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Harmon's Restaurant Creates Harmony of Generations

A new generation is reviving the Harmon’s Restaurant legacy in Paris, Miss. Lisa Morris Coleman and her husband, Robert, recently reopened the restaurant her grandparents built more than 30 years ago.

Harmon's Restaurant
Harmon’s Restaurant

In the 1960s, WWII and Korean War veteran Marton Harmon returned home to work at his father’s produce stand and grocery store, where the restaurant is currently located. Marton was a cook for his last three years in the service and was regularly praised for his ability to make something spectacular out of nothing at all. After 18 years of selling produce, Marton decided to build a kitchen onto the back of the grocery store and serve catfish out of the back window.
Two years later, the demand for Marton’s catfish grew, so he, and wife Lottie, opened a full-scale restaurant to meet the local need. Friend Bill Babb of Paris, Miss. built every table and every chair that are still used in the restaurant today.
“Grandparents came up with their own recipes,” Lisa said. “He ran the produce and grocery and my grandmother ran the restaurant.”
Marton passed away in 1990, but Lottie kept the restaurant running for as long as she could. In 2012, at age 77, Lottie turned over operations to her nephew and his wife so she could care for her ailing, 97-year-old mother.
“After a year of them renting, they told my grandmother that they just couldn’t do it anymore,” Lisa said. “Before even discussing it with my husband, I volunteered us to to take on the family business.”
With some new paint, new menu items and a red front door, Lisa and Robert reopened Harmon’s Restaurant on Dec. 6, 2013, which would have been Marton and Lottie’s 60th wedding anniversary.
Harmon's Restaurant: The New Generation 2013
Harmon’s Restaurant: The New Generation 2013

Harmon’s still serves its original catfish and slaw, but the rest of the menu received a facelift. Lisa installed a charcoal
grill to cook steaks, burgers, and chicken over an open flame. French friends, onion rings, shrimp and chicken tenders are all hand-cut and hand-battered in Harmon’s special batters. The hushpuppies have been called second to none.
The restaurant also features a salad bar with fresh vegetables and homemade ranch dressing. The cookies, pies, and cakes are all homemade and baked in-house, too.
“I’ve been eating at Harmon’s Restaurant for 30 years, since it first opened,” Jeff Gandy shared on the Harmon’s Facebook page. “So glad they have opened back up. The meal I got was delicious and the place looked great. Mr. Marton would be very proud.”
Harmon’s Restaurant is located in Lafayette County at 773 Highway 9W, between Oxford and Bruce, Miss. The serve dinner Friday and Saturday nights from 4:30 to 9 p.m.
Be sure to ‘like’ Harmon’s on Facebook or call 662-473-4083 for reservations.
“We are just a country-loving, family-friendly place to come eat and have a great meal,” Lisa said.
The original Harmon's Restaurant sign now hangs inside the restaurant.
The original Harmon’s Restaurant sign now hangs inside the restaurant.

The Harmon's staff.
The Harmon’s staff.

Harmon's Famous Catfish
Harmon’s Famous Catfish

The Salad Bar at Harmon's Restaurant
The Salad Bar at Harmon’s Restaurant

Grilled Steaks at Harmon's Restaurant
Grilled Steaks at Harmon’s Restaurant

Harmon's Restaurant Menu 1
Harmon’s Restaurant Menu 1

Harmon's Restaurant Menu 2
Harmon’s Restaurant Menu 2

– Kate Sinervo is managing editor of HottyToddy.com. She can be contacted by email: kate.sinervo@hottytoddy.com.

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