By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – James Bryan has a little bit of everything on the menu at the Flat Tire Grille.
His restaurant, located in the former Ruby Tuesday in The Mall at Barnes Crossing, opens Monday.
Bryan said diners are sure to love the signature Flat Tire Grille cheeseburger, a hamburger patty grilled and smothered with cheddar cheese.
“It’s fun watching people eat it,” he said. “Some will pick the cheese that’s been really toasted, or they’ll fold the cheese over and smother the burger. … It’s really hard to describe, but people love it.”
Along with burgers, diners will find appetizers, sandwiches, po-boys, steaks, seafood (including many oyster dishes), salads, Tex-Mex and baby back ribs.
The beef for the burgers is ground fresh at the restaurant, and all the burgers, including the sliders, are served on pretzel buns. The sandwiches are served on either hoagie rolls or ciabatta bread.
“We wanted to so something special, something different for our burgers and sandwiches that sets us apart from anybody else,” Bryan said.
The restaurant also has a full bar. Another special feature is a “treat center” featuring frozen custard, milkshakes and sundaes. The area has separate seating geared toward customers who don’t want a full meal in the restaurant.
But, diners in the restaurant also can order dessert.
“And if you order a sundae in the restaurant, we’ll bring it out in a frozen mug,” Bryan said.
The restaurant hosted special “friends and family” dinners Friday and Saturday to give the kitchen and wait staff a chance to polish their skills before officially opening.
Flat Tire Grille employs about 30 people.
Bryan said he grew up around the restaurant business. His experience started when he helped run the former Chat n’ Chew dairy bar on South Gloster Street. His aunt ran cafes at area sale barns, and he got hooked.
“My first job was an accountant with Morrison’s cafeterias, and I do accounting for several restaurants now,” he said. “This is something I’ve always wanted to do, running my own restaurant. Now it’s coming true, but just a little later in years. I won’t say how many though.”
Flat Tire Grille
LOCATION: The Mall at Barnes Crossing, in former Ruby Tuesday
HOURS: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight; Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
PHONE: (662) 269-2915