Romie’s closes in downtown Tupelo

File photo Romie's Barbecue in downtown Tupelo closed on Monday.

Romie’s Barbecue in downtown Tupelo closed on Monday. (File photo)

By Dennis Seid

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Diners looking to chow down on barbecue nachos or a Cuban sandwich at Romie’s Barbecue in downtown Tupelo on Monday left disappointed.

The doors were locked, and a sign said, “Thank you for your support. Romie’s BBQ is now closed. Come see us at Romie’s Grocery 804 W. Jackson St.”

Owner Rob Lesley, who also own Romie’s Grocery, said an expanding catering business led to the move. The downtown restaurant closed Saturday night.

“We might revisit it again one day (the BBQ restaurant) but it’s been good for us,” he said.

However, there’s only so much Lesley can do, and running two restaurants and a catering operation was a little too much. He found himself spread a little thin.

“We had to look at what we could give up, and there’s only one of me to go around,” he said.

As for some of the favorite menu items from Romie’s Barbecue, Lesley said some of the more popular items – including the BBQ egg rolls, BBQ nachos, turkey BLT and the Cuban – will be making their way to Romie’s Grocery,

“Well be incorporating some of them into our plate lunch menu,” he said.

As for the building on Troy Street, Lesley said he’s gotten interest from others interested in opening another restaurant.

“I think something will open up eventually,” he said.

Romie’s Barbecue opened on Troy Street in 2011, after spending nearly two years on South Green Street in what is now Simply Sweet by Margarete. The Rib Cage closed in 2006 on Troy Street after a 12-year run. In subsequent years it was Boondocks, then La Meson D’Or before Lesley opened Romie’s Barbecue.

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  • Kevin

    In a Seinfeld episode, the opening monologue mentioned how some places are just doomed. Restaurants move in and then close shop, another moves in and then closes shop. So the old Ribcage building is now that location in Tupelo. Nobody can make it work and that’s too bad because Tupelo needs vibrant, locally-owned places as an alternative to the very boring Harvey’s-dominated chains, and the mall trash spots like Applebees, Chilli’s, O’Charleys, Logans, et al.

    • Beachum

      I agree 100%. The other ‘doomed’ place in tupelo was the building that La Vino Wine and Spirits now occupies. It’s been several different business over the years. I would love to install more local food fare, and would like to see the city council and CDF put more focus towards this than attracting more and more chains. My dream after college is to open a cajun-inspired restaurant in downtown Tupelo, and hopefully there will be more opportunity for it.