Big Buster Tavern

Green Book Category
Taverns
Years Listed
1939-1941, 1947-1950
Region
Coastal Plain
County
Cumberland

Big Buster Cafe was listed in the Green Book as “Big Buster—Gillespie St.” under “Taverns” from 1939-1941 and 1947-1950. No street number was included in the listing. The restaurant was located at 115 Gillespie Street in Fayetteville.1

Big Buster Cafe was owned by Amos Devane and was located at 115 Gillespie Street. The building at 113-115 Gillespie Street was constructed around 1885. Research has not yet indicated when Big Buster opened; Amos Devane worked as a cook at a cafe by 1930 and Big Buster was listed in the Fayetteville city directory by 1937. Fred McDonald took ownership of the cafe around 1943 and the business was replaced by Silver Grill, another Green Book business, in the mid-1940s.2

Amos Devane was born in 1888. Prior to opening the cafe, Devane worked at Sampson Lumber Company in Cumberland County. He served in the US Army during WWI. Following the war, Devane and his wife, Sarah, settled in Fayetteville.  The couple lived at 311 Wilmington Road and had at least two children. Devane died in 1946, around the time that Big Buster closed and was replaced by Silver Grill.3

The building at 113-115 Gillespie Street is still standing. A radio station is located at 115 Gillespie today.4

Essay by Brandie K. Ragghianti, 2022

Notes

  1. Victor Green, 1939 Green Book, 32; Green, 1940 Green Book, 35; Green, 1941 Green Book, 35; Green, 1947 Green Book, 64; Green, 1948 Green Book, 62; Green, 1949 Green Book, 56; Green, 1950 Green Book, 62;  Hill’s 1939 Fayetteville City Directory, 42, 305, 396.
  2. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Fayetteville Downtown Historic District, May 26, 1999, pp. 20-21, accessed from https://files.nc.gov/ncdcr/nr/CD0209.pdf; Hill’s 1937 Fayetteville City Directory, 38 (alphabetical listing); Hill’s 1939 Fayetteville City Directory, 42 (alphabetical listing); Hill’s 1941 Fayetteville City Directory, 645 (street listing), 55 (alphabetical listing); Hill’s 1943 Fayetteville City Directory, 703 (street listing), 54 (alphabetical listing); Hill’s 1946 Fayetteville City Directory, 311, 391 (alphabetical listing); 1930 United States Federal Census, Ward 1, Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina, digital image s.v. “Amoes Devaul,” accessed from www.ancestry.com.
  3.  Amos Devane, 1888, Cumberland County, North Carolina, US World War I Draft Registrations, 1917 - 1918, accessed from www.ancestry.com; Amos Devane, June 29, 1919, Service Number 3101682, US Army Transport Service Arriving and Departing Passenger Lists, 1910 - 1939, accessed from www.ancestry.com; 1920 United States Federal Census, Vanstory Ave, Ward 1, Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina, digital image s.v. “Amos Revance,” accessed from www.ancestry.com; 1930 United States Federal Census, Ward 1, Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina, digital image s.v. “Amoes Devaul,” accessed from www.ancestry.com; 1940 United States Federal Census, 311 Wilmington Road, Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina, digital image s.v. “Amos Devane,” accessed from www.ancestry.com; Amos Devane, September 7, 1946, Cumberland County, North Carolina, US Death Indexes, 1908 - 2004, accessed from www.ancestry.com
  4. WCCG 104.5 FM, Facebook profile,  https://www.facebook.com/TheRealWCCG1045fm/