Monday, October 3, 2022

Eating Oxford: An Inside Look at The Graduate Hotel’s Exclusive Restaurants

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Jon Davis, chef de cuisine (photos by Liz Foster)

As if a gorgeous new hotel built from the ground up wasn’t enough to impress, The Graduate, located on the corner of North Lamar and Jefferson Avenue, has brought along with it two new restaurants and a rooftop bar overlooking downtown Oxford.

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Cabin 82

The first restaurant is Cabin 82 (named after the cabin that the Mannings own at the Neshoba County Fair), located directly off of the hotel lobby and accessible from an inviting exterior patio. No detail was overlooked in this cute and cozy order-at-the-counter cafe where you can check your email over a cup of coffee and chicken biscuit as early as 7 a.m., or stop in for a casual dinner of Chicken and Williams Brothers Smoked Sausage Pot Pie or Fried Chicken Skin Nachos—neither of which will put a strain on your pocketbook.

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Chicken and sausage pot pie from Cabin 82

“We’re really excited to be the first restaurant in Oxford to be working with Williams Brothers out of Philadelphia, Mississippi,” says Jon Davis, chef de cuisine of The Graduate Oxford Hotel, who you may recognize from other Oxford venues such as Bouré and Blind Pig. “In addition to the sausage for the pot pie, we’ll also be working with Williams Brothers for our bacon and bologna.”

Take the elevator up to the top floor where, after 4 p.m., the kitchen opens and drinks start flowing at The Coop, a rooftop terrace bar with unique sharable plates and a relaxed atmosphere. While the restaurant’s name is part play on the term “chicken coop,” Davis also reveals that the true meaning can only be found in photographs displayed just inside the bar’s restrooms. How’s that for a mystery?

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The Coop

As with Cabin 82, prices at The Coop are affordable and the space is comfortable and inviting. Once you saddle up to the bar or pick your perfect perch on the outdoor terrace, peruse the extensive Delta tamale menu, where you’ll have a choice of seven different styles ($4 for 2), all made with local Grit Girl cornmeal. Sliders more your style ($5 for 2)? Try picking from a selection of eight types, including vegetarian. If you thought the choices ended there, there are seven options for fries and more than a dozen sauces to dip them in.

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Rooftop view of the Oxford Square from The Coop

And while The Coop’s location may soar high above the Oxford Square, Davis says guests will find the space pleasingly unpretentious. “There are no white tablecloths here,” he says. “The Coop is all about grabbing a cocktail with some friends and sharing a few snacks.”

Chef Recommendations
Interested in some of Chef Jon’s menu favorites? You heard it here first!

At The Coop:
BBQ Pork Fries with pulled pork, cheddar, scallions and cilantro
Spicy Cajun Slider with fried jalapenos and pepper jack cheese
Mexican Tamale with green chili chicken and charred tomatillo salsa

At Cabin 82
Fried Chicken Skin Nachos with pimento cheese sauce, jalapenos and all the fixings
Chicken & Williams Brothers Smoked Sausage Pot Pie with house-made buttermilk biscuit topper

For more information on The Graduate, Cabin 82 and The Coop, visit graduateoxford.com.


Liz Barrett Foster is an award-winning business journalist and author of the recently published Pizza: A Slice of American History. Liz began the popular restaurant information site EatingOxford.com in 2009, and is also co-owns Oxford Flea (a local outdoor flea market), with her husband Benjy Foster. Liz can be reached through www.writtenbyliz.com.

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