Hickory Houses

by Theodore Kupfer

Kayla Moore, Roy Moore’s wife, shared a post on Facebook last night that declared, “The Roy Moore story is fake!” The reason? Beverly Young Nelson says she used to work at a restaurant called Olde Hickory House on East Meighan Boulevard in Gadsden, Ala., where she says Moore, a regular customer, sexually assaulted her in the parking lot in 1977. She even produced a signature from her high-school yearbook — Love, Roy Moore d.a. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House — to prove it. But, the post proclaims, the only restaurant in Gadsden on that street with that name opened in 2001. Q.E.D.

Listings for a restaurant called Old Hickory House Bar B Que — no fake-archaic “e” — show an address at 1715 U.S. 431 (which, in Gadsden, is identical to East Meighan Blvd.) and say it was established in 2001. The phone number for the restaurant has been disconnected, and it’s unclear if it is still open.

But it turns out that Gadsden has had more than one restaurant with that name over the years. William Thornton, a reporter for AL.com, dug up a city directory of Gadsden from 1978, which lists a restaurant called . . . Olde Hickory House, address 305 East Meighan Blvd:

Moore has gone with the forgery defense as a response to Nelson’s allegation. But there really was an Olde Hickory House on East Meighan Boulevard in 1977, proper spelling and all.

Update: Thornton even tracked down one of the restaurant’s old newspaper ads.

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