An Oxford bar that continues its commitment to serve farm raised goods and locally produced items recently reformulated its house shot.
“I think it’s really important for a bar to have a house shot,” said Lindsay Mattis, restaurant and bar manager. “We don’t hold back on our customers. We give them a real shot.”
Locals opened in January of 2014 on the Square. Mattis said Locals is special. “It’s not just a place to come and eat or drink,” she said. “This is a place where we want people to feel welcomed when they walk in.”
Before Locals, Mattis worked at a bar off the Square. It wasn’t the right fit, so when Locals opened, she saw an ad on social media and applied. She said Locals has evolved to fit the need of customers.
“We have migrated away from a more restaurant menu to a more bar-focused menu to accommodate the younger crowd,” Mattis said. “We offer so much. That’s what makes us different. We cater to everyone, and our food selection is all over the place.”
Locals also gives back locally. The restaurant is involved in percentage nights for charities like RebelTHON. Their food comes from a company called Woodridge Farms, an Oxford-based farm that supplies fresh foods. This allows them to have a specials menu that revolves around the seasons.
At night, the restaurant is turned into a bar that features a beer pong table. Magnolia Wine and Spirits off Jackson Avenue supplies the alcohol.
“If we did anything different, it would be counterintuitive to our name,” said Mattis. “By supporting local businesses, it helps keep the money in the community and, in turn, will help our restaurant, and the people we buy from grow.”
The staple of Locals is the community. “I love our regulars, but it’s more than that,” she said. “We want Locals to be a place where you feel welcomed as soon as you walk in. This is a place where we get to know your name. And it’s not just the adults in the community. With all the catering we do, we get to meet a lot of students. When they come to the bar at night, we already know them. It creates a fun environment.
Kyle Luiken, a student at the University of Mississippi, and a former bouncer at Locals, said he made a lot of connections in his former job. “The people I got to talk to always came back because they knew it was a good atmosphere,” he said. “They would just come to talk because they got to know everyone.”
Kyle said his favorite thing on the menu is shrimp and grits. “I don’t even like grits,” he said. “It’s a real testament to the food and chef.”