Fire destroys inside of Nu-Way Wieners, plans for repair in works


Macon-Bibb firefighters attempt to hold back the blaze that took down the historic Nu-Way Weiner restaurant in downtown Macon.

Jim Cavacias and Spyros Dermatas stood watching 99 years burn. Aside from shedding tears, it was all the owners could do as Macon-Bibb firefighters worked to extinguish the flames engulfing Nu-Way Wieners early Friday morning.

The broken storefront windows deceive those who pass by 430 Cotton Avenue, only alluding to the incident.  Firemen fought the flames from overhead to prevent the building from collapsing. Despite their best efforts, the inside of the building and the roof was destroyed. Repairs to the façade and the shell of the building remain a possibility said Macon-Bibb County Fire Chief Marvin Riggins to The Telegraph report Liz Fabian.

Investigators are currently working to determine what started the blaze. It appears the fire began in the back warehouse. However, extensive damage to the building is hampering efforts.

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Nu-Way’s history in Macon began when Greek immigrant James Mallis moved to the area in 1914 and purchased the property on Cotton Avenue.

Mallis sold fruit from the location until he realized the popularity of hot dogs in larger, northern cities. 430 Cotton Avenue thus became the home of Nu-Way Wieners, the second oldest hot dog restaurant in the United States.

The restaurant was Oprah’s favorite part of her visit to Macon in 2007 during the filming of Oprah’s Favorite Things and, in 2002, received the honor of best slaw dog in America from The New York Times.

Plans are in place to re-build and re-open in time for Nu-Way’s 100 year anniversary in February 2016.