Owner of restaurant touted by Andy Griffith dies

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MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (AP) -- The owner of a Mt. Airy, N.C., restaurant made famous by "The Andy Griffith Show" has died after a long illness.

Moody Funeral Home director Rixie Gordon said Charles Dowell died Tuesday. He was 84.

Dowell was known for his "World Famous Pork Chop Sandwich," and for the many years he stood in the window of his restaurant cooking the pork chops while tourists watched through a window.

Griffith's TV character, Sheriff Andy Taylor, once recommended Snappy Lunch as a nice place to take a date.

The restaurant opened in 1923 inside a former post office building and provided lunch for mill workers and students at nearby schools. Dowell started working there in 1943. After buying out his partner, he became the sole owner in 1960.