New restaurant hopes to revive downtown Cordele - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New restaurant hopes to revive downtown Cordele

The Whistle Stop Station plans to open its doors in September. (Source: WALB) The Whistle Stop Station plans to open its doors in September. (Source: WALB)
The restaurant sits in the core of downtown. (Source: WALB) The restaurant sits in the core of downtown. (Source: WALB)
Monica Mitchell (Source: WALB) Monica Mitchell (Source: WALB)
Robert Binninger (Source: WALB) Robert Binninger (Source: WALB)
The building was built more than a century ago. (Source: WALB) The building was built more than a century ago. (Source: WALB)
CORDELE, GA (WALB) -

There will soon be a new place to eat in Cordele and residents can hardly wait.

"They're all happy, everybody's asking me everyday, 'When you getting done, Bob?' That's all we hear," owner Robert Binninger, better known as Mr. Bob, said.

He's hoping the Whistle Stop Station, an Italian-American restaurant, will bring new life to a more than a century-old building in the city's downtown.

Mr. Bob bought this building in 2005. For the past 11 years, he's been renovating the building and bringing it back to the way it was originally built in 1897.

"It was a hotel, it was a bar, I don't know how many different things in the last 120 years, I'm not sure, but we decided to make it a restaurant."

From the ceiling to the floors, the building still has a lot of it's original characteristics.

"We stayed with the same thing, there's nothing new in here," he said.

Along with food and drinks, the restaurant will also serve up a little bit of the Cordele railroad history. It sits right across the street from the rails and every so often a train will go by.

"I said 'Joe, we're going to call this the Whistle Stop Station,' because there was a station right across the street, and it's going to fit the area and then when somebody's eating dinner and they hear the train go off they won't be upset, they'll say we're at the right place," Binninger said.

And with the building just feet away from the front doors of Darton State College Cordele Center, Mr. Bob is hoping to draw in a crowd of both young and old.

"It'll revive this town, it'll revive this area, this town needs something like this," Mr. Bob said.

A revitalization that Main Street Director Monica Mitchell says is on the right track.

"We're almost like a clean slate, there's just so much to be done, and we're just ready and waiting for the next business to come downtown," Mitchell said.

Mr. Bob says he hopes to open the restaurant to the public sometime in September.

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