By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – For more than 15 years, Crossroads Rib Shack has satisfied ribs and barbecue fans from its small corner of Corinth.
But for the past two years, the owners and business partners of the successful restaurant also have eyed plans to grow the name and the business.
It’s first step in that direction was the opening of a Tupelo location, which is nearly twice the size of its Corinth restaurant.
“We didn’t realize just how much business we got from Tupelo and Lee County out of our Corinth location,” said Tom Vanstory, one of several business partners including Donnie Lovell, Patricia McAnally, Keith Price, Roger Smith and Hal Wright.
The Tupelo restaurant, located between the new Best Western Plus hotel and the Malco Theater in the Tupelo Commons development, opened last week.
“I think most everybody has been pleased with the quality of the food, the quality of the service,” said Price, who also manages the restaurant.
The restaurant does indeed resemble a very large, well-made shack. Inside is a spacious dining area, plus two porches, with seating for about 150 people. It also has a drive-thru, although not everyone realizes it.
To help move diners through faster, “We’ve got two separate kitchens set up, one for the dining room and one for the drive-thru,” Smith said.
The restaurant’s name, of course, is its specialty.
Not just any barbecued rib, mind you. The secret-recipe, dry-rubbed, hickory-smoked ribs are the most popular item.
“It’s a dry rib versus a wet rib and the rub just sets it apart,” Vanstory said.
But for customers who still want some sauce to dab on the ribs, it’s available by request.
The restaurant smokes more than ribs, however. Also on the menu are chicken, brisket and pork.
If you’re not a barbecue fan, hamburgers, steak, catfish and shrimp also are available. And there’s a kid’s menu, too.
A lunch menu is available, but anything for the menu can be ordered.
In Corinth, the lunch crowd is larger than the dinner crowd. So far in Tupelo, it’s just the opposite. But Vanstory and Price said they’re quite pleased with the size of the lunchtime customers.
And they couldn’t have found a better location in Tupelo, the owners say, having started the process two years ago of finding the ideal spot.
Tupelo Commons has seen a spike in activity recently, with the opening of Best Western, Hampton Inn amp& Suites, LongHorn Steakhouse and Patron Tex Mex in recent weeks.
Crossroads Rib Shack
– Location (in Tupelo): 3062 Tupelo Commons, between the Malco Theater and Best Western Plus, off North Gloster Street.
– Phone: (662) 840-1700
– Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Closed on Sunday.