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Small Business Spotlight: Vince’s Restaurant

A 24-hour café called Vince’s that served Leland’s railroad travelers in the 1920s inspired the creation of a restaurant in the same location with the same name — minus the all-night hours.

“I’m just glad we’re not open 24 hours,” said co-owner and chef Will Gault.

Gault, Cheri Clark and property owner Joe Robert Campbell own the restaurant that draws clientele from across the Delta and that helped spawn the rebirth of downtown Leland.

The trio opened the restaurant, which serves steaks, seafood and pasta, in November 2009. Campbell’s family owned the original café in the building. Later, the building was a liquor store, and Clark, Gault and Roberts took care to restore the property to its original grandeur.

“These buildings are so neat, it’s a shame to see them just sitting there,” Gault said. “So it was great to be able to bring this building back to life.”

The space’s original marble floors with brass inlays, tin ceilings and brick and plaster walls were preserved, while a custom bar and curtained booths were added.

“Our booths are a hot commodity,” Clark said. “People call a week ahead and say, ‘Book me a booth.’”

Popular dishes at Vince’s Restaurant are the Andouille-encrusted redfish, pan-seared duck breast and ribeyes. The white chocolate bread pudding is another favorite and was created by Gault, who was formerly the executive chef at Gardenia’s in Greenwood.

The opening of the downtown restaurant was met with immediate success, the owners said.

“We were turning people away almost nightly,” Clark said. “The first night we opened they descended upon us — we were so surprised.”

The popularity led to an expansion that tripled the space.

“Opening night was huge, and it hasn’t slacked up since, so we’ve been very blessed,” said Clark, who is said to run Leland’s Main Street from one end to the other (She’s also the owner of Hobnob, an art gallery and gift shop).

The success of the art gallery and restaurant has spurred downtown Leland’s rejuvenation. The owners cited the projects downtown like the Leland Progress, Studio 61, a new diner and a retail shop as evidence of the rebirth of the small town.

“All of a sudden there is all this excitement downtown,” Clark said. “And we’re proud to be a part of that.”

The kitchen at Vince’s Restaurant is open from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and reservations are recommended.

Vince’s Restaurant

Where: 207 North Main Street, Leland

Number: (662) 686-2112

Web: www.facebook.com/vincesleland

Hours: Thursday through Sunday 5:30 p.m. until 12:00 a.m.

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