The Snappy Lunch was opened in 1923 by George Roberson and Deuce Hodge in the very location you now see. Shortly after opening Mr. Hodge was persuaded to sell his interest in The Snappy Lunch to Ben Edwards who later sold this same interest to Raymond Hemrick.

In 1943, a young man named Charles Dowell began working at The Snappy Lunch doing odd jobs and learning the business. He was compensated the whopping sum of $10 per week. Eight years later, Charles negotiated to purchase Mr. Roberson’s share of The Snappy Lunch and began his career as a local business owner.During those days, The Snappy Lunch catered to local workers and students who enjoyed bologna sandwiches for a nickel and ten cent hot dogs items that remain on the menu today. Students, like now famous Andy Griffith who attended nearby schools, would frequently visit the Snappy Lunch for a quick lunch because the local schools had yet to add cafeterias.

In 1960, Charles Dowell completed his transition to sole owner of The Snappy Lunch by purchasing Raymond Hemrick’s share of the diner. As the sole owner Charles had more freedom to develop his own recipes and try different combinations of seasonings.

Old Store

As most know, Mt. Airy’s own Andy Griffith went on to quite a career in television first starring on The Andy Griffith Show. In an early episode entitled “Andy the Matchmaker” Andy suggests to Barney that they go down to the Snappy Lunch to get a bite to eat. Because of this The Snappy Lunch is credited as the only existing Mt. Airy business mentioned on the television show. Andy also mentioned The Snappy Lunch in his version of the song “Silhouettes” recorded around that same time. More recently, during a televised interview, Andy talked about getting a hot dog and bottle of pop at The Snappy Lunch when he was a young boy.

Also during this time Charles Dowell began to perfect his unique creation, The World Famous Pork Chop Sandwich. This wonderfully messy sandwich, served in so many variety of ways, has become the trademark meal of choice for locals and visitors alike. It’s a must for any one visiting The Snappy Lunch for the first time. It is the only sandwich that may have you washing your hands AFTER you finish eating it.

Since the 1960’s The Snappy Lunch has been the subject of numerous news articles, television stories and national reviews. Celebrities are regularly fake rolex seen visiting The Snappy Lunch to have their picture taken with Charles, share in the ambiance of the busy diner and/or just to enjoy a “World Famous Pork Chop Sandwich” of their own.

Regardless of your reason for visiting The Snappy Lunch, we are glad you chose to visit and hope you will enjoy your time in Mt. Airy. Tell your friends and come back soon!