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JUSTIN SELLERS/The Natchez Democrat — The Fish Fry recently moved to a new location, beside the Sandbar Restaurant, after 30 years of being located at the intersection of Mathews and Carter streets in Vidalia.
JUSTIN SELLERS/The Natchez Democrat — The Fish Fry recently moved to a new location, beside the Sandbar Restaurant, after 30 years of being located at the intersection of Mathews and Carter streets in Vidalia.

Archived Story

Fish Fry finds new home at foot of bridge

Published 12:05am Sunday, June 30, 2013

VIDALIA — After three moves and 30 years, the Fish Fry restaurant may have found its permanent home at the foot of the Natchez-Vidalia bridge.

The Fish Fry opened in 1980 near the current location of Popeye’s as an extension of The Sandbar.

“The Fish Fry is like The Sandbar, but it is for to-go orders,” Owner Ricky Rowlins said. “The prices at The Fish Fry are a little cheaper, and there is a to-go window. We just started having a lot of to-go orders, so we decided to open a new restaurant.”

As business increased at The Fish Fry, Rowlins began looking for a bigger location, he said. In 1982, he moved the restaurant to the intersection of Mathews and Carter streets, next to Sonny’s Pizza.

Justin Sellers/The Natchez Democrat — Detress Sims, left, places an order with Fish Fry employee Sallie Barraza Thursday.
Justin Sellers/The Natchez Democrat — Detress Sims, left, places an order with Fish Fry employee Sallie Barraza Thursday.

But after 30 years, Rowlins said the distance between The Sandbar and the Fish Fry became too much to manage.

“I couldn’t run both places,” he said.

As a result, he moved The Fish Fry into a former office building approximately two months ago.

“We painted the whole thing and made some renovations,” Rowlins’ wife Tabitha Wroten said. “It’s pretty much brand new.”

The move places The Fish Fry directly next to Rowlins’ other restaurant, The Sandbar. He said the proximity between the two would make supervision and daily operations easier.

“They can share the same storage room,” he said. “I think it’ll make The Fish Fry easier to take care of and help us keep the same good service and good food.”

Rowlins said The Fish Fry’s close proximity to downtown Vidalia is another added benefit.

He said he has received mixed reviews about the move, but revenue has remained the same.