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Gone fishing: Catfish Cove relocates

By Robert Flippo


The Catfish Cove restaurant on Piedmont Road has officially closed. The restaurant’s lease ended on August 15 and the owners chose not to renew the lease for another year.

Hoss Cooley, the owner of the building Catfish Cove occupied, had given the owners a year of free rent in order to help the restaurant get on its feet. However, Catfish Cove was never quite able to get its feet on solid ground. According to Cooley, the owners chose not to renew the lease because they said if they had to pay rent they would not be able to make a profit.

“Catfish Cove had great food but the people of Piedmont never supported it,” Cooley said.

Unfortunately, this was not the first restaurant unable to make it at that location. Multiple restaurants have come and gone despite Cooley’s high hopes.

“I thought it was time to bring a restaurant into Piedmont, that’s why I built it,” Cooley said.

The problem was that even though many Piedmont residents were happy to have a restaurant in town, the restaurants never received enough support to keep them profitable.

“We’ve tried for five years and that location has lost money since day one,” Cooley said.
The loss of Catfish Cove marks the end of Cooley trying to get a restaurant to work at that location. Cooley said he will be holding an auction on September 5 in order to sell all of the kitchen and restaurant equipment. Then he will have to find another business to rent t he building to. At this point, he does not have an idea of what will end up there but he does know one thing—it will not be a restaurant.

Catfish Cove may not have received enough regular business to stay profitable, but it did have its supporters who will be sad to see it go. Anyone one craving Catfish Cove will soon be able to catch them at their new location on NW Expressway between Rockwell and Macarthur.


  1. I eat in Piedmont says:

    The article seems to imply that the restaurant business in Piedmont is a losing proposition because ‘the people of Piedmont’ won’t support it. But let’s see now – we have City Stop, Doughnut Palace, Los Sabinos, Piedmont Cuisine, Sonic, Subway, and Williams Grocery deli – all of which appear to be prospering. It is obvious that ‘the people of Piedmont’ have no problem spending money and enjoying a meal at these places, so maybe it is a little presumptive to suggest that ‘the people’ are the sole reason for the history of restaurant failures in Piedmont.

  2. spork says:

    Just gotta say, the Lovely Wife and I ate there once and had really looked forward to it. $36 seemed a bit steep for a couple of drinks and a mediocre buffet for two served on styrofoam plates with plastic utensiles. Between that and business hours that seemed to me to make no sense for a restaurant trying to stay in business, the outcome is unfortunate, but not surprising. We eat at Sonic and Subway quite often – dine in and carry out. We get ribs from Williams, and have breakfast occaisionally at Piedmont Cuisine. The pigs in a blanket at the Doughnut Palace are great and the lady there is so nice. Los Sabinos after church on Sunday is always a good bet. Catfish Cove could have at least had a slice of the Sunday business if they had tried. I wish them well, but it made about as much sense as a Wine Bar in Piedmont.

  3. I Eat in Piedmont says:

    Does anyone remember this little published tidbit concerning restaurants in Piedmont?

    ‘Piedmont Gazette
    ‘City Councilman closes business, says employees were harassed’
    Aug. 12, 2011

    Chicken and Chops was permanently closed last week and co-owner Hoss Cooley says he believes sales declined as a direct result of his position on the city council.

    Ward 4 Councilman Hoss Cooley, a part owner of Chicken and Chops, said the Piedmont restaurant was recently closed after a decline in sales over the past six months. Cooley said he believes the decrease in sales was a direct result of opposition to his views on the council and that some of his employees had even been harassed.

    “Sales started to decline when this whole mess started,” Cooley said about the controversy surrounding the Williams Foods contract. “I have heard people have avoided coming to (the restaurant) and complained to our employees about this Williams deal. They had nothing to do with it.”’

  4. JT says:

    Had some friends that ate at Chicken and Chops one time and then got sick. Wife and I ate at Lefty’s and were not impressed. Never tried Catfish Cove, but I’m not surprised to see it go. I’ve always heard the restaurant business is hard and a lot of them fail.

