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Courtesy of James Casto Diners flocked to the old French Tavern restaurant for nearly 40 years.

Editor's note: This is the 57th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington landmarks.

HUNTINGTON — "Service to a family by a family." That was the motto of the French Tavern, one of Huntington's most popular restaurants for more than 50 years.

The popular eatery got its start in 1924 when George and Ida Weydisch combined their European restaurant know-how to open a West Huntington restaurant. They named their first restaurant Frenchie's. The restaurant became the French Tavern when the Weydischs moved it to Piedmont Road 10 years later.

In 1936, they moved their restaurant again, this time to a building at 2349 Adams Avenue. The building previously had housed the Cabell County detachment of the West Virginia State Police.

For nearly four decades, customers flocked to the small brick building that housed the popular restaurant. There, they could enjoy a menu that featured hand-cut steaks, live lobster and other seafood items, homemade bread and incredible desserts.

After the Weydischs retired, Ida's son, Henry Bode, and his wife, Frances, operated the restaurant. In 1974, their son, George Bode and his wife Jenni took over the restaurant and moved it to much larger location a former Kroger supermarket at Adams Avenue and West 19th Street.

The new location offered a public dining room with seating for 200 patrons and a dcor in keeping with that of the old French Tavern. In addition, there was a 190-seat supper club with live entertainment and banquet facilities for up to 250 guests.

The relocated and enlarged restaurant closed in 1980.

In 1983, the deteriorating condition of the restaurant's long-time building at 2349 Adams forced its demolition.

To read more articles from this series, go to www.herald-dispatch.com. Click on "News," then "Lost Huntington" series.

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