December 26, 2013 9:21:09 AM
Five years ago, brothers Brian and Bubba Huckaby moved back to the Columbus area, where they grew up, to open a downtown restaurant.
Brian came from Jackson. Bubba came from Oklahoma.
They needed a name for their new place at 121 5th St. S. Their father's nickname in the Navy was "Huck," so they went with that, and "Huck's Place" was born.
The restaurant's five-year anniversary is today.
"Huck's Place" was always a dream for Brian Huckaby, an early graduate of the culinary program at Mississippi University for Women. He spends probably 100 hours a week in the kitchen. Bubba Huckaby is manager/co-owner and also works roughly 100 hours a week. Suzy Huckaby, Brian's wife, jokingly called herself "peacemaker."
The menu is Brian's baby, and he likes to experiment, but the food is always eclectic and Southern-inspired.
"Plates don't leave the kitchen without him looking at it," Suzy said.
The steaks are most popular. A close second is shrimp and grits. I will add my stepfather, a picky eater from the Mississippi coast, always goes for the redfish Ponchartrain dish: "Battered fillet of redfish, fried and topped with fresh gulf shrimp and jumbo lump crab with hollandaise sauce."
Suzy credits a loyal Columbus customer for the restaurant's success.
The restaurant, which has a main dining area and two upstairs seating areas, as well as a bar area downstairs, can seat nearly 300. It is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and dinner Monday through Saturday from 4:30 "until," Suzy said.
"Huck's Place" is open today.
If you're in downtown Columbus proper and hungry, there are quite a few options, actually: Zachary's; Front Door Back Door; J. Broussard's; 12 Bar Lounge; Cafe On Main; Harveys; The Princess Theater; and Coffee House on 5th.
Quickly, let's go across town.
Several weeks ago, Christy's Burger's location in east Columbus closed its doors. There is still a Christy's in Columbus on Hwy. 45 and also one in Starkville.
Lastly, let's end this year's final column on a number.
Between Jan. 1 2012 and March 1 2013, approximately 237 new businesses appeared on the Lowndes County tax assessor's property roll. That number doesn't necessarily mean 237 new businesses opened, because it also includes minor developments, such as renovations and perhaps a change of location for existing businesses. Still, it's an interesting number to end the year on.