Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Eight-year-old Tyra Higgins, left and her brother Perkins, 10, get a cool summer treat at the Malt Shop with their mother Ashley Sunday afternoon.

Archived Story

Malt shop reopens to delight of workers, customers

Published 12:03am Monday, July 18, 2011

NATCHEZ — Annette Johnson said she doesn’t mind working in a cave.

Johnson, 48, leaned into one of the two remaining windows at the Malt Shop Sunday. After a car crashed into the building Thursday night, destroying its exterior and damaging the front interior, the rest of the windows are boarded up.

“It’s a little confusing, but you have to do what you have to do,” said Johnson, who’s worked at the shop for 30 years. “You can’t see anybody walking up, and it makes you feel like you’re kind of in a cave. You have to sit at the windows to see people.”

The Malt Shop re-opened Saturday, not even 48 hours after the Cadillac flew through its front.

“Everything used to be convenient up here,” she said gesturing to the front of the restaurant. “Now you have to travel back to the cooler. You have to get used to finding everything.”

It may take a little longer than it usually does, but Johnson said the Malt Shop is serving everything it did before the crash.

“The customers have been wonderful,” she said. “Everyone is concerned, and that’s how it’s supposed to be.

“At a time like this everyone should pull together.”

Hopefully, the rest of the windows should be replaced by Wednesday, Johnson said.

The phone jack, the slushie machine and the fountain — where all of the flavors and preserves are kept — must also be replaced, she said. And though it’s not needed now, a new heater will need to be installed for the winter.

More than anything, Johnson said, she couldn’t say enough about how thankful she is that no one was hurt in the crash.

“When you work at a place a long time, you grow to love the people you work with,” she said. “I’ve lost people in my life, mostly family, but I couldn’t have handled losing someone here. I don’t think I would’ve come back.”

The ladies she works with in the Malt Shop are her family, Johnson said.

“You don’t have to birth someone to love someone and say, ‘That’s my child,’” she said.

Working at the Malt Shop may be a little inconvenient at the time, Johnson said, but that’s not something she’s worried about.

“Life itself is a challenge,” she said. “It’s what you do when it hits you, what you do afterward (that matters).

“You just have to pick up and keep on.”

  • Anonymous

    A great Natchez landmark. Good to see them getting back on their feet already.

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic! That part of Natchez would not be the same without it.

  • Anonymous

    The idiot that ran into it with the prized Cadillac, or “lac” if you will, should be made to serve burgers and ice cream till the debt is paid in full.  Then mabye he’ll think twice about running from the police, and causing massive damage and destruction.

  • Anonymous

    Man, that was quick.  Good deal.

  • Anonymous

    Glad to see you back open. Good Job!!!

  • Anonymous

    Annette is. A fine lady along with ms Jesse. Not too often you see two people work at the same Restaurant for such along time. Both are great ladies !!!!!

  • Anonymous

    You just won’t give up will you?

  • Anonymous

    BUCKLE UP November57, IT’S A ROUGH RIDE FOR YOU!!!!!, to quote a quote!

  • Anonymous

    ooh, yummy.  her eat ice cream all the time.

  • Anonymous

    In response to natcheznative, I often wonder why adults act like children. And then I remember what my mother has always said-consider the source!

  • Anonymous

    Your originality overwhelms me.

  • Anonymous

    I sir also take this as a threat. It will be reported as such. Some things are not funny!

  • Anonymous

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t you serve burgers and shakes until his fine is paid.

  • Anonymous

    I hope you are having a wonderful time. You seem to be. People like you are what is wrong not only with this town but the world. I am sure you will slam me again, but are you positive about anything except how original and funny you are. Because, you have made many comments on many different stories. I would like for you to explain the use of “lac” as you put it for cadillac. Also “right daddy”. You don’t even seem to care how your words come across, and I believe you are using this forum to speak your piece about everything wrong in your life. You reared the ugly head of race in your comment before I ever entered into the comments. You took it and ran with it. That is my mistake. I do not care what other people say or think, but you are doing it again by using slang for the car. I could NEVER imagine my husband writing or talking to someone like you have me I just want you to know, you are the lowest  of the low and you may bully some of the people that post comments, but you will NOT  bully , crack jokes about me, or make snide or ugly comments. I do NOT have to take it, and I won’t!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    You’re being mean to me again.

  • Anonymous

    You are an idiot. And I am wasting time talking to  an idiot.  Go bother someone else and maybe they will think your comments are right up their alley. All I know is Judge not yet yee be judged. You are a pitiful excuse for a human being. Done, finis, stick me with a fork because I am DONE!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Madame, you’ve been done for years.  You just haven’t figured it out yet.

  • Anonymous

    You idiot, you have yet to figure out you are talking to a gay gentleman. I pity your family.