2021 Metro Restaurant Debuts

Dogmud Tavern, a sister company of Certifiable Studios in Ridgeland, allows customers to play board and video games while they dine and drink. Photo courtesy Dogmud Tavern

Dogmud Tavern, a sister company of Certifiable Studios in Ridgeland, allows customers to play board and video games while they dine and drink. Photo courtesy Dogmud Tavern

For a number of Jacksonians, the new year motivated them to make some changes in 2021, namely in the local food industry. Since January, the metro has welcomed new restaurants presenting foodstuffs from varying culinary backgrounds. Now that 2021 is halfway over, let’s take a look at some of the selections now available to our food scene.

Dogmud Tavern Opens in Ridgeland

Jesse Labbé and Rick Moore, co-founders of local creative studio and board-game developer Certifiable Studios, opened a sister business called Dogmud Tavern in Ridgeland in April.

Dogmud Tavern’s interior features decorative artwork from the studio’s various gaming properties, including “Endangered Orphans,” “Who Goes There?,” “Stuffed” and “D6,” most of which Labbe designed.

The pub serves its own custom-made namesake brew “Dogmud,” a dark lager which is available on draft. Other available draft beers include Colsons, Sopro Suzy B, Abita Andygator, Yuengling and Destihl Key Lime Go. The pub offers more than two dozen other beers in either cans or bottles.

Visitors can play board games from Certifiable Studios as well as games such as Catan, Splendor, Ticket to Ride, Betrayal at House on the Hill and more at gaming tables that double as dining tables. A full list of Dogmud’s available board games is available in the Games tab of the business’ website, dogmudtavern.com.

Dogmud Tavern also features gaming consoles that allow guests to play a number of one- and two-player NES and SNES games, such as Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros. 3, Galaga, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong Country, Star Fox and other 8-bit and 16-bit video games. The lounging area also showcases free-to-play arcade machines with fighting games.

Each Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Dogmud Tavern hosts Trivia Night at the Tavern. Entry costs $5 per person. Winners receive cash prizes, and drink specials are held throughout the weekly event.

Dogmud Tavern (681 S. Pear Orchard Road, Ridgeland) is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to midnight. For more information, call 601-499-4932 or visit dogmudtavern.com.

A’HA Donuts & More


A’HA Donuts & More offers a full menu of food options beyond donuts. Photo courtesy A’HA Donuts & More

Madison resident Frank Phann held a grand opening for his new donut shop, A’HA Donuts & More (3086 Highway 80 W., Pearl), in Pearl on Friday, May 7, following a soft opening in January 2021.

The shop is located inside a building that formerly housed Planet Donut, which a friend of Phann’s owned. Phann renovated the building’s kitchen so that A’HA could be more than just a donut shop, he says.

In addition to fresh-baked donuts all day, A’HA offers items such as wagyu or surf and turf burgers, extreme A’HA chicken biscuits and gravy, po-boys, hot wings, Philly cheese steak, chicken sandwiches, fried rice with chicken, beef or shrimp, weekly rotating breakfast specials and more.

“’A’HA’ means ‘food’ in my home country of Cambodia, and I chose the name both for that and because I want people coming here to have their own ‘aha’ moment whenever they try the food,” Phann says. “I have had a passion for food for a long time, and I knew that people in Pearl would love to have quality donuts and burgers without having to drive all the way out to somewhere like Madison for them. I want people craving that kind of thing to be able to come to us.”

For more information, call 601-932-2175 or visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Coco’s Multi-Culti at Cultivation Food Hall

Madison resident Cloe Sumrall opened a fusion restaurant called Coco’s Multi-Culti in Cultivation Food Hall in Jackson on Monday, May 17.

The menu at Coco’s includes loaded hummus, miso ramen bowls, polish dogs, Thai coconut soup, pork belly BLTs, shrimp rolls, turkey and pear paninis, blueberry grilled cheese, smoked salmon toast and more.

“I’ve loved working with food ever since my grandparents would let me join them in the kitchen as a kid, and I even have my own garden for growing fresh food and seasonal items,” Sumrall says.

“I’ve been following Cultivation Food Hall ever since it opened and wanted to bring something to it that had a southern flair along with flavors you might not ordinarily find in restaurants here.”

Sumrall previously served as a member of the management team for Cultivation and worked as a cook at the food hall’s Americana and Yo Mama’s restaurants.

Coco’s Multi-Culti is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is closed on Sundays. For more information, call 601-487-5196 or visit cultivationfoodhall.com/cocos.

Lost Pizza and El Potro at Outlets of Mississippi

Two new food vendors, Lost Pizza and El Potro Mexican Bar & Grill, opened inside the food court at the Outlets of Mississippi in early June.

Lost Pizza offers fresh-ingredient pizza, Mississippi Delta hot tamales, chicken wings, craft bottled beers and more. Mississippi Magazine has voted the establishment as “Best Pizza in Mississippi” for six years in a row.

El Potro Mexican Bar & Grill offers authentic Mexican dishes such as fajitas, taco salads, burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas and more. The restaurant’s owners have been in business in Mississippi since 1995.

For store hours and other information, visit outletsofms.com/brands.

District Donuts Coming to Belhaven

The Belhaven Town Center recently announced that New Orleans-based District Donuts Sliders Brew will take over the space that formerly housed Campbell’s Craft Donuts during summer 2021.

In addition to scratch-made donuts, District Donuts offers sandwiches made from locally sourced ingredients and small-batch roasted coffee.The Jackson restaurant will be the seventh district location, with others in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Las Vegas.

District Donuts’ new location is at the corner of Manship and North Jefferson streets in Belhaven.The restaurant will include indoor dining and outdoor patio seating. The Belhaven Town Center is currently renovating the space ahead of District’s arrival, which is set for mid-July.

For more information on the Belhaven Town Center, visit belhaventowncenter.com. For more information on District Donuts, visit districtdonuts.com.

Hattie’s Chicken and Waffles Opens in Jackson

Carlton Brown, a Jackson-born resident of Houston, Texas, plans to open a new restaurant in south Jackson called

Hattie’s Chicken and Waffles, LLC (1675 University Blvd.) by July 23.

Brown named the restaurant in honor of his grandmother, Hattie McCullough, who passed away in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to chicken and waffles, the menu at Hattie’s will include chicken sandwiches and chicken tenders in original or Nashville Hot flavors, fries, greens, macaroni and cheese, honey rolls and Rap Snacks chips. The restaurant will have a patio as well as a drive-thru and curbside service.

For more information, call 601-260-7403.

Know of a restaurant that opened in 2021 that isn’t included on this list? Email [email protected] with the tips!

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