R. Thomas’ Deluxe Grill Owner Richard Thomas Has Died

January 26, 2017 Chris Fuhrmeister

Thomas opened his Buckhead restaurant more than 30 years ago

Richard Thomas, the man behind 24-hour institution R. Thomas’ Deluxe Grill, died Wednesday, reports What Now Atlanta. He was 82.

Thomas opened his Buckhead restaurant in 1985. His original intention was to model it after California-based Hamburger Mary’s, but he settled on serving healthier fare long before it was a popular trend in the South.

“When we switched concepts, we started using coconut oil, clarified butter, amaranth flour, quinoa, blue corn pozole,” Thomas said in a 2013 interview with Eater Atlanta. “You call Sysco 30 years ago and say, ‘Send me some quinoa and amaranth flour,’ and they hang up on you. It's different now. Donna [a nutritionist who influenced the change in direction] helped me build a very healthy concept.”

Before opening R. Thomas’, the restaurateur served as the first president of operations at Kentucky Fried Chicken, and he founded a Charlotte-based fried chicken chain that would become Bojangles.

Atlanta Loses a Culinary Icon in Richard Thomas [WNA]
Owner Richard Thomas on Celebs, Strippers, 24/7 Service and More at R. Thomas Deluxe Grill [EATL]
All R. Thomas’ Deluxe Grill Coverage [EATL]

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