FOUNDER, EAT HERE Brands LLC
• Managing Partner, LR Restaurants, dba Table 100, Babalu Tacos & Tapas, Interim Restaurant
• Managing Partner, Five Guys Franchise, MS, dba LR Burgers
• Former Chief Executive Officer, Amerigo Restaurant Corporation, dba Amerigo Italian Restaurant, and Char Restaurant
Bill Latham learned the restaurant business from the ground up, starting as a waiter for TGI Friday’s in Jackson, Mississippi. Within six months of taking his first order at TGI Friday’s, he was promoted to head waiter. Within a month, he was selected to be an assistant in the company’s management training program.
Since completing that training program, Latham has gone on to develop six restaurants and has purchased and reorganized three additional restaurants.
In 1977, when he was only 26 years old, Latham purchased his first restaurant, Scrooge’s Olde English Pub in Jackson. At the time of purchase, though Scrooge’s had been operating for five years, Latham was faced with low sales and exorbitant food and liquor costs. In only 10 months, Latham cut both food and liquor costs without sacrificing quality or service, and in turn, the restaurant’s gross doubled. Latham opened the first Scrooge’s franchise eight years later in Natchez, MS.
In 1982, Latham partnered with Chef Bernard Sarme to purchase and invigorate Sundancer Restaurant, an already popular establishment. Under their direction, Sundancer grew from popular to critically praised, touted by the epicurean press for its fresh seafood and continental and regional cuisine. And, thus, its reputation spread across the southeast region. In 1984, Sundancer was recognized as “Best in Service,” “Best Wine List,” and “Best Restaurant Rated” in Jackson – to name a few. After four years of unmatched excellence, Latham sold the restaurant in order to concentrate on the expansion of Amerigo.
Latham next ventured into American-Italian fare. In 1987, he and his partner Al Roberts conceived Amerigo. The moderately priced restaurant quickly found a loyal following in Jackson. By 2000, the partners had added new locations in Nashville, Memphis, and Brentwood, Tenn., as well as Atlanta.
Latham and Roberts followed with the introduction of a Chicago-style steakhouse called Char that quickly took Jackson by storm.
In December of 2006, the partners sold both Amerigo and Char. They currently hold interest in Interim, a popular Memphis restaurant, and they are franchisees for Five Guys Burgers and Fries for the state of Mississippi.
Babalu was created and opened by Latham and Roberts in December of 2010 and is located in an old school building in the historic Fondren district of Jackson. This fun, hip, funky taco and tapas restaurant takes the dining experience to the next level. Every item on the menu, down to the individual taco shell, is made daily and the guacamole is prepared tableside. The bar carries the finest tequila, and all drinks served are prepared from scratch using the best and freshest ingredients – just like the food. Babalu is what Latham does best: having the best, freshest ingredients at the center of a unique and authentic dining experience.
The newest creation by Latham and Roberts is Table 100 Restaurant and Bar in Flowood, Miss. Table 100 is an upscale casual dining restaurant and piano bar with a turn-of-the-century New Orleans feel and a chef-created, Euro-American bistro fare menu.