In Cartersville, Georgia folks are about as divided over their favorite place for burgers and hot dogs as they are over their allegiance to the University of Georgia or Georgia Tech. Two local diners have been pleasing their loyal customers for a quarter of a century, and one has done so successfully without ever having installed a telephone – The 4 Way Lunch, making this Georgia’s Oldest Restaurant Without a Telephone. The second is Ross’ Diner. We suggest you put the diet aside and try them both.
4 Way Lunch opened way back in 1931 when Fred Garrison took a sack full of meat and a few packages of buns and started cooking burgers at the corner of Main Street (GA 61/113) and Gilmer Street in downtown Cartersville. During this time the route was known as the Dixie Highway and visitors and residents stopped in regularly for breakfast and lunch. Fred’s son Ernest who had grown up in the business took over around 1972 and faithfully operated it for the rest of his lifetime.
The 4 Way endured racial tensions of the Civil Rights Era, a devastating fire in 1993, and phenomenal growth in the 21st century; but inside the 4 walls of this small lunch counter, time stands still just long enough for you to enjoy a quick meal at the lunch counter, while someone waits at your back for a seat. Arrive hungry Monday-Saturday 6 AM-3 PM; and bring cash.
Just around the block at 17 North Wall Street in downtown Cartersville, is Ross’ Diner. Since 1945, this U-shaped lunch counter has created its own loyal fans with cooked-to-order breakfast, burgers and hot dogs, and meat and vegetable plates for lunch. Some locals swear by the Suzi Q, the salmon patties, and the cubed steak and gravy.
Ross’ Diner has also found a place in Georgia’s booming film industry when The Best of Enemies, starring Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell, filmed there June 2017. The diner is open Monday-Thursday 6:30 AM-2:30 PM; Friday 6:30 AM-8 PM; and Saturday 6:30 AM-2:30 PM. At Ross’ Diner you can also place your order by phone, 770-382-9159.