    I wouldn’t really compare City Stop, Doughnut Palace and Williams Deli to a seafood restaurant. I agree with you though, the pigs in a blanket are excellent at Doughnut Palace and the lady always gives my kids free doughnut holes.

  5. Kate Kearby says:

    I like Los Sabinos, Piedmont cuisine isn’t bad, they are both I believe family run and family works there, and many come in from out of town to work there. even though not in Piedmont Timber Lodge also crashed? why? Eating at home a lot more cause I’m a good cook and it’s faster and cheaper. I don’t consider the other ‘eating places’ mentioned above restaurants . Would be nice to have a BBQ or Italian real family place in town. if there’s enough rooftops to support it. Catfish Cove did have an after church time open, I went several Sunday afternoons. loved the salad bar and ice cream.

  6. Concerned says:

    Went to Catsfish Cove twice. It was all frozen food that was fried or canned vegetables that were heated up. Their little salad bar didn’t cut it either. It was good for what it was but unless you’re just into eating large quanities of food there really wasn’t a reason to go back a third time.

  7. mildly interested says:

    Will there ever be enough roof tops?

  8. john says:

    Location, location, location…….. Many professional restaurant owners
    say that location is important, maybe that is the problem.

    • Concerned says:

      You can have the best location in the world but if your food sucks it doesn’t matter. Ken’s Steakhouse in Amber is a prime example of debunking the location non-sense. If you have good food on a consistent basis you’ll build a following.

  9. john says:

    Sounds like others have experienced poor food experiences from all of the previous restaurants.

  10. Kate Kearby says:

    odd that Catfish Cove on Mustang and I40 area is always packed and before they opened in Piedmont, Piedmont people made the pilgrimage there to sit in hour long lines and eat there? I don’t know as far as catfish restaurants go I like Magehee’s in Marrietta and steak and catfish (now retiring folks) at Waterloo and I35. Neither of those near ‘populations’ but both have to use frozen catfish now. I just wish we had a Braum’s and when we do it will mean we are a good enough town for something more.

  11. JT says:

    It’s sad that the restaurant has to close, but there are other things going on.

    Where’s the coverage on the wind farm? Where’s the in depth examination of the city council’s vote to join a lawsuit against Apex? Where’s the in depth reporting on the questionable statements by COPRA about never meeting with Apex? Why does it look like the city council is in the pocket of COPRA? Come on Piedmont Surrey Gazette!

    • Richard Jones says:

      I cannot answer your other questions, but I believe they are not covering the “questionable statements by COPRA about never meeting with Apex” fairytale in the other newspaper because they are Smart enough to know that it is Not True. We can discuss this later. New Board: e4

  12. spork says:

    Oh Man! The place at Waterloo and 35 is closing? I have been planning to eat there for some time. J

  13. Kate Kearby says:

    spork, The owners have been there cooking 6 days a week for 20 years, they are retiring, said they’d sell the business and the recipe, yet to hear anyone buying it. think this is the last weekend .

  14. Kate Kearby says:

    perhaps apex has issues with finances due to sequester and it’s not that big an issue. Roads and infrastructure and employee homes for people in businesses and schools in town might be? warning, grants are not free. the total residents of Piedmont own at least 50 city vehicles, some they got with grants, the police station and the $1mil grant, cost $400,000+; and the oil changes, tires, utilities all keep on costing us. (although it keeps some folks employed that live outside of Piedmont) perhaps they could sell excess equipment we don’t use and don’t need? There’s lots of trashy homes downtown Piedmont that could be fixed up or replaced with nice $140,000 homes that a young couple could afford, or a retired older couple could maintain.

  15. Bill says:

    Doing the right thing is not easy. Congratulations Donnie Robinson. I think we have a good council we just need to keep all the powerful influence off thier back. We can do that if we demand transparency. If it influences the quality of our life we have a right to know.

  16. Kate Kearby says:

    Bill? ‘the powerful influence’ who might that be, seems there’s a dozen possibilities, not just the ‘2’ people thought?

  17. bill says:

    Not sure who that might be. Would be very informative, might contribute to transparency in the activities of our government. Who ever that might be is probably known by those who were influenced.

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