Great Burgers at New Albany’s Bankhead Bicycle Club


At one time, finding anything other than fast food was something of a challenge in New Albany, Mississippi. While upscale eateries opened in Oxford, Tupelo and even Como, New Albany was largely behind, but that has recently begun to change, around the time that the Tanglefoot Trail was opened for hiking and biking, spawning a coffee bar and eventually redevelopment of New Albany’s downtown.
The Bankhead Bicycle Club takes its name from New Albany’s main business street, Bankhead, named for an Alabama senator who was instrumental in getting Highway 78 built between Memphis and Birmingham (the famous actress Tallulah Bankhead was the daughter of the senator in question). On our recent visit, despite the late hour, the place was fairly crowded, including a large group that were visiting the area from North Carolina. The restaurant offers both pizzas and hamburgers, but we opted for burgers and were fairly impressed. I opted for the BBC Bomber, a burger with white cheddar and crumbled maple bacon, which provided a degree of sweetness. It came on a square ciabatta bun, and was quite delicious, as were the french fries that came with it. My friend ordered the same , and said she was pleased as well. Service was prompt and efficient, and the fairly-dark surroundings were comfortable and pleasant. An after-dinner key lime pie dessert was the perfect ending to the evening. Bankhead Bicycle Club will definitely see us again.

Bankhead Bicycle Club
108 W Bankhead St
New Albany, MS 38652
(662) 534-6565
https://www.facebook.com/Bankhead-Bicycle-Club-1674213326145540/

Great Lattes at AC's Coffee in New Albany, Mississippi @AC_COFFEE


Great espresso-based drinks are not always easy to come by in Northeast Mississippi, so I was thrilled when I heard about the new AC’s Coffee in New Albany. The attractive little coffee house is located at the head of the new Tanglefoot Trail, a walking and biking trail from New Albany to Pontotoc that follows the right-of-way of the old Kentucky, Ripley and Ship Island Railroad built by Colonel William Falkner (whose son would add a “u” to his name and become a famous writer). On my brief stop at AC’s, I tried a breve latte, and was quite pleased, and was told that they also have frappes, some baked goods, and occasionally live music as well. AC’s has an address on South Railroad Avenue, but there is actually no such street, although it appears on maps. It fronts onto the Tanglefoot Trail, a block south of Bankhead Street, and can best be accessed by parking on Bankhead or North Railroad, and walking down the Tanglefoot Trail until you see the coffeehouse on your left.

AC’s Coffee
102 S Railroad Av
New Albany, MS 38652
(662) 534-2111
http://www.acscoffeena.com

Old and New in New Houlka, MS


Houlka, Mississippi, in Chickasaw County, was one of the first settlements in North Mississippi, and was the site of an Indian Agency. It thrived early, but when Colonel William Falkner (grandfather of the novelist) built his Kentucky, Ripley and Ship Island railroad through the area, the coming of rails had an adverse effect on Houlka, as it did in so many other Mississippi towns of the era. But whereas the railroads usually led to new towns with different names that eclipsed and decimated the old ones, Houlka was a little different, in that the townspeople seemed to have moved the whole town from its old site to a new one near the railroad. The odd result was what became a sort of schizophrenic town, as the post office name remained Houlka, Mississippi, but the incorporated town became known as the City of New Houlka, and that dualism remains today. Of course, nowadays, New Houlka is itself quite old, and many of its downtown buildings are in need of renovation, but the coming of the Tanglefoot recreational trail along the former railroad right of way is expected to bring at least some tourism to the area. I was especially intrigued by the Chickasaw County Schools administration building, which at first look I took to be a former courthouse, although I never knew Houlka to have ever been the county seat. The only information I could find online suggests that perhaps the building was originally a school. It is quite ornate and beautiful, and it dominates the hill just east of the downtown area.