by Andi Agnew
When you step out onto the street in Fondren, more than likely the first scent to hit your nose is that of Rooster’s grilled burgers and fried chicken. The family-owned business anchors the Fondren Corner building and has been serving up hand-pattied burgers, fresh fried chicken sandwiches and salads there for ten years.
Tim Glenn opened the original Rooster’s downtown on Roach Street, right across from the Mayflower’s back kitchen door. His son and heir to the family business, Nathan Glenn, still remembers the original address: “111 Roach Street… we were there for about 15 years,” he says.
Through the years, Rooster’s moved around the metro area before settling in Fondren in 2004. Nathan originally moved Rooster’s to Fondren because of the hospital community, but says the changes that have taken place in the neighborhood over the last decade have been “remarkable,” and definitely good for business.
Business has really been booming since the recent decision to consolidate the Belhaven location of Basil’s, the Glenns’ pizza and panini restaurant, to the Fondren Corner building, opposite Rooster’s. Now patrons have more options when visiting either restaurant. “If you want to get a cold beer and a burger from Rooster’s, you can. Or, if you want to take a Basil’s pizza into the Rooster’s dining room, you can. It gives people more options and is good for families,” Nathan says.
Rooster’s/Basil’s is truly a family-owned and run business. While Tim Glenn is mostly retired, his wife Kathy serves as operations manager. Nathan is chef and owner, Nathan’s wife Megan is Chief Financial Officer, and Nathan’s sister Ashley Laskin and her husband are preparing to open and manage the family’s newest venture, The Feathered Cow, located in the old Olga’s location on the I-55 North frontage road.
Each October for the last few years, Rooster’s has celebrated its anniversary by rolling back menu prices to the original 1984 rates. This year, for the 30th anniversary, Glenn says they will try something different. “Beef prices skyrocketed in the last couple of years, so we just really couldn’t do it at those prices anymore. We would basically be giving the food away.” So the family talked it over and decided to literally give the food away. “It’s going to be a huge event. We’ll do freebies and take donations, and find a worthy cause to donate the proceeds to.” Giving back to the community that has made the restaurant so successful for three decades seems like the perfect way to celebrate.
Visit Rooster’s at 2906 North State Street, Monday – Saturday, for lunch or dinner. Glenn and neighbor, Sneaky Beans’ Byron Knight, will host the State Street Concert Series, Friday, September 19, in front of their business, featuring Nashville’s Alanna Royale.