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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

Judd Weaver


Weaver's on Fourth & Weaver's Landing

Judd Weaver is a native of London, Kentucky. Judd’s grandfather, Carl Weaver was an entrepreneur who opened Weaver’s Pool Hall on main street in London, Kentucky in the early 1940s. As the family story goes, while Weaver was visiting family in California, he bought a chili recipe from a Latino man who needed money as he was traveling to Canada. Soon after he acquired the recipe, Weaver began to sell the chili in his pool hall.

After Carl Weaver died, Judd’s uncles, Gilbert and Drew Weaver, ran the pool hall. In the 1970s, Drew closed the pool hall and reopened it as a restaurant. He renamed the establishment Weaver’s Hot Dogs, selling hot dogs, hamburgers, and chili buns. Drew continued to run the business for forty nine years. Weaver’s Hot Dogs became a London staple.

In 2011, Drew Weaver closed the doors of Weaver’s Hot Dogs. He was ready to retire. Judd and his wife, Kimberly, decided to buy Weaver’s Hot Dogs from his uncle. As a child, Judd spent many hours in his family’s pool room and restaurant. It was important to him. They remodeled the restaurant and doubled its size, adding a bar and more items to the menu. His grandfather’s chili continued to be made and sold every day.

In 2015, Weaver’s Hot Dogs burned due to an electrical fire. Despite such a large setback, Judd and Kim opened two new Weaver’s restaurants, Weaver’s on 4th and Weaver’s Landing, found at 4th Street and the London-Corbin airport, respectively. The restaurants continue Carl Weaver’s chili tradition. Judd and Kim hope to rebuild a new Weaver’s Hot Dogs in its original location.

Date of interview:
2016-10-31

Interviewer:
Sara Wood

Photographer:
Sara Wood

Download Transcript

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