Hometown resident returns to open eatery

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 16, 2006

Special to The Advocate

When James &#8220Doc” Palmer was a young man growing up in Greenville in the 1940s, he loved the food and treats he could buy at the local Dairy Dream shop, but he couldn't use the front door to purchase his food. People of color had to go through the side window back then.

More than 50 years later, not only can he go through the front door, he can go anywhere he likes in the shop. Now, he owns it.

On Thursday, December 14, Palmer held the grand opening for the Chicken Box of Greenville.

&#8220I thought it was an opportunity to do something special,” said Palmer, now the pastor of University Memorial Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. &#8220To think that once, people of color could only use the side window, and now a person of color owns it. This is a milestone in my life.”

He has worked on the project for more than a year, and has been impressed with the support he has received from his hometown community.

&#8220The inspectors, the mayor, everybody has been so nice.” Palmer said. &#8220Alabama is a completely new place.”

The restaurant will feature full meals, snacks, sandwiches, desserts and daily specials.

The head chef and manger is Joyce Williams of Greenville.

&#8220She's a renown cook,” Palmer said, adding that Williams formerly cooked at the old Holiday Inn. &#8220You just have to come taste her food.”

Each day's menu will have some regular items and some new items.

Every day, people will be able to have fried chicken, and fish. On Monday, an option of stew beef will be added to the selection.

On Tuesday, spaghetti will be the third option.

On Wednesday, people can choose pork chops as the third option. On Thursday, the third option will be liver and on Fridays, it will be barbecue ribs.

Vegetables will include corn, rice, cabbage, tossed salad and green beans.

Desserts will include homemade pies, cakes and banana pudding.

The prices will be right, as well, Palmer said.

The Chicken Box of Greenville is a carryout restaurant.

Palmer feels close to the community. He attended Greenville Training School and went on in the early 1960s to receive degrees in divinity and in education. He has taught on both the high school and college levels, and has served as president of the Charlotte Ministerial Conference for the past 25 years.

He's glad to be able to open the restaurant in Greenville.

&#8220I thought I could give something back to the community where I grew up,” Palmer said. &#8220I would love for it to become a center attracting families and creating an atmosphere for Christian fellowship.”

The Chicken Box of Greenville will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday.

To reach the Chicken Box of Greenville, call 334-371-8200.