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Lisa and Steve Beagles

Doe’s replicating its steak and tamales formula


The original Doe’s Eat Place on Nelson Street in Greenville.


Doe’s Eat Place made a name for itself by keeping it simple.

And in this 75th year for the Greenville steaks and tamales eatery, it continues to prove that an original can be replicated.

Two franchises will be opened in metro Jackson, making 10 thus far in four states, according to Charles Signa, president of Doe’s Inc.

One will take over the space formerly occupied by Beagle Bagel in the Promenade Shopping Center on County Line Road in Ridgeland.

Steve Beagles and wife Lisa Beagles targets the opening for Feb. 1.

The couple, who moved from Charlotte, N.C., to the area seven years ago, have since retired from corporate management – he with Entergy Nuclear and she with AT&T.

Meantime, he says they fell in love with Mississippi and decided to look for a retirement business, deciding they had “landed in paradise,” which would be a good place to raise their two girls, now in the third and sixth grades, respectively.

They looked at 100 businesses and subjected 20 to intense vetting, he said.

During their search, “the city of Ridgeland said, ‘We want you to meet the Signas,’” Steve Beagles said.

They did, and the warmth of the Signa family sold them on a Doe’s, he said.

“We pretty much didn’t want to be with Applebee’s or Chile’s,” he said, adding that he did not mean that as criticism of those chains.

The couple visited some of the Doe’s franchises, and discovered that some have added to the simple Signa formula of steaks, tamales, shrimp, salad and chili, Beagles said.

But the Doe’s on County Line Road will have “exactly what [customers] expect from the original,” he said.

And why not? The Signas have been recognized by prestigious magazines such as Bon Appetit and by the James Beard Foundation, which selected Doe’s the winner of its American Classic Award in 2007.

The other new franchise will be in the former space for the Swain Automotive body shop in Florence on Highway 49. Efforts to talk with franchisee Niles Swain were unsuccessful.

Two more franchises are in the works, one in Jonesboro, Ark., and the other in Springfield, Mo., Signa said.

The Springfield restaurant will be reopening after a franchise holder retired and couldn’t find someone to run it, Signa said.

The original Doe’s, which is still operating, was opened in 1941 in a grocery that the Signa family owned.

The second Doe’s was licensed in Little Rock in 1988 and is still selling steaks and tamales. It was one of former President Bill Clinton’s favorite dining spots.

“With our know-how and our want-to, we decided that we would pursue different avenues in the business, and have met a lot of good people in doing it,” said Signa, 43, a third-generation member of the business.


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About Jack Weatherly


  1. My Dad sold his garden tomatoes to Doe’s in the early 60’s. I recall him parking out front, carrying the bag of maters in, and coming out with tamales in what I believe was a can that previously held cane syrup. Life in the Delta!
    BTW, wasn’t there a N. Jackson franchise several years back?

  2. I really feel sorry for these nice people. They sound like the kind of people who really add to the community but they are about to go broke. That location will attract clientele that won’t tip and their waitstaff will quickly go down hill. When the new employees friends show up it will be over. I give it till December 2017. I would tell them to try and move to a better location if at all possible. God bless you for trying but it is commercial suicide.

  3. I can’t wait for Doe’s to open in Ridgeland!!! I have no doubt that Doe’s will do just fine!! Congratulations to this couple for bringing another great restaurant to this area. I wish them the best and look forward to a great Doe’s steak in the near future and for many years to come!! Oh and to John, you obviously know nothing about the restaurant business. It has more to do with great food and great service than location. Should I name a few as examples: Tico’s (County Line Road), Shapley’s (off of County Line Road), Little Tokyo (in the same center as Doe’s) and if you have ever been to the original Doe’s, you would know that location has very little to do with a great restaurant.

  4. Vanessa Warner

    I know the Beagles personally and they will make this business a very successful one. People travel from all over the region to visit the original Doe’s, so I have no doubt they will draw in a great crowd in Ridgeland. I am looking forward to Doe’s opening day and “John’s” shock over the great success it will have!

  5. Thank you so much for bringing Doe’s to Jackson!!! Everyone is so excited to have them in town, no more long drives to Greenville for the best tamale’s in the south!!! The location of the restaurant is not a factor as this is a destination restaurant. Those who know Doe’s will come and those who don’t will hear and want to come too!!!

  6. VivIan McDonagh

    Doe’s could not be in better hands The Beagles are a class act coupled with smart business sense and compassion to the community they are a part of. Like many, the original Doe’s was part of my past. As an adult, I am looking forward to Doe’s in Ridgeland being a part of both mine and my children’s future. Make my reservations!

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