Labor Day weekend is synonymous with football, and tailgating is just as synonymous with the sport as is the holiday.
In Jackson County Friday night, there are a pair of big match-ups in prep football between “Southern Six” squads as D’Iberville travels to Gautier and Pascagoula heads to Hurley to face East Central.
And then, on Saturday, it’s the first full weekend of college football action, meaning over the next two days there will be tons of time for both pre-game meals and tailgating action.
And there’s no better place in South Mississippi that features both elements of a sit-down pre-game meal or tailgate products than Scranton’s Restaurant and Catering on Delmas Ave. in Pascagoula.
This week’s “Tales from the Tailgate” looks back on the times when Pascagoula native Jimmy Buffett returned home to visit one of his favorite eating spots in his hometown.
And what better weekend to do it, since Buffett himself once penned the words “Heading up to San Francisco, for the Labor Day weekend show…” in his hit song “Come Monday”.
Just six years ago, in an interview with Garden & Gun magazine, Buffett lauded Scranton’s as one of his favorite spots to frequent when he travels the Gulf Coast.
In an excerpt from his interview with the magazine, Buffett gave praise to Scranton’s restaurant and bar and the type of experience they provide.
“I played in Pascagoula a couple months ago, and we used Scranton’s as our de-facto head-quarters,” said Buffett, whose grandfather, the inspiration for his song “The Captain and the Kid,” lived on Parsley Street in Pascagoula along with Buffett’s grandmother for many years. “Scranton’s has been here as long as I can remember. You can see the Pascagoula River there.” Don’t expect to run into many other A-listers, though. Scranton’s, which serves regional standards like red beans and rice and spicy shrimp gumbo in a one-time downtown firehouse, is a hangout for sand-between-their-toes locals.”
Richard Chenoweth, co-owner of Scranton’s said that Buffett is a great friend of the establishment and said part of the reason he thinks Buffett frequents Scranton’s is because of how he is treated like a regular customer. Buffett also used Scranton’s and The Grand Magnolia as a sort of headquarters when he and McAnally played the Buffett Bridge dedication on the Pascagoula beach in s015.
“Jimmy is a friend of ours and I’m glad he said what he said, but we are not trying to take advantage of his friendship,” Chenoweth said. “Every time he comes, we have a good time and that is what I am most happy about. When he stops by, besides the atmosphere, I think he enjoys when people leave him alone and he can be himself.”
Buffett has been known to make his own “Pascagoula Run” quite often, as he joined his old friend Mac McAnally for a show a sold-out show at The Grand Magnolia in early January of 2017 and was also stopped off at Scranton’s just a few years earlier in 2014. Buffett was in New Orleans attending a New Orleans Saints game on a Sunday and rented a car with longtime friend Franz Hanning and drove from the Big Easy down Highway 90 and into Jackson County and had lunch at Scranton’s in Pascagoula. Hanning is also a Pascagoula native and is the brother-in-law of Scranton’s other co-owner Jack Pickett.
“I got a call about 10 Sunday night that they might be coming,” Chenoweth said. “They were supposed to be there at 11, and I didn’t tell anyone but my daughter Amy (the then manager of Scranton’s) and I didn’t tell her until right around 11. They walked in about 10 minutes later.”
You can visit www.scrantons.com for all the details of your next pre-game meal or tailgate affair. Just like Jimmy Buffett does at times.