• 64°

Same place, same taste, new face

A soon as residents of east Demopolis got used to dining at Kora’s Place, it moved to Highway 43. Once they were used to getting wings from Mullen’s Wing Camp, the restaurant closed its doors.

Now, Coats Restaurant has moved into the building on First Avenue to make soul food just a hop, skip and a jump away from people in the area.

“The places that were here before served a lot of people in the community,” co-owner Marquis Butler said. “It feels good to pick up where they left off, because the community needs somewhere they can just get up and walk to.”

Though Butler had thoughts of going into the restaurant business, neither he nor his relatives and co-owners, the Rev. Eddie and Melanie Coats, had done it before.

“When the opportunity came, we just jumped on it,” he said, “It’s a new experience for all of us.”

And even though the restaurant is under new ownership, Butler said the employees and the menu selections, for the most part, remain the same.

“The only thing we changed is the name, even the times are just about the same,” Butler smiled. “We do a meal of the day now. We’ll serve a special meat, two veggies, a bread, and sometimes a dessert from 10 (a.m.) until about 2 (p.m.). But the wings and our burgers are the most popular.”

For those who desire a taste true to the south, Coats specializes in BBQ ribs and hog chitterlings, in addition to whiting fish, pork chops and catfish. The restaurant also serves desserts ranging from fresh-baked red velvet cakes to Melanie’s special Kool-Aid pies.

But Coats doesn’t just serve lunch and dinner, though. When the doors open at 7 a.m., the restaurant serves customers from a full breakfast menu, including omelets, pancakes and breakfast sandwiches.

Since opening in early January, business has been “steady,” Butler said, and the owners are doing everything they can to allow people to enjoy their soul food.

“Everything in the restaurant is cooked to order and we cater parties and gatherings,” Butler said, “We deliver too – but we only deliver to businesses, not homes, the whole time we’re open.”