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A few local restaurants serve up traditional New Years dinners
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Collard greens are a staple of New Year's Day dinners in the South.

New Year’s Day dinners

Longstreet Cafe

When: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where: 1043 Riverside Terrace and 405 Pearl Nix Parkway, Gainesville

Dawsonville Pool Room

When: 11 a.m.
Where: 9 Bill Elliott St. S, Dawsonville

Folk’s Southern Kitchen

When: 11 a.m.
Where: 1500 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

An old Southern tradition dictates ringing in the new year with a plate full of black-eyed peas, collard greens and maybe even hog jowls.

The “lucky” New Year’s Day meal is supposed to bring prosperity for the new year, and a few local restaurants will be open Friday to serve the dishes.

Longstreet Cafe on Riverside Terrace in Gainesville will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., offering a full spread of Southern classics.

“We’ll be doing basically ham, collard greens, black-eyed peas, that sort of thing,” said Bobby Peck at Longstreet.

Longstreet will also have turkey and dressing, steak and gravy, fish and fried chicken. The menu will also include rice, creamed potatoes, creamed corn, fried okra, candied yams, macaroni and cheese and more.

While many local restaurants will be closed, Folk’s Southern Kitchen on Browns Bridge Road will be open for lunch and will offer its usual menu, with classics like black-eyed peas added to the buffet bar.

Across the county line, the Dawsonville Pool Room will open for lunch on New Year’s Day and offer the southern tradition of collard greens, black-eyed peas and hog jowls.

The $8 all-you-can-eat-buffet, said to bring luck and fortune for the coming year, starts at 11 a.m.

“We’ll start cooking on Wednesday morning and then cook all day and Thursday morning, too,” said Owner Gordon Pirkle.

Using the same family recipe for years and years, the Pool Room crew plans to cook more than 60 bushels of greens, 80 pounds of black-eyed peas and about 150 pounds of pork for lunch.

‘Every year we do it the same way by cooking the collards outside,” he said.

Drippings from the boiled hog jowls flavor the greens so much that there’s no need to add any salt.

Diners drive from all around to get a taste of the Southern staples.

“It got to be a real tradition where people came from all around in places like Forsyth, Lumpkin and Hall counties for lunch,” he said.

The Dawson News contributed to this story.

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