It all started in 1984...

 In 1984, Eddie & I opened Crawdad’s here in Merigold on old Highway 61. In the beginning, we started with a building 22′ x 14′ built by Bill Johnson Jr., served only crawfish and could seat a total of six people. Cooking crawfish occurred on the front porch due to the lack of room elsewhere. Frankly, Crawdad’s came about because it was impossible then to get a sure fire supply of hot crawfish in the Mississippi Delta and Eddie needed a project.


As more people came, rooms started being added here and there when Albert and I would find old cypress. It could not have been built without him. Eventually a kitchen was built and more menu items were added. Currently, there have been fourteen renovations and one complete building move, which occurred during a winter storm in 1989.

No one at Crawdad’s has yet to have any real restaurant training (this has probably shown from time to time) but we have always tried our best to provide you good food and the kind of place to have a good time with friends. All of us at Crawdad’s owe you our sincere thanks for coming and we promise to do our best every night to serve you.

Here we are after 30 years in business. To most of us, 30 does not seem that old, and many of us would love to be 30 years old again. However, for a restaurant, 30 is an old establishment. Only a few other restaurants in the Mississippi Delta have made it to this milestone, and I am proud to have the opportunity to share our reaching it with you.

Crawdad’s seems to have developed a life of its own. What started out as a small, single building has been expanded. The restaurant was moved once during a snow storm, was devastated by fire, survived a few recessions, and yet it is still standing. How did it make it? Maybe, avoiding the “Big One” is a result of a few factors. We always try to do our best, even if we aren’t always successful. Instead of giving up, we give back. We’ve employed hundreds of kids who have learned valuable life lessons and many of whom have put themselves through college with jobs at Crawdad’s.

Crawdad’s could not have made it through these 30 years without the help of a few significant people such as Albert Junkin (the builder and grill master), Eddie Wade, Bill Johnson, Jr., and Warren Bell, who, beginning as a young 20-year-old, took Crawdad’s to its highest level. Now, Jack and Jon Westerfield bring the complete package needed for us to continue successfully into our future. As in life, you do your best to control your future, but nobody here on earth can accomplish that completely. We will continue the “Crawdad’s Life” of doing our best every night and providing jobs for the community.