Harry Sheppard helped start one of Wilmington's most iconic restaurants, and his legacy is being honored with the dedication of new townhomes in the city.
Sheppard helped start "Walt's" with his boss Walter Samuels in 1973, and after a brief start with ice cream, the pair began serving fried chicken in a tradition that continues today.
Sheppard died in 2011, and the Vandever Avenue restaurant moved to Lancaster Avenue, before eventually settling at their current location in the Miller Road Shopping Center.
In 2016, the Wilmington Housing Project broke ground on the Townhomes at Walt's Way on that former restaurant site, and on February 13, 2021, the ribbon was cut by the four new homeowners.
Wilmington City Councilwoman Zanthia Oliver said the project accomplished a couple of goals.
"I think it was a great way to memorize a giant, and pay respect to his legacy, Mr. Walt. Plus investing in our community by celebrating the completion of the new townhouses, and his love of Walt's Chicken's business, that continues to this day."
The three-bedroom, 2.5 bathroom townhomes each sold for $155,000.
Oliver was pleased with the reaction of the new homeowners.
"The homeowners and new residents that are staying there are really happy and excited about the new area. I'm just excited that it's not just a neighborhood garden, it is a home with homeowners there, and we're building up our community."
A special "Harry Sheppard Way" sign was produced for the event, and Oliver said it's a way to remember a key part of Wilmington's culinary history.
"He operated the chicken, the best chicken in Delaware, everyone talks about Walt's. He was just a business guy, a friend, a mentor, and he was a role model for our community."