This June marks the 50th anniversary of restaurant desegregation in Atlanta. On June 25, 1963, Herren's Restaurant because the first downtown Atlanta eatery to voluntarily desegregate when owners Ed and Jane Negri invited African-American couple Dr. Lee and Delores Shelton in to dine. Apparently, the Negris' decision "cost the restaurant more than $20,000 in sales and sparked protests from patrons and the general public, but they held firm and helped lead a movement within the restaurant industry."
The Luckie Street restaurant opened in 1934, was bought from owner Charlie 'Red' Herren by Guido Negri in 1939, and remained in the Negri family until it closed in 1987. This month, the Georgia Restaurant Association and Georgia State University's Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration will host An Evening at Herren's, an event planned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Atlanta restaurant desegregation and to honor "pioneers of hospitality and equality" Jane and Ed Negri. The Sheltons— the African-American couple that were invited into the restaurant by the Negris— will be in attendance at the event next Tuesday, June 25, 2013. For more information, visit GSU's Hospitality and Equality website.
· GSU Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Restaurant Desegregation [GSU via GFG]
· An Evening at Herren's (June 25, 2013) [GSU]
· Related: 50 Years Later, Remember First Restaurant to Desegregate [WABE]
· Related: Former Herren's Owner Ed Negri, 91 [AJC Obituary]