on wheels, literally a movable feast. Hap the younger took up the spoon and spatula when he returned form the war in 1946. Together they built a new café, a little stone diner with forty-nine seats, on a quiet back street in south Nashville and made it into a lunchtime institution. The father kept an active interest in the business until shortly before he died at the age of ninety. The son sold out and retired in 1985.
It is with great sadness that the SFA shares news that Hap Townes passed away in July 2012 at the age of 89.
Date of interview: July 17, 2006Interviewer: John EgertonPhotographer: John Egerton, Archival Photograph: Courtesy of The Tennessean