Mrs. Wilkes’ reputation was strong, and business was brisk from the beginning. It received coverage in Esquire and the New York Times, and was even profiled on David Brinkley’s evening news program. That brought Southern food lovers from all over the world to her doorstep.
When Ryon Thompson was a boy visiting his great-grandmother’s popular fried chicken emporium, people sometimes asked what he wanted to do when he grew up. “I don’t know,” he said, “but I know I don’t want to run a restaurant.”
Today Ryon is 29 and the owner and manager of Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, a Savannah tradition for more than 60 years.