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Chef Jerome and The Old School Diner

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Southern Cooking

About a half hour south of Savannah, in the small village of Townsend, is one of the area’s best-kept secrets: The Old School Diner, owned and operated by Chef Jerome. A couple friends invited Juergen and I to the restaurant, and we had an incredible time which won’t soon be forgotten.

The Chef

When we pulled into the Old School’s driveway to find it covered in carpets, I suspected we were in for a treat. The wooden building was painted in bright red with farm tools hung on the outside walls, and we entered cautiously. If I hadn’t known in advance that this was a restaurant, nothing would have immediately tipped me off. It felt like we were invading someone’s home — photos were on the walls, comfortable furniture was strewn about, and there was nobody to be seen. As we ventured further inside, a young girl came around a corner to greet us and lead us to our table.

The dining area is big, with room to seat a lot of patrons. We ordered beer and took a look at the menu. There wasn’t much debate about what to order — I mean, with a special called The Wheelchair Platter, you don’t have much choice — you are going to get The Wheelchair Platter. I suppose the name comes from the mode of transportation you’re likely to need afterwards. When it was brought out, my veins seized up in fear and my stomach shuddered in ecstasy. Mountains of fried food — oysters, shrimp, chicken. Clam bakes and ribs. We were five hungry people, and although everything was delicious, we couldn’t finish it.

The evening really got going when Chef Jerome came out of the kitchen to greet us. He does all the cooking, and clearly enjoys meeting the people who’ve discovered his little place. The first thing he did was give us all big bear hugs. “You’re family here”. And he meant it! He took us on a tour around the restaurant, telling us about his life and work. We saw pictures of famous people who’ve eaten there, including Ben Affleck and Michael Oher (from the Blind Side). He showed us love letters he’s written to his wife over the years (complete with drawings) and into his kitchen and its wall-to-wall deep fryers. The staff clearly love him, and were just as friendly and welcoming as their boss.

I think we spent about an hour talking to Chef Jerome, and he even walked us out onto the carpeted driveway to say goodbye. “Don’t forget now! This is your home, and you are family when you’re here!” And as I gave him a final farewell hug, I didn’t doubt it. It was an incredible night, and the Old School Diner is truly a special place.

Official Website

Location on our Georgia map

Diner Sign
Carpet Parking
Cher Jeromes Ride
Townsend Diner
Do Not Ask Neither Tell
Moving in With Jerome
Old School Sofa
Old School Sofa
Early Facebook Wall
Deen Hell
Fried Balls
On Diet
Fried Feast
Jerome Pie Cake
Upside Down Christmas Tree
Wall of Fame
Ben Affleck Diner
Baby Room
Jerome Love Letter
Retta I love You
Esmeralda Georgia
Scarface Diner
Chef Jerome
Meat Grinder
Laundry Kitchen
Jerome Cooking Tool
Frying Station
Old School Diner
Close Door
Wolf Creek Georgia Ride

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January 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm
  • January 5, 2011 at 12:12 pmSara

    Definitely an experience. Glad we could share it with you!

  • January 5, 2011 at 12:26 pmAlana

    Great photos! Glad you guys enjoyed it! I went once and definitely had an interesting experience. The food and company were good but I did not love the overall creepy vibe or the fact that the chef thought it was ok to grope and kiss all of the girls there.

    • January 5, 2011 at 7:49 pmJuergen

      I can just imagine that – LOL!

  • January 5, 2011 at 12:53 pmJane

    Looks like a very unique experience! But jeez, did you happen to read the contents of the letter he wrote his wife? OMG, she’s okay with him displaying that? LOL! Incidentally, you guys take the best photos ever!!!!

    • January 5, 2011 at 7:49 pmJuergen

      There are many more pages posted on the wall! 18+!!!!

  • January 6, 2011 at 5:31 pmGil

    The deep-fried Chef of Love sounds like a remake of the old Saturday Nite Live skit with Kirstie Alley at the Italian Restaurant:

  • January 28, 2011 at 6:52 pmAnne Malone

    I have read about your diner in Southern Living. Are reservations required?
    I can hardly wait to visit your establishment. Sounds like my kind of place. Is it wheel chair accessable? My friend’s mother is 90 and in a power wheelchair.
    I live in Savannah and want to become part of your family, Chef Jerome. I have just retired. Wish I lived closer and could just camp out in your restaurant and watch the show!
    Anne Malone
    Savannah (Isle of Hope)

  • February 25, 2012 at 3:05 pmBrian

    I have lived in Glynn County, about 30min south of here, my entire life.  Don’t know how I have missed this place.  Thanks for the great photos and the blog.  I will definitely be checking it out in the not-to-distant future.  

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