Published on September 23rd, 2013 | by TLV News0
Chef John Currence & CGRG Take Over Operations at Lamar Lounge
Oxford, Miss. (CGRG) – James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef John Currence is proud to announce that City Grocery Restaurant Group has taken over operations of Lamar Lounge, with all profits from the restaurant benefitting local Mississippi not-for-profit organizations. Under the direction of Currence and pitmaster Nick Reppond, Lamar Lounge features whole hog barbecue, cooked in a custom-designed pit located adjacent to the back patio, a refreshed menu of daily specials, a full bar, and stage for live music and entertainment.
Currence—a long-standing supporter of local not-for-profit-organizations and volunteer culinary teacher at local high schools—and his team will select a different charitable organization every 12 months to be Lamar Lounge’s beneficiary. To coincide with the new school year, Good Food For Oxford Schools (GFOS) will serve as the initial beneficiary. An initiative of the Oxford School District to improve cafeteria menus and educate students and their families, GFOS leverages “farm to school” principles to bring local farm produce into school cafeterias that serve more cooked-from-scratch and fresh menu items.
“City Grocery Restaurant Group has been proud to call Oxford home for the past 22 years,” says Currence. “During that time, we have been fortunate to grow with the city’s family of emerging small businesses. With Lamar Lounge, our goal is to offer affordable and delicious barbecue, fresh and fun food, and live music, while benefiting some of our community’s most deserving charitable organizations.”
While the menu features some of the restaurant’s fabled classics, like the Lamar Lounge Burger, Fried Catfish and Hushpuppies, Currence and Reppond have introduced fun and accessible items such as BBQ Tot-chos (nachos made with tater tots instead of tortilla chips, covered in barbecued meat, jalapeños and nacho fixins) and 4 oz. Econoburgers. As the name suggests, these burgers are wallet-friendly at $3.50 each, and come in three varieties: Chili Econoburger (house-made chili, jalapeño, pickles, and onions); Hickory Econoburger (topped with hickory BBQ sauce, pickles, and onions); and the Dressed Econoburger (lettuce, tomato, pickle, mayonnaise, and mustard). Daily specials include Fried Grouper Fish Sticks, Chicken & Dumplings, and other tasty items—listed in TLV’s Food & Drink Calendar. The showcase of the 50-seat restaurant is the custom-designed stone barbecue pit, located off the back 30-seat patio, which enables guests to interact with the pit crew and watch as they tend to the smoking meats. Reppond—a four-year alumnus of City Grocery—and his pit crew smoke whole hogs and other responsibly sourced ingredients, like a riff on general manager Taariq David’s family recipe of Jamaican Jerk Chicken.
Originally built by and for Fat Possum Records, Lamar Lounge features a state-of-the-art sound system and stage for live performances by local and touring musicians. The eclectic décor includes a wood-burning fireplace, old-school Jukebox, taxidermy and a lovingly restored 14-seat 1800’s Brunswick bar, which was once owned by legendary actor Eddie Fisher.