Taylor, Norris temporarily close Little Easy, Smoot’s

Published 6:41 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2021

NATCHEZ — The Little Easy and Smoot’s, properties of John Norris and Tate Taylor of Crooked Letter Picture Co., have closed temporarily to retool and reboot.“Tate and I were really not satisfied with how the business was being run. We had a lot of waste, a lot of wait time and just a lack of accountability and leadership,” Norris said. “That’s not how we do things in the movie business and not how we want to do it here.”

He said the decision to temporarily close the restaurant was to run a better restaurant and a more competitive restaurant in a healthy environment.

“We needed time to bring in and train that staff, and rather than keep the doors open with a less than satisfying experience, we decided to take a pause and reboot after this last COVID wave hit and the end of the last two movies with crews leaving,” Norris said.

“In an attempt to raise the culinary bar in Natchez, attract new business and national attention, we need to hire and train a more experienced staff. I want the service and quality I would expect for myself as a customer,” Taylor said. “Rest assured we will be back with the right staff. If Natchez is to go to the places we all know it can, this issue must be addressed.”

Taylor and Norris have been in Los Angeles, “working hard on the next two years’ planning of movies and television we are bringing to Natchez, which as you know is a huge part of our business. Both Smoots and the Little Easy will reopen, and construction on the depot will continue as COVID numbers decline, construction prices fall back in line, and new movies begin to prep in town.”

The growth in Natchez is exciting, Norris said.

“Both of us and our partners are extremely grateful and excited about what’s happening in Natchez, our small part of it, and what is to continue to build over the next several months and years,” he said. “We have a strong economy on the upswing and we need to focus on workforce training and bringing in new talent and a motivated workforce as we develop a community that is ready for new challenges, new tourism, and a whole lot of music, food, dancing and fun, including another Mudbug Fourth of July party, and more.”

Norris said he and Taylor have received numerous calls and emails from friends who are concerned about them.

“We’re very grateful for all of the love and support we have gotten. Hang in there with us as we continue to figure out all of the amazing details and the next steps so we can continue to be a part of our great community’s growth,” he said.