Business owner Mark Welch is doing everything he can to survive.
With COVID-19, Welch said restaurant-goers are simply staying in, putting local restaurants through critical times. Welch, who owns 1883 Smokehouse on Highway 12 in Starkville, has tried to fill the gap by expanding. He’s already opened a food trailer in Louisville and by Feb. 2. he’ll open his second food trailer in West Point.
“Because of COVID, because people do not want to come inside and eat at restaurants right now, everybody is scared,” Welch said. “I am trying to make it easier for them to still go out to eat. We’re preparing everything to go.”
The food trailer will be stationed at 6140 Hwy 45 Alt. S and will serve 1883-style food, including its hand-cut steaks, every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Welch said the food trailer will largely be for pick-up, but once we get through this cold patch, he hopes to add outdoor dining for those wanting to picnic outside.
When I said Welch is doing everything he can, y’all, I mean it.
At his West Point location, he’s gearing up to open Starr Lodge in the building behind the food trailer.
Hoping to open by Valentine’s Day, Starr Lodge will offer customers a small, intimate environment for you and up to 11 of your friends.
In the midst of remodeling the 350-square-foot building, Welch said simply, “It’s going to be a really cool atmosphere.”
You can rent the venue for $300, but all those funds go toward your drinks and food. Speaking of food, Welch said Starr Lodge will serve steaks, seafood from the gulf and chicken.
Just like my man Billy Mays said, “but wait … there’s more.”
After you and your friends dine, you can also take a load off and throw axes.
“It’s something new that’s sweeping the country,” Welch said. “We have to (branch out) because no one is coming inside restaurants right now. That’s why everyone is hurting so bad. Drive-throughs are making a killing. Fast food is making a killing. But little independents like us, we have to really fight for our share of the market.”
With plans to open another food trailer in Kosciusko, the West Point food trailer and Starr Lodge, Welch said he’s just trying to make ends meet.
“I always like to be the first person to bring something to a market,” Welch said. “I always like to be on the cutting edge of new things that are hot. Axe throwing hasn’t been put in a restaurant that I know of yet, but if that’s what’s going to save my restaurant, that’s what we gotta do.”
To keep updated on 1883 and its expansions, be sure to give 1883 Smokehouse a follow on Facebook.
Starkville news keeps on coming. There’s a prime spot on Highway 12 that’s up for grabs. With the Pizza Hut location closing in 2020, the lot and building at 211 Hwy. 12 is officially for sale and listed for $850,000. Realtor Royce Hudspeth, who listed the lot, said he would not comment on the sale effort yet.
I have to think, with 1.23 acres on the highly-trafficked highway and a more than 3,000 square-foot building, we’re going to see an investor take a business opportunity here soon.
Also in Starkville, Tupelo-based ENT Physicians of North Mississippi officially opened its Starkville branch.
Area residents can cut out that hour drive to Tupelo with ENT opening in Starkville every other Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The clinic is located in Premier Imaging at 1207 MS-182 E.
“We have a large population that comes from the West Point and Starkville area that travels to our Tupelo office,” ENT clinical supervisor Brandy Schoolar said “We see a lot of people traveling for that and we wanted to open up for convenience.”
If you’re in need of allergy shots, have earaches, sinus infections, chronic sore throats or more, give ENT a call at 662-844-6513.
Over in Columbus, we have a new insurance agent on the block.
Teresa Moore opened her State Farm office last week.
Located at 1204 Main St., Moore offers auto, homeowners, life, business and other types of insurance.
“I love the great people of Columbus,” Moore said. “At my office, we’re down-to-earth people, family friendly and we will treat everybody the way we want to be treated.”
Moore’s office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.