The Salty Mule, a joint venture between friends Scott Melton and William “Bub-Ba” Latimer, is set to open in January in downtown Canton with the goal of bringing the taste of the beach to the mountains.

The restaurant, which is located at 169 Church St., came to fruition through the two friends who wanted to bring something different to Cherokee County, more specifically, downtown Canton.

“We’ve been friends for around 35 years now, and we’ve kept in touch throughout the years,” Latimer said. “Scott moved back to Atlanta last year and he contacted me. We got to talking and the idea for this place came up. The premise behind The Salty Mule is to give customers the feeling that they are actually at the beach. People go on vacation and find that great restaurant that they continue to go back to every time they visit the beach. This is the type of place we want to be. We want customers to think of us and keep coming back because we don’t have this type of place around here. This will be a fun gathering place for everyone to enjoy, where the beach atmosphere is blended in with the mountain aspect.”

The restaurant will feature fried calamari, oysters, flounder, tuna tartare, and salmon, to name a few. Latimer added that everything will be fresh, with new shipments coming in five days a week. Melton said the menu will also feature non-seafood options for those looking to enjoy the restaurant, but who are not fans of seafood.

“The big appeal is that we are cooking and frying seafood, but we are also offering other menu items like a traditional po’ boy from New Orleans, land lovers items like chicken and steak, and some pasta options as well,” Melton said. “We want everyone to be able to enjoy the restaurant, not just seafood lovers.”

One of the restaurant’s key features will be the oyster bar, where, on the right side of the bar, staff will shuck oysters so the customers can watch the process. The restaurant will offer different options to choose from, and Latimer said there will be special varieties of oysters made available throughout the year. Melton added that the bar will feature drinks from local breweries, as well as big brands.

Another key feature of the restaurant is its unique design touches.

“We saw a picture of a guy that builds silo bars and we knew that we wanted to model our bar after his,” Latimer said. “We actually picked up the silo bar from a farm in Kentucky and the front of the bar came from a movie set. A guy in Ball Ground built the rest of the bar for us and another Ball Ground resident built our cocktail tables and the table tops. Aside from the bar, we have the barn door decoration, which came from an old farm in Tennessee that was going to be torn down. Basically, our goal was to use local people as much as we could.”

Melton said the Salty Mule is expected to open in the second or third week of January.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/thesaltymule and www.thesaltymule.com.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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