Oxbow Restaurant in Clarksdale featured in Barefoot Workshop Documentary

Hayden and Erica Hall, owners of OXBOW in Clarksdale. Photo courtesy of Oxbow.

Hayden and Erica Hall, owners of OXBOW in Clarksdale. Photo courtesy of Oxbow.

CLARKSDALE, MS (www.deltabohemian.com) – TWO VIDEOS. Our friends, Erica and Hayden Hall, who opened their unique eatery, OXBOW, in Clarksdale a year ago, were the recent guinea pigs of sorts for a documentary about their restaurant and their life. Barefoot Workshops, founded by Mississippi native and now New Yorker Chandler Griffin, brings his increasingly popular documentary Workshops to the Mississippi Delta twice a year.

The students of the workshops, from beginning to experienced filmmakers, are from all over the world. Chandler holds his workshops in Europe, Australia, South Africa, the West Bank and the United States. Marfa, Texas and Clarksdale, Mississippi are his two destination spots in the USA. According to Chandler, his Mississippi Delta Clarksdale classes are his most popular. We have a plethora of characters here so no wonder they like Clarksdale.

The Shack Up Inn is their residence during their stay and the Juke Joint Chapel adjacent to the lobby is the locale for the presentation of the documentary which the students labor to produce over two short weeks. And labor they do.

FIRST watch the documentary about Erica and Hayden and if you are in Clarksdale, you must go have lunch there M-F or dinner on Monday nights.

OXBOW from Barefoot Workshops on Vimeo.

NOW watch this excellent documentary which explains in a very entertaining and information way just what Barefoot Workshops is all about. THIS IS WELL WORTH YOUR TIME. The film is by Karen  Kohlhaas, now a Clarksdale Semi-fixture! Karen’s background is diverse and she is multi talented. We eagerly await her full length documentary of Tennessee Williams which she continues to work on and refine.

It’s Not About Film from Barefoot Workshops on Vimeo.



Below is the article about OXBOW which was published in the Clarksdale Press Register April 6, 2011. Used by permission.

Oxbow adds to downtown dining selections
By Larry E. Binz (www.pressregister.com)

Hayden Hall has compressed a lot of culinary experiences into his young adult life which led him to open the Oxbow, his new downtown Clarksdale eatery.

“When a riverboat completes a U-turn and comes back to its origin it’s referred to as an oxbow,” Hayden said Saturday as customers flocked into his establishment on Third Street.

“We had a soft opening last Tuesday (March 29),” Hayden said. For now, his business hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Hall’s quest to find a niche in the downtown Clarksdale dining arena has taken him to Washington, D.C., New Orleans and back to Clarksdale.

“I worked for Wolfgang Puck, the highly acclaimed chef in Washington briefly,” Hall said.

He worked for Susan Spicer, the chief chef at Bayona, a restaurant known for its New Orleans –style cuisine. While he worked as the chef at the Clarksdale Country Club Hall operated a hamburger stand at Sunflower Avenue and First Street on Mondays.

“They were very good hamburgers,” said Walt Rogers, who dined Saturday afternoon along with long-time friend Obert Douglas.

Hall pointed to Bubba O’Keefe’s efforts to revitalize Second Street and Yazoo Avenue as motivation for his return to Clarksdale.

“Guys like Bubba O’Keefe and Bill Talbot are reasons a lot of young people are coming back to Clarksdale,” Hall said.

Hall said when he secured a lease from property owner Val Soldevila he chose the location to “bridge a gap between Delta Avenue and Yazoo Avenue.”

Hall, who received his formal training at the Mississippi Culinary Arts Institute in Columbus, said he got in the restaurant business purely accident.

“I was washing dishes at Madidi’s,” Hall said. “I liked the atmosphere and the aroma coming from the kitchen.”

Hall chose an open kitchen setup to allow Oxbow customers to experience some of the same feelings that led to his career.

“You eat with your eyes first,” Hall said.

Examples of local artists Stan Street, Joey Young, his father Hayden Hall Sr. and photographer Chuck Lamb are on display in the restaurant.

“I learned from my dad that art is about balance and restraints,” Hall said. “We are trying to accommodate our customers with their food allergies and dietary restrictions.”

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