A Port City fast-food institution for more than a quarter-century, Cedric’s vanished in 1999, when Tim Davis bought the building at 3807 Oleander Drive, Wilmington [Map this], to relocate his business, Davis & Son Tobacconists, from Long Leaf Mall.
Cedric’s had been up for sale since 1997 when Emma Olsen, the president and principal shareholder, decided to retire and put it on the market.
Olsen and her husband John opened Cedric’s in 1970 (on the former location of House of Charm Beauty Salon). The Olsens also launched Wilmington’s first Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlor next door, in 1973, and briefly operated a second Cedric’s on Market Street.
Originally, Cedric’s was a franchise, part of a chain of more than 60 restaurants headquartered in Columbia, S.C.
In the mid-1970s, however, the Cedric’s company collapsed. John Olsen sold the Baskin-Robbins, closed the Market Street location and turned the Oleander Drive restaurant over to his wife. She, in turn, handed management over to her daughter, Joan Olsen-Davis, and to Dan Davis.
Cedric’s signature menu item was its strips of Atlantic cod. Inspired by the traditional British fish-and-chips shop, it featured a monocled gent with a big bushy mustache as its logo. Olsen-Davis told the StarNews in 1997 that the restaurant counted a number of English expatriates among its regular patrons.
The product wasn’t exactly authentic: Cedric’s couldn’t serve its fish-and-chips in the traditional newspaper wrapping due to health regulations. It could, however, substitute steak fries (which were closer to the English chips) for its usual side of “tater rounds.”
Date posted: October 13, 2010
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