Coopertown Café Brookhaven brothers open blues eatery in Hattiesburg
Mississippi blues and good ole’ comfort food just seem to go hand-in-hand. They certainly go well together at Coopertown Café, a restaurant located in Hattiesburg, run by native Brookhaven brothers, Cameron and Doyce Cleckler.
“We come from a culinary family,” said owner, Cameron Cleckler.
Their grandparents, Houston and Gladys Jordan, opened The 84 Dairy Twist in the 1960s.
“It’s something I’ve always enjoyed,” said C. Clecker.
C. Cleckler has been living in Hattiesburg since the 90’s and his brother, Doyce, moved from Brookhaven when Cameron opened the restaurant on Highway 98.
“I own it. He works here for me,” said C. Cleckler.
The siblings work as managers, cooks, etc.
“We do a little bit of it all,” he said.
If you’re looking for good southern cooking, you’ll find it at Coopertown. The menu features shrimp and grits, fish tacos, voodoo chicken sandwiches, baby back ribs, chicken and waffles and much more.
“(We have) a little bit of everything,” said C. Cleckler.
They also make everything from scratch and the brothers have come up with most of the recipes.
“It’s a hodgepodge of deliciousness,” said C. Cleckler, grinning.
The café features live music every weekend, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Clecklers’ love for the blues shows in the many blues bands that play, but they have branched out to include more genres and reach more audiences. D. Cleckler is in charge of music promotions.
“We do everything from blues to The Colonels (native Brookhaven band),” said C. Cleckler.
The café features country, classic rock and other genres.
C. Cleckler said he and his brother try to look for local (Mississippi) artists.
“Our main focus is Mississippi,” he said. “To pay homage to what Mississippi has done for music and the culinary arts.”
The café features a mural that reads, “Mississippi, Birthplace of America’s Music.” Among other soulful décor is a multi-colored piano that also wears a mural.
The restaurant includes a bar.
“We wanted it to be like an old Mississippi blues joint,” said C. Cleckler.
Not only are the food and music southern, but the décor is, as well. Each tabletop displays a theme, whether it be “Gone With the Wind” or “Southern Miss.” Camp Shelby is also represented.
“Every tabletop is an original that we made ourselves,” said C. Cleckler.
The café has a casual feel. The owner described the ambience as “very laid back” and “casual dining” – the perfect atmosphere for the smooth, velvety blues.
C. Cleckler is married to Valerie Cleckler. D. Cleckler has two sons, Brandon, 16, and Zack, 11. Cameron graduated from Brookhaven High School, while Doyce graduated from Loyd Star Attendance Center.
A quote in the colorful Coopertown Café menu reads, “Food done with love by people who love food.”