H&H Restaurant, a landmark in Macon’s downtown that was founded 55 years ago, is being renovated by its new owner, but longtime patrons shouldn’t worry about the iconic eatery looking totally different.
Folks will have a chance to get some idea of the work going on at the restaurant during an open house 2:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. In addition, it will be an opportunity to celebrate co-founder “Mama” Louise Hudson’s birthday, which also is Saturday.
“The work that’s getting done is basically just to get it cleaned up and get a fresh coat of paint,” said Roger Riddle, marketing manager for The Moonhanger Group, which bought H&H in March after the restaurant closed in December. “People who are very familiar with the dining room are going to look at it, and they will say it looks good, but it also looks the same.”
Some work also is being done to the floor in the dining room, which will feature new tables and chairs. But the biggest part of the renovation is in the kitchen, which will get new equipment, he said. Additionally, there are plans to add about 1,400 square feet to the rear of H&H into a portion of a building at 840 High St. That addition would allow for kitchen expansion and provide more storage space, according to a Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission report.
“We aren’t completely done, but we wanted to take an opportunity with (Saturday) being Mama Louise’s birthday to kind of celebrate her birthday,” Riddle said. “We also want people to see we tried to stay as true as possible to what was already there, because what was already there was great.”
Hudson also will be celebrating by attending the Blind Boys of Alabama performance at 9:45 p.m. at the Cox Capitol Theatre as part of Saturday’s Bragg Jam, according to a news release. Hudson and H&H became icons for fans of Southern rock as the restaurant became known for being a favorite of The Allman Brothers Band and other musicians.
But customers shouldn’t expect to see major changes to the lunch menu when the business reopens Aug. 13.
“What can you do to Southern food to make it better?” Riddle said.
According to the new H&H menu, the restaurant will begin breakfast service Sept. 17.
In addition to H&H, Moonhanger Group also operates The Rookery, Dovetail and the Cox Capitol Theatre, all in downtown Macon.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.