Buford is a city rich in history and that history carries over to its historic buildings throughout “Old Town.” Each generation has done its best to preserve these gems and give them a new purpose. Not only will current generations be able to admire the restored buildings, future generations will also be able to admire and make use of them. Buildings dating back to the late 1800s are still being lovingly taken care of and are still in use for current businesses and churches. Here’s a look at several historic buildings in the downtown Buford area that have been renovated and repurposed.
Rico’s World Kitchen — 306 W. Main St.
The building sitting at 306 W. Main St. was built in 1950 and once held Lord’s Muffler Shop. When the muffler shop relocated, Rico Cunnington and his wife, Katie, converted the old shop into a restaurant, which opened in 2009 under the name Rico’s World Kitchen. The restaurant has earned numerous awards and praise from food critics to the average person. It stays packed by customers eager to get a taste of the wonderful dishes on the menu.
Main Street Blooms — 298 W. Main St.
On the corner opposite Rico’s World Kitchen sits another relic of the past that has a connection to America’s love of automobiles, an old gas station built in the 1960s. The white building at 298 W. Main St. was opened as a gas station by the Burton family. It has held several businesses since it was a gas station, but in 2017 was bought by a couple set on restoring it. They restored the building and in 2018, Keiley Caldwell opened a European-inspired floral and gift boutique there called Main Street Blooms.
Modern office building — 89 E. Moreno St.
One of the latest buildings to be brought back from the brink of destruction sits at 89 E. Moreno St. The building was built in 1973 and was an auto service station/repair garage owned and operated by Mr. Mooney. Mr. Mooney was a character, and many people have childhood memories of him giving out sticks of gum and Cokes. The building was recently renovated by Dale Brown and now is an office building that also houses some of Brown’s collectibles, including an old classic car.
Barebones Steakhouse — 101 E. Main St.
The old Shadburn Bank building is located at 101 E. Main St. The building was built in 1901 and was a bank for much of its history. The second floor of the building served many purposes during that time, including that of an opera house, courtroom, council meeting room and even a basketball court. The building was also the home of a clothing boutique called Marisa Jill’s. The building was bought by the owners of Barebones Steakhouse and they invested heavily in restoring it. They got approval to make the exterior closely resemble how it looked in the early 1900s. Today, it is the home to the popular and delicious Barebones Steakhouse.
Iglesia de Cristo Elim — 95 Scott St.
The Greek Revival-style building at 95 Scott St. was built in 1941 and served as the Buford branch of the United States Postal Service until 1985. The building then was turned into Buford City Hall until the completion of the new city hall building on Buford Highway. Today, the building serves as Iglesia de Cristo Elim or the Church of Christ.
Impressions Spirit Wear Boutique — 95 E. Main St.
The individual storefronts or buildings that make up the heart of Main Street in downtown historic Buford have served many purposes over the years. One such building is at 95 E. Main St. For 100 years, the building served the Buford community as a pharmacy. First, it was Buford Drug Co., then Simpson Drugs and lastly Sherwood Drugs. Sherwood’s relocated in the ’90s and after that the building had various commercial tenants. Currently, the building is home to Impressions Spirit Wear Boutique, a clothing and gift store. The store has a variety of items centered around Buford City Schools, as well as other gifts and a nice selection of women’s clothing and accessories.