Only a southerner can understand why the South is more than where you were born. A heritage unique to its own, family traditions are passed down through generations, good manners & hard work are born into the very fiber of our being, religious revivals are followed by fried chicken and sweet tea lunches & many a front porch hosts sunsets and fireflies.
Our loyal customers relate to Ezell's in the same way. Sure, folks stop by for some home cookin' and hospitality, but mostly because Ezell's represents a way of life familiar to them, deeply rooted to the community's river heritage that is simple, noble & good for the soul.
Ezell's story begins on the Tombigbee River where the original building served as a trading post during the time of the Civil War. Property owner, Charles Agnew Ezell, stored manufactured goods & supplies that packet boats would bring in from Mobile.
He had a son, C.A. Ezell, who became a commercial fisherman by trade. Ezell later used the building as a hunting club in the 1920's where his cook prepared meals for private parties. It wasn't long before hosting private parties evolved into a full-time, public restaurant in the 1950's. Good food and good times led the business to grow into the chain of catfish restaurants that Ezell's is today.
The original Ezell's and old hunting club was eventually disbanded when the site became an established restaurant, however, some traditions remain. Not only do hunters still gather, clothed in camouflage and muddy boots, but the occasional baptism occurs near the building's riverside location by the boat landing where it once was a popular site for local baptisms.
True to its' roots, all restaurant chain withhold initial characteristics authentic to the original location except for one prediction made by C.A. Ezell,
...and it's here.
The transition from serving river catfish to pound-raised began roughly 20 years ago due to the unreliable availability and size of river fish. Because farmers can provide dependable supply, size & control the flavor of the fish by what they feed them, Ezell's wisely shifted to pound-raised catfish as their restaurant staple.
The river's energy, commercial fisherman culture and their vital connection to water is the bloodline of Ezell's. Nets, slat boxes and traps influence the restaurant's decor. Because customers grew up frequenting the restaurant with their families and now bring their own children, Ezell's provides plenty of room & comfort food for a large number of people to dine community style, which us southern folks find inviting.
Come to Ezell's & enjoy chicken, seafood or our specialty, catfish. That's why we always say...