Faircloth's: Serving Atmore for years
Published 12:28 am Wednesday, April 5, 2006
By By Adam Prestridge
Faircloth is not an uncommon name in Atmore.
Robert Faircloth opened the Pondarosa Drive-In, a teenage hot spot that offered 19-cent hamburgers and 15-cent orders of French fries, in 1968 with an $1,800 loan.
Nelson Horn of Mobile had "faith" in Faircloth and loaned him the money to get started and the chance to venture out on his own. He rented his equipment and building from Joe Linam for $400 a month and opened the doors to the Pondarosa with only $50 in the cash register.
The drive-in quickly became a hit with the townspeople.
Teenagers cruised Atmore from the Dairy Bar, which is known today as Buster's Restaurant, to the Pondarosa on weekends. An occasional stop in for a cold soda or a snack was also in order.
The Pondarosa thrived for 25 years until Faircloth closed it in 1993 to open David's Catfish House, which has become a town favorite for nearly 13 years. His son, Rob Faircloth, has worked with his father since he started his career as a hometown businessman.
"Daddy's been here for 39 years and believe it or not, I have been too," the youngest Faircloth said during Tuesday's announcement that David's had sold it land to Walgreens, a national pharmacy chain. "I think I started my restaurant career when I was nine years old and I'm 48 years old now."
Fortunately for those patrons that frequent the Catfish House weekly and some daily, the restaurant will locate only a few blocks down the road.
Rob Faircloth followed in his father's footsteps and became a well-known businessman in Atmore and the surrounding communities. He opened the Church's Chicken location in Atmore as well as several others throughout south Alabama. He has since sold those locations and entered the banking industry.
Rob now serves as vice president of First National Bank &Trust in Atmore.
The Faircloth's have contributed largely in the growth of south Atmore by not only offering good food and service, but honesty, loyalty and integrity that has helped them to succeed in business for nearly four decades.