Duo opens third restaurant

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 28, 2010

NATCHEZ — The founders of two of the most beloved restaurants in the city have opened a third.

Restaurateur partners Guy Bass and David Browning opened the Cotton Alley Café at 112 N. Commerce St., Friday. The 50-seat space specializes in American cuisine with emphasis on affordability, Bass said.

“We did our homework and realized we could serve good food at reasonable prices,” Bass said. “Everything has gotten so outrageous in price that people just can’t afford to eat out anymore.”

Bass said menu prices range from $3.95 to $21.95, and the menu selection includes American classics such as hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches to shrimp, steak and pasta dishes.

“Our hot dogs start at $3.95 and our hamburgers start at $5.95,” Bass said. “I think we’re going to sell a ton of hamburgers. We have four or five different variations on the hamburgers.”

Also featured on the menu are chef and Ceasar salads, homemade soups — a specialty of Bass’ — and homemade cakes, cookies and pies. A daily lunch special will be available Monday through Saturday.

Bass said the café’s name is derived from the nearby alleyway.

“The alley beside was called Old Cotton Alley back in the 1800s,” Bass said. “We thought of every name you could imagine — Commerce, Uptown, Downtown — but we ended up with Cotton Alley Café.”

Bass and Browning are no strangers to the Natchez food scene. The duo founded both Center City Grill and Pearl Street Pasta, and both restaurants have drawn a following. Bass and Browning have since sold Center City Grill and Pearl Street Pasta to new owners.

Bass said the Natchez community has long been supportive of his and Browning’s ventures, and hopes the community’s support extends to Cotton Alley.

“I love the (restaurant) business … that’s what I’ve done all my life,” Bass said. “We’re glad to be back in business and in Natchez, and look forward to serving the local community.”

Cotton Alley Café’s hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 601-442-7452.