Corinth natives Nikki Monroe and James Maricle recently opened Fillmore Street Café in the former location where Harold and Peggy Smith operated the legendary Hamburger Harold’s for more than 50 years.
“We want to carry on the tradition by offering our version of the Big Harold on our menu,” said Monroe, a graduate of Alcorn Central High School. “I wanted to change the name of the restaurant and put my own touch on the place, but still remind folks of the history here.”
Both Monroe and Maricle are fulfilling lifelong dreams of running their own restaurant.
“I have owned other businesses and have been in the restaurant business for many years, but I have always wanted to own my own restaurant,” Monroe said. “I take pride in this place and want to make sure every customer is happy with their food and service.”
Maricle was a school teacher for more than 30 years before retiring.
“I’ve always wanted to try to own and help run a restaurant,” he said. “Sometimes it’s stressful, but overall I really enjoy it.”
Fillmore Street Café opened on Feb. 10 to a warm reception from both new and returning customers.
“Customers have been feeding us some great compliments,” Monroe added. “They have said we have great food and great prices. I’ve had a few people say it was the best burger in town and a handful of customers say we have a really good slugburger.”
The menu went unchanged for more than 50 years under the Smith’s reign. The new owners, however, are proud to offer what they call a wide selection of different options.
“In addition to the Big Harold, we also have a Fillmore Burger which comes topped with grilled onions, cheese and bacon,” Maricle said. “We have a shrimp po’boy, homemade chicken strips and grilled chicken.”
With more than 30 years of restaurant cooking under his belt, Corinth native Johnny Buchanan is running the kitchen.
The menu features an array of homemade sides including home cut fries, fried green tomatoes and onion rings. A rotating selection of homemade desserts has become popular.
“We think we’ve got some of the best pricing in town for breakfast and lunch,” Monroe said.
The two owners, who can be seen pretty much every day at the café, added fresh paint and a new dining room area prior to opening.
“We have remodeled everything,” said Maricle.
Returning Hamburger Harold customers will be happy to find the hundreds of old Corinth related pictures still grace the walls of the downtown eatery.
“People must be happy with our food and prices, because they keep coming back,” Monroe added. “We already have regulars who have made our place their lunch spot.”
(Located at 112 North Fillmore Street, the café is open from 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The staff offers downtown delivery daily. To place an order, contact 287-5888. Connect online at facebook.com/fillmorestcafe)