Fat Mama’s opens new location

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 16, 2008

NATCHEZ — While the doors weren’t scheduled to open until 5 p.m. David Gammill said the first order of tamales actually went out at about 4:30 p.m.

“People just started showing up,” he said.

Gammill is the owner of Fat Mama’s and Friday was their first day in business at the new location on the corner of Washington and Canal streets.

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Gammill closed the old location Sunday to prepare for Friday’s opening.

Between the closing and the opening, Gammill said there had been a steady stream of would-be customers coming to the restaurant wanting service.

“We’ve been getting about 20 to 30 people a day coming to the door,” he said.

And on Friday it looked as if they all arrived at once.

By 5 p.m. the place was full.

Inside, tables filled quickly and space at the bar was approaching standing room only by 5:15 p.m.

Outside on the patio there were few open tables and spots in the lot were mostly filled.

Anticipating a big turnout Suzan McIntyre actually called for reservations.

While the restaurant does not take reservations, McIntyre was able to secure a table for eight for a friend’s retirement party.

She said her group selected Fat Mama’s for the party-like atmosphere and the food.

“Everybody likes Fat Mama’s,” she said.

While there was a big crowd on Friday, many would argue that everyone is not a fan of Fat Mama’s.

Gammill said it’s been three years to the month since he started trying to open the new location.

“It feels great to be here now though,” he said.

In those three years Gammill has struggled with surrounding neighbors regarding zoning changes and has had to face challenges with the city over the layout of his business.

But if Friday’s crowd was any indication of the community’s feelings toward Fat Mama’s — all’s well.

“I’m just happy to be back in the restaurant business,” he said.

“Everything else is water under the bridge now.”