Local family brings fine dining to Demopolis

Published 7:59 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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By Jaquez Deloach

Special to The Demopolis Times

“The only way to have some things is to make it yourself,” said River City Soul owner Tommie Reese after noticing the lack of evening, fine dining restaurants in Demopolis and surrounding areas.

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After nearly 15 years of being Demopolis Chief of Police, Reese and his family opened River City Soul, located at 1621 US Hwy 43 in Demopolis, on May 6, 2023.

“I always wanted to own a restaurant since I was a young child,” said Reese. “After being a chief of police all my life, I dropped the ‘i’ in chief and made it chef.”

On “Soulful Sundays”, River City Soul is open from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.., and features only soul food such as oxtails, turkey wings, baked chicken, and more.

Thursday through Saturday and Monday, between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m, the restaurant offers open seating with a variety of mouthwatering soul food dishes. Later, between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., River City Soul transforms into a fine dining restaurant that isn’t found anywhere else in Demopolis.

“We wanted to offer a unique dining experience to Demopolis. During the night, we add tablecloths, play smooth jazz, turn down the lights, and offer a variety of dinner options such as steak, salmon and shrimp,” said Reese.

Many newcomers feel unprepared or underdressed when they enter, but Reese welcomes all customers.

“Besides offering the best meals, customer service is our main point. We want people to feel comfortable. People may feel like they have to dress a certain way, but everyone can come and experience our laid back, friendly atmosphere,” said Reese.

Though there is no dress code, many visitors use the fine dining setting to wear their best outfits, go on romantic dates and experience a “big city feel” right in Demopolis.

River City Soul is also popular with travelers coming through town. With many positive online reviews, River City Soul proves how great food and customer service attract visitors to the Demopolis area.

“We have had people come from all over the country come to visit us. We’ve also had people from across the world from parts of Africa and even Russia stops by and get a meal,” said Reese.

In less than a year, River City Soul’s positive impact on the community has opened doors for more businesses to be creative and implement new things.

On February 16, 2024, the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce announced that River City Soul was the business of the month.

“Each month, the Chamber chooses one member for their community support and service,” explained Monica King, Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce executive director.

With plans to expand the business to other areas, Reese wants people to know Demopolis will always be the home base of River City Soul.

“Thank you to the people for allowing us to bring this concept to Demopolis. Thanks for spreading the word in this area and across the country,” said Reese.