Dingus Magees celebrates 40 years in business

Anthony Belinfante

Dingus Magees, commonly referred to as “Dingus” by Georgia Southern University students and alumni, has been a part of the GS community for 40 years, and plans to celebrate the milestone on April 27.

Labeled as “The Heart of Statesboro,” Dingus was first opened on April 24, 1979.

“It’s kind of surreal. It just doesn’t seem like it’s been 40 years,” Dingus owner Stephanie Owens said.

While it will be business as usual on the special day, customers will be able to take part in giveaways Dingus has planned throughout the day, which will include t-shirts, drink koozies and more. Former Dingus employees are expected to visit the restaurant to celebrate.

Loyal customers and a celebrity love story

Going to Dingus has become a tradition for GS students, with many generations spending their time at the local restaurant over the years.

GS graduate Caroline Burnette spent many nights there as a student, something her parents did as well. Remembering her time at Dingus, Burnette has nothing but positive memories with friends.

“There are too many nights to count all the good times and forgotten about bad days while at Dingus,” Burnette said. “It’s the place you can always count on to make a memory and see friends.”

While Dingus is known for its live music and friendly atmosphere, it is also the place where country music star Luke Bryan met his wife.

Bryan met his wife Caroline at Dingus back in 1998 when she was a freshman.

“A love story that has carried on for many many years,” Owens said. “And I hope we had something to do with it.”

40 years and counting

Being open for 40 years, Owens has tried to keep the look and atmosphere of Dingus the same for new and returning customers.

“I don’t like to change things,” Owens said. “I like the look to be the same when they come back in year after year. They get that fuzzy feeling about great times that they had here.”

Owens also credits her staff for the success of Dingus over the years.

“I can’t do it by myself,” Owens said. “It takes everybody together to make it successful. That’s just been the best part to me.”

Dingus will celebrate 40 years on April 27, starting at 8 p.m.

Anthony Belinfante, The George-Anne News Reporter, ganewsed@georgiasouthern.edu.