Cypress Inn has new owner, potential new future

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Savannah Denton

A longtime Tuscaloosa staple may be getting some new life after closing the doors of its restaurant several years ago. The Cypress Inn Restaurant, located on Rice Mine Road with gorgeous views of the Black Warrior River, spent decades as one of the most popular restaurants in Tuscaloosa since its 1984 opening.

But in the past few years, only the Cypress Inn Pavilion next door has been open for parties, weddings and the like.

On Tuesday, the Tuscaloosa City Council approved new owner Jeffery Harless’ request for a liquor license. Does that mean there are reopening plans?

It might just be on the menu.

“One of the most frequently asked questions I get is ‘will it ever reopen’? ‘Is it ever coming back’?” said Tuscaloosa City Council President Kip Tyner. “We were thrilled (Tuesday) to be able to give an alcohol license to not only the pavilion, which has been operating, but also the restaurant itself, under new ownership.”

That’s excellent news for a population still craving the restaurant’s famous Shrimp Cypress Inn alongside other delectable favorites.

“I’m so excited,” said resident Anita Rushing. “I was on the Riverwalk the other day and wondered when someone was going to open it up.”

For others, a potential reopening could mean a fresh take on fun family traditions.

“We always had a large group of family and we always went there,” said resident Wendy Wallace. “I’m excited to hear them coming back to Tuscaloosa.”

Harless said he bought the property in February and told WVUA 23 News he wants to reopen the restaurant but is still searching for the right people who can execute his vision and carry on the Cypress Inn’s legacy.


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