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Looking for Gold: Wyatt Earp’s makes the move to Millington’s main stripe

By Thomas Sellers Jr.
BUS Wyatt Earp's renovation

Wyatt Earp's owner Adam Kelley poses outside the future Millington home of his business. Last week he finalized the deal on the El Mezcal building on Highway 51.

Wyatt Earp’s owner Adam Kelley poses outside the future Millington home of his business. Last week he finalized the deal on the El Mezcal building on Highway 51.

BUS Wyatt Earp's exteriorBack in the Old West, the population seem to explode where gold was found.
In the past 14 months the city of Millington has seen a increase in foot- and motor-traffic along Highway 51 with new restaurants like Zaxby’s, Hardee’s, Huey’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and more coming to town. Now the latest ‘piece of gold’ to the OK Corral of Eateries will be… Wyatt Earp’s.
“Millington is like Boom Town for restaurants right now,” Wyatt Earp’s owner Adam Kelley said. “Great lunch community. So we’ll be doing $10 plate lunches. We’ll be doing a lunch special everyday Monday through Friday. We’ll be open 7 days a week.”
Wyatt Earp’s is ready to draw its line in the dirt at the former El Mezcal location of 8834 Highway 51 North.
“I was actually interested in the Applebee’s building,” Kelley acknowledged. “So I went down there and talked to him (the owner). They quoted me the price per month. So it’s still sitting there empty. I talked to another broker and inquired about this. I wanted to be on the highway.”
Kelley closed the deal early last week and started renovations to transform the former Mexican-themed restaurant to Western inspired upscale barn.
Kelley’s vision is coming to Flag City after he opened the first location at 120 Quinton Drive in Munford six years and two months ago. Then Wyatt Earp’s expanded to Covington at 102 East Liberty on the Square.
With the move to Millington, the Munford location will close.
“Millington has been treating us good,” Kelley said. “But at our current location in Munford, we don’t pull a lot of Millington. People just don’t tend to drive North. People drive more South around here.
“I’m hoping I get enough Millington crowd that a lot of my Tipton County crowd goes to Covington,” he added. “When I opened that business, I split my business. I doubled my bills and split my business.”
Like the restaurant’s namesake, Wyatt Earp’s is taking a gamble with the move to Millington. Kelley said his business motto and past performances have in confident in his decision to bring his promise of “We’ll have you in and out with a home-cook meal within 30,” to Millington.
It was years ago Kelley bought Doc Hollidays and transformed that establishment known for steak and spirits into Wyatt Earp’s.
“They owed so much money on that name that I could not keep that name,” he recalled. “So I said, ‘Who was Doc Hollidays best friend? Wyatt Earp.’
“We’re a steakhouse,” he said. “It’s all hand-cut steak. I have a chef with more than 30 years of experience. He’ll be heading up this kitchen. It’s pretty much all down-home Southern food with a little up-twist on it.”
The steak sizes range from 18 oz to the 8 oz Festes, the most popular item on the menu. Steak choices include the Gun Slinger and Billy the Kid.
“For the lunches, we’ll have greens, mashed potatoes with gravy, macaroni and cheese, white beans, chicken and dumplings, fried green beans.”
“It’s always been family oriented but we finally got over that stigma from Doc Holliday,” Kelley said. “This is 100 percent family restaurant that is family-owned and family-operated. When people hear the name Wyatt Earp’s, they should be excited.”
Family has always driven the former active Marine Kelley. He served from 1996 to 2000. After his time in the Military, Kelley focused his main attention to raising his twin daughters Alisa and Alexis.
Now the girls are 22-years-old and in school. They help with the business along with Kelley’s wife Pam.
Family, friends and the community have supported Wyatt Earp’s for more than 6 years. As the eatery keeps the memory of Holliday and Earp alive, Kelley wants Wyatt Earp’s to be standing town when the dusk settles at Tombstone… Millington.
“What I want is just a lot of happy customers,” Kelley concluded. “ It’s more about a happy customer than trying to make all my money back off one person. I want to give them great service and a quality meal without costing them an arm and leg.”
The Millington Wyatt Earp’s is scheduled to open in early March. For more information, call (901) 837-7725.

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