Babalu Tacos & Tapas adds to Overton Square

June 12th, 2014        —        Babalu Tacos & Tapas, Eat Here, News

In the 1970s, Bill Latham worked as a waiter in Jackson, Miss., at the TGI Fridays restaurant there, one of the first few locations of the chain.

As a measure of how full circle his career has come, he and his partners in the restaurant holding company Eat Here Brands are preparing to open Babalu Tacos & Tapas next week at Overton Square, in space once home to a TGI Fridays.

It’s not their first effort in Memphis. The company’s properties also include Interim Restaurant & Bar in East Memphis, and bringing Babalu – the original location is in Jackson, Miss. – to Memphis reflects the partners’ assessment of the strong market here.

“We love Memphis. It’s a good restaurant town,” said Latham, whose partners include Ned Lidvall, Al Roberts and Mike Stack.

Babalu, recently listed by “Thrillist” in a piece called “Why you need to care about Jackson, Mississippi’s Food and Drink Scene,” is opening June 16 at 2113 Madison Ave. Latham estimated it’ll have 90 to 100 employees, and the restaurant – which recently hit a record sales week in Jackson – will have features like an open kitchen and will rely heavily on fresh, local ingredients.

“It won’t look exactly the same as the one in Jackson, but you’re definitely going to know you’re in a Babalu,” Latham said.

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