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Oxford Food Scene Is Game-Day Ready

From the moment of kickoff, Ole Miss Football season becomes an energized time of the year; not only for Ole Miss students, alumni, and fans, but the Oxford economy enjoys a major boost all autumn long.

And what part of that economy is Oxford increasingly becoming known for? Food.

While the popularity of Ole Miss Football continues to grow, Oxford restaurants have been anticipating a busy season all year long.

Ayers Spencer, co-owner of Oby’s, said his staff has been preparing for Game Day since Monday.

Oby's managing staff.
Oby’s managing staff.

“If we wait till Thursday or Friday to start prepping, the prep man will be here from open to close,” Spencer said. “But, we’re doing something different with our catering this year where we’re allowing people to pick up their catering in the Grove. We’ve got a tent set up so it’ll make it a little bit easier on them.”

Younger restaurants, such as Bacchus On The Square, are preparing for Game Day with new staff aboard. Cody Bolotte, executive chef for Bacchus, moved to Oxford from New Orleans three short weeks ago.

“It’s kind of stressful right now. We’re bringing in massive amounts of food, and we’re going to ‘play Tetris’ to try to fit it all in,” Bolotte said. “I’m used to a real busy atmosphere, so this will be good for me. It’s going to be fun.”

And right next door is Saint Leo, which will be experiencing its first football season. But, owner Emily Blount said they are ready.

Saint Leo shortly after opening in July.
Saint Leo shortly after opening in July.

“We’ve been really busy since we’ve been open. So, we have a little experience under our belt,” Blount said. “We’re ready as much as you can get ready, and we’re excited to have a lot of people in town because the energy and electricity of people coming is one of the things that makes Oxford so cool.”

The Volta Taverna, on the other hand, has had years of experience when it comes to Game Day.

Travis Burt, the catering manager, said they bring in extra staff members not only on Game Day but all weekend. For example, they have extra bussers, extra waitresses, and more kitchen staff to be sure the customers are satisfied.

“We don’t do reservations. We do first-come, first serve because we’re too busy,” Burt said. “We probably see a 30 to 40 percent increase in sales on Game Day. It’s a big number. It’s almost double a normal day.”

Oxford restaurants are Game Day ready. Are you?

Randall Haley is the managing editor of HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at randall.haley@hottytoddy.com.

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