Fenders Diner is an Iconic Retro Diner in Historic Cornelia Georgia

Fenders Diner is an Iconic Retro Diner in Historic Cornelia Georgia


Fenders Diner has been a north Georgia classic for decades.  Restored and relaunched in 2020 to reimagine the classic diner, join us to experience premiere comfort food and unsurpassed hospitality – all wrapped up in our retro style.

The History

The building that is now home to Fenders Diner has been feeding the community of Cornelia for well over 100 years.  If these walls could talk, the stories they would tell.  The 100+ year old brick building started life as Burrell’s Market some time between the late 1900’s to early 1920’s, and it was owned by Winfred Wallace Burrell. As the story goes, he opened the store when his family moved down from Burton – before the lake was filled – between 1913 and 1920.  According to his grandson, the old Burrell family farm is now under water.

The market’s shelves were packed with every kind of food staple a small town north Georgia cook would need for an authentic southern meal.  Just a stone’s throw from the bustling railroad station, the market was likely first stop for many arriving in Cornelia.  The store was closed in the early 1950’s, that signaled the end of one chapter, but it was just the beginning of the story.

In the mid 1990’s, Russ & Judie Vinson were on a trip up north and they purchased an old diner with intentions to relocate it to North Georgia.  Their goal was to create a space that took you back to a simpler time, and provided a unique experience for all of North Georgia.  Fenders Diner was born in 1996, and it has been serving comfort food in Cornelia for almost 25 years.

Bradley & Sherry Cook took over from the Vinson’s and continued in their footsteps.  They successfully operated Fenders for many years.  During that time they expanded the hours, the menu, and the business as they added a catering operation and event facility.


After closing in 2020, Jay & Melissa Reeder completely restored this classic diner, reimagining the diner experience, while keeping the iconic retro style.  The *New* Fenders features a menu with a fun fresh take on classic diner favorites by an experienced chef.  Today, we’re proud to carry on the tradition of those who came before us with a focus on serving exceptional comfort food (with fresh ingredients cooked to order) and unmatched hospitality.  We love this tradition and the rich history of Cornelia, and want to create a place where our community can enjoy great food and drinks while celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, or just life in the North Georgia mountains.

Awards & Accolades:


– In 2021, The Northeast Georgian Readers Choice Awards voted Fenders Diner the Best Dinner & Best Caterer in Habersham.


– In 2021, The Georgia Downtown Association recognized the public/private partnership that developed Fenders Alley with a statewide “Best Placemaking” award.


– In 2022, Georgia Trend Magazine and the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau recognized Fenders & Cornelia with a statewide “TravelBlazer” award for partnering to create one of the TOP new hospitality destinations in the state of Georgia.

Opening hours

11:00 am – 8:00 pm
11:00 am – 9:00 pm
11:00 am – 9:00 pm
11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Meet the Chef

Chef Doug McAlexander oversees Fenders creative menu.  Long before becoming a chef, his competitiveness and passion for excellence led him to play basketball at the University of Georgia.  After college, he attended and graduated Le Cordon Blue, and has decades of experience as corporate chef for organizations like the Atlanta Falcons.  While heading up the culinary program at the Falcons training camp, his efforts were recognized by Sports Illustrated magazine as producing the best food nationwide for any NFL team.  We’re excited that he’s now heading up efforts to create fantastic food at Fenders Diner & Fenders Alley, in coordination with Chef Jason Vullo at Community Brew & Tap.  When he’s not cooking, you can find him checking on tables to make sure guests are loving their meals.


Let us host your next celebration


631 Irvin Street, Cornelia GA 30531

(706) 776-2181

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Fenders Diner

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Located in Historic Cornelia Georgia Entertainment District