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Liberty News

Doc’s Diner holds Grand Opening

September 3, 2008 : Mitzi Bible

Photo caption: Macel Falwell, wife of the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, and her sons, Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. and Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor at Thomas Road Baptist Church, cut the ribbon at Doc’s Diner’s Grand Opening Wednesday.

Doc’s Diner, the newest eating facility on Liberty University’s campus, held its Grand Opening Wednesday.

The diner, named after Liberty’s founder, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, is located on Campus East and is open to the general public.

Before the ribbon was cut, Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. spoke about the new establishment.

“We think this is a huge addition to campus,” he said. “I’ve already heard rave reviews from the students. I think it will be one more thing to help make this the most exciting university in the world.”

He said it will also help “tie the community and the university together, where they can both eat at the same place, and help us build good community relationships.”

Falwell Jr. said his father would have considered the restaurant an honor.

“Dad always shied away from having anything on campus named after him; … he always would say no if someone wanted to name a building after him. But I don’t think he’d mind having something to do with food named after him, especially a place that serves banana pudding … .”

Along with “Doc’s Favorite” dessert (creamy banana pudding served with vanilla wafers, banana slices and whipped cream), the menu includes numerous “Liberty-isms,” such as the “Champion Favorite” breakfast and “Liberty Mountain Waffles” and “Spirit of the Mountain” fries. There’s also “The ’71 Burger” and “The ’71 Dog.” Then there’s “The Elmer Float” (named for LU cofounder Dr. Elmer Towns) and “Macel’s Hot Apple Pie.”

The diner is decorated with memorabilia and photographs of Falwell Sr., Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church. His black Suburban is parked out front.

The diner has 186 seats, with chairs and tables, booths and counter service like a regular diner. There’s also a separate room for parties and special guests.

Plans were already made for a food option on Campus East, including an idea for a diner, before Falwell died on May 15, 2007. The Falwell family had a lot of input on the project.

“From the decorations to the menus, a lot of it comes from, one way or another, the Falwell family and memories that suit them,” said Jeff Ledbetter, retail manager for Doc’s Diner.

At Wednesday’s event, guests were invited to sample food under a tent outside or to eat inside the restaurant. Merchandise, from oven mitts to aprons, mugs and “Jerry’s Kid” T-shirts, were sold. Inflatable slides were set up and the band Kase Project, made up of mostly Liberty students, provided entertainment.

The diner opened exclusively to LU students for a two-week testing phase in the spring but was closed for the summer.

Doc’s Diner is operated by Liberty Dining Services, a partnership of Sodexho Dining Services and Liberty University. For more on Liberty University Dining, click here.

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