A Cobb County landmark is gone.

The former site of Louise’s Restaurant, formerly Bill and Louise’s Restaurant, formerly the Rebel Gift Shop and Old Confederate Trading Post now hosts only a pile of wood and bricks. It was torn down last week to make room for a new roundabout, part of a $4.3 million SPLOST project to convert all intersections from Kennesaw Avenue to Stilesboro Road to roundabouts, according to a 2016 SPLOST project list.

Louise’s Restaurant was originally opened as a gas station selling Confederate memorabilia in 1964 by Gladys Louise Weeks and her husband Carl.

Shortly thereafter, the couple added a restaurant and rented it to Bob Lester, who with the help of Louise, ran Bob’s Rebel Inn Barbecue out of it for less than a year.

After her first husband died, Louise remarried a man named Bill Minter, and the two launched Bill and Louise’s in 1977.

The restaurant continued to change hands over the years: Louise sold it to Tony and Denise Corrente in 2005, and their grandson, Andrew Sams, purchased and took over operations in 2015.

For many, Louise’s was the spot to see and be seen. You never knew who you might run into – notables who have dined at Louise’s include former Gov. Roy Barnes, former Speaker Newt Gingrich and a number of Braves players and coaches.

But more came out for the food and fellowship. Bill Minter used to come in at 3 a.m. to cook up the streak o’ lean in a big black skillet, then use the drippings to make gravy by the gallon to blanket a bounty of buttered biscuits.

County officials closed on the $670,000 purchase of the property in March, but a county spokesman said work won’t begin on the Special Purpose Local Option Sales tax-funded transportation project for another two to three years.

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