By Ainsleigh Cunningham
McCormick’s Restaurant and Bar at the Inn at Ole Miss opened its doors just before the 2020 football season. However, because of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, there has not been a “grand opening” for the restaurant.
Grantly Rushing is the director of food and beverage for the Ole Miss Alumni Association and head chef at McCormick’s.
“Things have been chaotic since opening, really just because of the virus. A new restaurant is going to be chaotic and bizarre opening in the middle of a pandemic,” Rushing said. “We don’t have our bar top yet, which has been also complicated by the virus and other factors. So, once we have the bar top in place, we want to do some kind of grand opening. We aren’t entirely sure when the bar top is coming, we’ve been told different things. We’re kind of reserving our hope at this point.
Many restaurants in the area that opened during the pandemic did not have as good of luck as McCormick’s. Unfortunately, several restaurants closed due to the economical stress the virus brought on.
“Like any restaurant opening in a pandemic it was very, very difficult, we are fortunate in that we are part of the University, so we took it as the university wants us to be here,” Rushing said. “So we have that kind of support, otherwise we would never have made it.”
When it comes to food and beverages McCormick’s has a very diversified menu– something to cater to every guest at The Inn and also local residents. With breakfast being the most popular and busiest time of day at McCormick’s, so far customers are raving about the french toast served with whipped cream and fruit compote or maple syrup and the granola parfait. The granola is actually made in-house and makes for an easy grab-and-go breakfast.
“We also have something called migas which not everyone’s heard of, which is a Mexican breakfast dish with corn tortilla and peppers and uh and stuff like that and eggs. It’s like a scramble,” Rushing said. “And that’s very popular.”
As far as cocktails and beverages go, McCormick’s strives to emphasize on the idea of “local.” The beers on draft are local to Mississippi and the West Tennessee area. The juice in each cocktail is fresh fruit juice made in-house, as well.
“We’re trying to make as many craft elements as we can,” Rushing said. “When you come in and get an old-fashioned, it’s going to be fantastic. It’s going to make you happy.”
Much of the staff consists of Ole Miss students. It gives them the opportunity to not only work but work on campus, a place everyone loves.
“The customers are all Ole Miss fans which is unique because I get the opportunity to answer questions and tell them about my experience as an Ole Miss student,” said McCormick’s waitress Terra Warren. “It’s really cool that I have something to relate to with every customer that walks in the door.”
McCormick’s offers three meals a day, six days a week.
“We are open for business right now,” Rushing said. “If anybody wants to come in for food or drinks, we are ready.”