arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes

Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Hap Townes


Hap Townes Restaurant

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:
2006-07-17 00:00

Interviewer:
John Egerton

Photographer:
John Egerton, Archival Photograph: Courtesy of The Tennessean

Download Transcript

Other Project Interviews

WORKING TOGETHER

WE CAN CULTIVATE PROGRESS.

The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.

BECOME A MEMBER TODAY

Bill Smith Crooks Corner

Let’s Stay in Touch


Sign up for the SFA newsletter to have the latest content
delivered directly to your inbox.