Mayflower will be docking soon: Restaurant owner plans November opening

Published 5:20 pm Thursday, November 1, 2018

The rumors are true.
Owner Bobby Hodges said that the Mayflower Seafood Resturant in Elizabethton will be opening up in November.
Many dates have been flying around as to when the restaurant would open its doors, but Hodges said he doesn’t want to give an exact date as of yet, but that the business will open this month.
Mayflower Seafood is a family chain that has roughly 20 restaurants. Hodges’ father, the late George Harry Hodges, along with Hodges’ uncle, Louie Hodges, started the Mayflower Resturants in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Elizabethton location was originally opened in 1986 and is the only one in Tennessee and is the sixth in the chain to open.
Hodges said he was 14 when his father opened up the Mayflower in Elizabethton, and he still remembers traveling with his dad to get kitchen equipment. He said he feels things have come full circle.
“My dad rented a truck, and we went to Florida where he knew someone that sold restaurant equipment,” said Hodges. “He bought all of the equipment and drove it back to here. Now, its 30 years later, and I am reopening in the same location.”
When people visit the reopened business, which will employ 50 people and has enough seating to accommodate 265 guests, they will be able to enjoy familiar tastes as the menu will remain the same.
“I learned this business from my dad,” said Hodges. “I am not changing anything. The way he did the seafood breading, the shortening, the hushpuppy mix, the slaw, I haven’t changed anything. The food will be the same.”
While the food will be like the original, there will also be some familiar faces. One of those will be local Irene Paige, who worked at the restaurant when it opened in 1986.
“She worked here from day one,” said Hodges. “There is a lot of staff that were loyal to my dad. My dad had a lot of staff here that he considered family. A lot of servers that used to work here and people upfront, managers, are all coming back.”
Hodges currently lives in Rock Hill, North Carolina, and runs a restaurant in Lenior. He said, however, that once the Elizabethton location gets back up and running, that he and his family will be moving to the Carter County area.

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