You might expect that a business like Hey Joe’s that specializes in burgers, live original music and a large draft beer selection would be a hit with the younger crowd including students from Delta State University. But Hey Joe’s has fans of all ages.
“We had a lady celebrate her 90th birthday here the other day,” said owner Justin Huerta.
Instead of just describing the restaurant’s unique burger styles, take a look at its Facebook page. A burger dripping with mushroom and vegetables is featured on its cover photo, and further down the page the Miss March photo shows another unusual take on the burger theme.
Each month Hey Joe’s has a specialty burger named after the month. In addition to burgers, other food favorites include fish tacos with homemade taco seasoning, fresh pico de gallo and shredded romaine lettuce served on six-inch tortillas and the who dat sandwich with grilled andouille sausage, roasted red peppers, grilled onions, fried jalapenos and fried pickles topped with pepper jack cheese and spicy brown mustard.
Gyros and salads are popular. Huerta’s personal favorites are the knuckle sandwich and the Delta Cuban. Their top-selling burgers are the terminator, nirvana and kevin bacon.
Hey Joe’s Facebook page, which has nearly 2,000 “likes,” keeps fans up with not just special food offerings, but also upcoming musical performances and other activities. And there are news posts like a cheers to Mississippi for recently adopting a new craft beer law allowing more diversity in beers brewed in the state.
“Today, the governor of the great State of Mississippi signed the “Raise Your Pints” bill into law,” the Hey Joe’s Facebook comment for April 9 states. “The bill raises the permissible alcohol content in beer from five percent to eight percent and will take effect July 1st.”
Huerta got the inspiration for Hey Joe’s from some clubs he liked in big cities around the country. Then he modified it to fit into a Delta style.
Hey Joe’s participates in events sponsored by the non-profit group “Keep Cleveland Boring (KCB),” a tongue-in-cheek effort that includes events such as multiple bands playing through the day and evening and even movies such as “Land,” a 50-minute movie by Delta Native Will Goss that was shown recently. KCB mission is not to literally “keep Cleveland boring,” but instead do the opposite by working to highlight the numerous entertainment options, especially those that feature local, original talent.
“Every Tuesday night KCB rotates events such as open mic, comedy night, movie night or “locool” band night,” Huerta said. “KCB also does other events such as pub crawls, and two festivals a year.”
Hey Joe’s is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with later hours on weekends when bands are playing. In addition to the live music, another popular event is trivia with Kirkham on Wednesday nights.
Being located right off the square in downtown Cleveland is a big advantage for Hey Joe’s and its customers.
“Downtown is great,” Huerta said. “There is always something going on in this town. Everyone should have a business in downtown Cleveland.”
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