This is the story of a two-room dog-trot cabin which turned into one of the South’s favorite restaurants. Originally owned by Charles Agnew Ezell, this historic cabin was once used as a trading post during the Civil War, supplying packet boats up and down the Tombigbee River from Mobile.Using the cabin as his home and base of operations, son C. A. Ezell became a very successful commercial fisherman, employing other fisherman throughout the river region. At the same time, the prolific hunting and fishing in Choctaw County made the cabin a perfect spot for a hunting club, attracting members from all over the state. Large fish fries were held, and the original cook, Pauline, set up a huge pot in the yard, where catfish and hushpuppies were sold for fifty cents per plate.
C. A. and his wife Mary continued to live in the camp but as their bursting family grew through the fifties, it became time to move out of the cabin, and soon Ezell’s Fish Camp became a flourishing full-time eating establishment.The Ezell family soon included children Charles, Mary Ann, and Joe. As her brothers moved away and started their own restaurants, Mary Ann remained in Lavaca, and upon her father's retirement became owner and operator of the Fish Camp for over 35 years, where ownership has remained in the family to this day.
As the children and then grandchildren grew, other Ezell’s restaurants were started including the Catfish Cabins, Ezell’s Catfish Cabins, and Ezell’s Southern Food Express, each slightly different but all employing C. A. Ezell’s original recipes and founding principals of good food, family atmosphere, hard work, and deep fried Southern Hospitality.
Over the years, the original two-room cabin has grown to the point that seating is now available for upwards of 300 people. The walls and décor include fish, foul, wild hogs, and what seems to be hundred mounted deer, and has become a favorite spot for corporate events, private parties, and celebrations.With virtually no sign or markings, someone recently said "You gotta get lost to find this place!" Ezell’s has over the years become a DESTINATION, and it is not uncommon to meet folks from Mobile, Birmingham, Montgomery, and even neighboring states. An Ezell’s visitor during the hunting season of November, December, and January will walk in to a sea of camouflage, since hunters flock to the restaurant just as they are attracted to the abundant wild life that inhabits the area.
Things don’t change much at Ezell’s.