HomeLifestyleFoodSomething You Might Not Have Known: Fat Man's

Something You Might Not Have Known: Fat Man’s



The Fat Man’s Cafe of today, located at Enterprise Mill, is famous for its fried chicken, pork chops, collard greens and homemade cakes and pies; however, many may not know that this downtown treasure is actually part of a 68 year-old family legacy that began when the patriarch of the Usry fam...

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  1. I remember Fat Man’s very fondly as well! It was my favorite Christmas stop and eventually became my favorite Halloween stop too! I loved all the animatronics! But the boiled peanuts was my favorite thing of all! I could eat them until I got sick! I still have the Christmas tree “topper” bow that we had made for our tree at the ribbon station there! It cost $39 and back then that was a fortune but it was worth it! I sure do miss Fat Man’s!

  2. I remember Fat Man’s as a kid going every year to see Santa and riding the train! We would as a family pick out that special tree. Mom would always go inside and get more decorations and icicles. We would get candy and peanuts. What fond memories every year! When I started my family it was always a annual event. Usry family thank you for the memories…..

  3. While working at MCG, we could take a lunch walk to a building close by that had a small restaurant that was mostly take-out with some outside seating. We’d walk part of the store and grab a bag of boiled peanuts as we headed back to work. The place was a maze with another surprise around every corner. The train, the trees, the peanuts, the costume’s and so much more will always be a memory of how things used to be that is now just a parking lot.

  4. This is a true example of American success, fueled by imagination and determination; and an entrepreneurial spirit that flourishes for generations. When we have a passion for our work, amazing things can and do happen. The thousands of us who fondly remember “The Fat Man’s Got ’em” owe a debt of gratitude to the Usry family. Those memories are priceless. And thank you, The Augusta Press, for this great Christmas present!

  5. Visiting Fat Man’s was a family tradition that we enjoyed for many years, it wasn’t Christmas until we went there for our tree. I went to elementary school with Brad, and Mrs. Carolyn always seemed to be the “room mom”, which was extra special for us kids. This article brought back so many precious memories of loved ones that are gone, that I’ve been missing so much, thank you and thank you Fat Man’s

  6. Christmas wasn’t Christmas without a visit to Fat Man’s. My parents got their flocked tree from there each year and of course seeing Santa was a plus. It was a place you’ll never forget and I sure wish it was still around so my grandchildren could enjoy. Every holiday at Fat Man’s was a treat.

  7. Thanks Scott for a great article that stirs up wonderful memories! This read was a true Christmas treat.
    Thank you Brad and the Usrey family for all you have done and still continue to do.
    Ken McDowell

  8. Great memories! I was just talking to someone last week at work about the history of Fat Man’s Forest. This was more than I knew. I have such great memories of going there and Michelle helped me with many wreaths and bows. One of the wreaths is now hanging on the door at Apparo Academy. Thank you for the great article and thank you Brad for carrying on your parent’s passion.

  9. Fat Man’s Forest was our childhood fairy-tale elf land. The memories are so great and so many. The animated beavers sawing logs. The elves m
    aking toys. The Victorian lady and gentleman decorating a tree. The list would go on forever. The fantasy and awe of all the decorations. No matter what the season. I was blessed to work for this incredible Usry Family. Ironically my great uncle Mr Woodward was the butcher at the Sanitary Market. Fat Man’s will always live in the hearts of all of us who had the incredible fortune of Growing up with the Usry’s legacy. Mr Horace. Mamoo, Ann, Jan , Horace and Brad, and all the family for us Christmas lives year round because of our memories.
    I’m so glad that the “ThePit’s” good lives on . From the good southern food to healthy salads and filling a need for a great event place.
    To all my Fat Man’s Family. All my love. “COME AGAIN AND BRING A FRIEND ”
    Michele ‘

  10. My grandparents lived right behind Fatmans and Horace rented a garage apartment from them..me and my brother used to played hide and seek in the Christmas trees and Horace gave my grandparents a tree yearly. My dad was working for Fatmans delivering flowers when he passed away..lots of great memories of my grandparents Christmas gatherings have Fatman memories entertwined…

  11. I came to medical school at MCG in 1979 and Fat Man’s was one of our favorite family places during the holidays. The peanuts , the flocked trees, the forest of regular trees, and the train are wonderful memories. Every time I drive by that spot today I miss it. Glad you guys are carrying on into the future! Greg

  12. The first Christmas we were married, we went to Fat Man’s for our decorations. After we moved to Augusta, we went to the same church Horace did, he was a delight to know. We took our kids there every year and then our grand kids to ride train and see all the beautiful trees that were decorated. We bought our artificial trees there and enjoyed them very much. I understand the closing, but am sorry for the ones that have missed having this place as a part of their Christmas experience.

  13. Several stores through the years have tried to duplicate, Fat Mans…that will never happen. I took my children there ever Fall. I can still smell the peanuts boiling, folks screaming in the haunted area, the sound of the train going around the track, and the cracking of the hardwood floors as I shopped. It was a total joy!

  14. Thank you, Scott, for reminding me of all the great times at Fat Man’s over the years I probably went there 100’s of times for a meal, to shop for Christmas, Halloween, Easter, even 4th of July decorations. Around every corner, there was another surprise waiting to make your mouth drop open with delight, and there seemed to be too many corners to count. Thank you, Usry family, for making Augusta a great place to grow up in, most of my visits were on bike from Murry Hills, Lake Forest Drive, Magnolia Villa or the Bon Air and occasionally even with our family in the car especially when we lived way out of town in the area of Evans on one of our farms. I like the boiled peanuts too, but the Fried Chicken was to die for.

  15. Great Memories ! Great Family ! I wasn’t around for the “tunnels” between houses. For sure comical, but that was definitely a great idea! Best wishes to your current and “future” endeavors in Augusta.

    Also, my wife and I passed by the old family home on Walton Way a few days ago, and as we rode by, we were reminiscing about the original “Lights of the South” lol!! Yall’s house was lit up!! Thanks for the great memories!

  16. My daughter from NY was down for a few days and while sitting around talking about life she mentioned lets go to Fat Mans with a big smile. Then we talked about her experience and fun and she remembered the peanuts and all the hundreds of wonderful things to look at and buy. No other place has ever taken its place and never will in our hearts. Also it was at 5 years old her first experience with a port-a-let! I told her to go before we left home, but she was way too excited. After that experience she never argued with me again. I know it seems trivial, but trust me it made a lasting impression! And every year or so we talk about that experience. And we laugh.

  17. Kudos to Scott Hudson as this is the greatest article to appear in The Augusta Press to date. Nothing in my mind approaches it. Memories of Fat Man’s are memories of the Augusta that once was. The last time I saw the train was approximately ten years ago at Mr. Brown’s Snowy Mountain Christmas Tree place on Washington Road in front of Publix. The next year it was gone as I left that day with a Christmas tree but with almost tears in my eyes. The train was no more. I was approaching my 50th birthday………….THAT is the emotional attachment to not only the train but to Fat Man’s in general members of my generation of Augustan’s have to this very day.

  18. Wonderful article…brings back so many wonderful memories. I miss this place today. Loved Carolyn and Horace – they truly cared about their customers. The market had the best veggies! I wish this great place could be recreated.

  19. My wife and I loved Fat Man’s for all holidays especially at Christmas and purchased Dickens villages every year and still have them to this day! they had every theme decorated Christmas trees and it was an enjoyment to visit Fat Man’s forest. Very fond memories of the past and still missed!

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