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McCormick’s set to open at the Ole Miss Inn this weekend

The Ole Miss football season officially begins on Saturday and with this comes the anticipated opening of McCormick’s at the Ole Miss Inn.

Announced back in December, the Ole Miss Alumni Association is ready to open its door to the first restaurant and bar located on the University of Mississippi’s campus this weekend.

Located inside the on-campus hotel, McCormick’s turned the 2,000 square-foot space that once served as a breakfast-only area for guests into a new nightlife and pregame destination.

The restaurant and bar were scheduled to open at the end of May, following the 2020 spring semester, until the COVID-19 pandemic hit Mississippi in mid-March.

Despite a pandemic, progress on the renovation project was not affected too much.

“We pretty much stayed on track,” said Ole Miss Alumni Association executive director, Kirk Purdom. “There were some issues like you find with any construction project where you have to fix some things that were done in the previous construction project from when they built the (hotel) tower. It never goes as quick as you think it’s going to.”

Nearly all of McCormick’s is completed and ready for customers this weekend. The only thing still missing is the custom bar top that is being designed by Ben Napier, star of HGTV’s “Home Town” and an alumnus of Ole Miss.

Napier had to wait for the tree that he used to cut out the bar top then wait for it to properly cure. Napier is expected to deliver the finished bar top sometime next week to be installed in time for the Alabama game on Oct. 10.

“It really turned out exactly how we wanted,” Purdom said. “The final product is great. They’ve been (testing) breakfast and lunch back in the kitchen for the last few weeks.”

The menu at McCormick’s will be simple, featuring appetizers, burgers and sandwiches. Breakfast will continue to be offered to guests in the new space.

The restaurant and bar got its name from David and Susan McCormick, who donated money to the project to have the space named after them nearly 11 ago and Purdom intended to keep the newly-renovated space named after them.

With the COVID-19 restrictions in place, McCormick’s will be able to accommodate up to 50 people at one time.

“I think the biggest issue is going to be in the morning with breakfast and stuff, but it shouldn’t be a big issue,” Purdom said. “With an 11 o’clock game on Saturday, everybody wants to stay Friday night and then they want to leave on Saturday. It definitely will help (with crowding), not that we want it that way. It will make it easier to manage that.”

The Alumni Association will not be doing their Members Only area on game days this year due to COVID-19 restrictions on indoor gatherings and with tailgating being prohibited in The Grove, at least at the start of the 2020 season.

McCormick’s will be open at 6 a.m. on Saturday for breakfast and then open up for lunch at 11 a.m., but will stay open through 10 a.m. while the restaurant switches over to lunch. With Saturday’s game a morning kickoff, Purdom said McCormick’s is anticipated to close at 4 p.m., but the hours will change each home game depending what time Ole Miss plays.