George Davis began his job as cashier at George J. Ellis Drug Store in 1992 — three years after retiring as manager of Barren County’s famed dime store, Newberry’s.

“I was off a couple of years doing nothing and then I started working for Tom,” Davis said.

Newberry’s was located on the square where the Barren County Government Center now stands, and was a one-stop shopping attraction for many people for several years.

When Davis became cashier at George J’s, it was a drugstore owned by Tom Holmes.

Five years ago Holmes sold the business to D.T. Froedge, who closed the drugstore and opened a restaurant now called George J’s On the Square.

From his post behind the cash registry, Davis can look in one direction and watch traffic as it circles the square. In the other direction, he can see who has stopped by to dine at George J’s lunch counter, which is similar to the one at Newberry’s.

As cashier, Davis is responsible for ordering small stock items displayed near the cash register, such as cigarettes, candy and soft drinks. He also writes the daily menu on a liquid chalk board that sits outside the front door, and faxes copies of the menu to the restaurant’s regular customers so they will know the special of the day. Davis said he likes his job.

“I like meeting all the people who stop by,” he said. “I still get people who knew me from Newberry’s who want Mexican hamburgers.” Newberry’s was known for its Mexican hamburgers. George J’s also serves Mexican hamburgers. And while they’re not exactly like the ones served at Newberry’s lunch counter, Davis said, “They’re pretty close. It’s probably a different recipe, but we still sell a lot of them.”

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