We’re excited for depot to be restaurant again

Published 7:12 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2021

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A little less than a two-hour drive from here, there is a popular waterside restaurant called Cock of the Walk that has a simple, one-page menu with catfish and the best greens, cornbread and pickled onions — which tastes even better than it sounds.

The menu also has a story on it about Natchez. Particularly, the story is about Natchez Under the Hill, which was the gathering place for the “Keelboatmen” who carried supplies down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. It was a custom for the toughest man on each boat to fight for the title of “Cock of the Walk” or the “best of the best.”

It’s a shame that this restaurant chain can be found in Jackson and Nashville but not at its birthplace in Natchez. This wasn’t always the case.

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Many native Natchezians who remember it as such still sometimes nostalgically refer to The Depot on Broadway Street as “Cock of the Walk.”

The restaurant was forced to vacate the building in the later part of 2013 when the city decided to renovate the depot and develop it into an office, meeting space and product development facility.

Realizing this was a mistake, former mayor Darryl Grennel’s administration began the process of advertising for The Depot to be occupied as a restaurant once again.

As sad as we were to see Cock of the Walk go, many of us have eagerly waited to see what would become of The Depot now that it is being leased by filmmakers Tate Taylor and John Norris. Church Hill Variety has already given us the Little Easy and has brought new life to Smoot’s Grocery. On Monday, they broke ground on The Depot, a soon-to-be restaurant again and an entertainment venue.

After months of planning, this highly-anticipated project is finally underway.

The Depot is sure to be a draw to tourists and locals alike. We can’t wait!