We’re still grateful to Tate Taylor, John Norris

Published 2:00 pm Sunday, October 2, 2022

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Despite plans for a restaurant inside the Broadway Street train depot falling through, Tate Taylor and John Norris should be commended for all they’ve invested and done in Natchez.

Smoot’s continues to be a hot spot for weekend music performances and The Little Easy is one of the best places for brunch around here.

To see a new opportunity for a restaurant inside the former Cock of the Walk evaporate is disappointing for sure, but our hopes for the adjacent lot—once used as parking for Callon Petroleum—are high.

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Aside from the aforementioned business ventures that belong to Church Hill Variety, Taylor and Norris have done so much to show their willingness to invest in Natchez. They’ve spent millions to bring to Natchez entertainers like Hank Williams Jr., Bret Michaels, Cody Jinks and—coming next weekend—CeeLo Green and Patti LaBelle at the Blues and Soul Superbowl.

The film company Crooked Letter Pictures, also headed by Taylor and Norris, has hosted several filmmakers to shine a spotlight on the city, including Morgan Freeman and Hallmark.

Crooked Letter has set its own productions here to draw attention, including “Get on Up,” “Breaking News in Yuba County” and “Ma.”

Taylor and Norris invested in Natchez’s youth by hosting classes at the studio, presentations in classrooms and a fundraiser at Natchez Little Theatre.

One setback shouldn’t cast a shadow on all that they have done to help Natchez.

We’re hopeful that this city’s leadership will keep its promise to make a useful purpose for the empty, yet beautiful historic building that occupies the Natchez bluff. A public restroom is a very needed amenity on the bluff with as much activity going on there on a daily basis.

We have Taylor and Norris to thank for a lot of that activity.