MAUMELLE, Ark. — Faith.
That’s how Grampa’s Catfish & Seafood came to be one of Central Arkansas’ most beloved restaurants. Not just a little faith, but one giant leap of faith.
The story begins in in South Carolina in 1981 when Nate Townsend, or “Grampa #3”, received a copy of the Arkansas Gazette. Wanting to return home to Arkansas to help support his family, he routinely fished the Opportunities section until one day he took the bait.
It was the words “Catfish Restaurant for Sale” that hooked Townsend and reeled him back home.
Pooling all his savings together with his father-in-law, the original Grampa, Nate put everything he had on the line for a catfish restaurant that he had never seen and knew little about.
It was this giant leap of faith 41 years ago this month that started the family legacy now known as Grampa’s. Though this legacy now spans far beyond the Townsend family.
Trips to Grampa’s have been tradition for central Arkansas families. As we found, the food is excellent, but it’s the down-home vibe and timeless charm that keeps customers coming back.
Grampa’s is a family affair.
Nate now runs the restaurant with his son Scott, and his other two children often pick up shifts in the restaurant too. Nate and Scott are a dynamic duo that compliment each other as much as catfish and hushpuppies do.
Nate’s the talker. Best of luck getting out of Grampa’s without having a fun conversation with him! You’ll be glad you did.
Scott runs the back of the house, keeping a close eye on the quality of the food and ensuring only the best ingredients are used. He’s also got a creative side so he enjoys coming up with new recipes and dishes.
Their catfish is classic. There’s nothing fancy about it. In fact, Nate and Scott boast their simple recipe. Don’t mess up a good thing, right? Right!
Fried catfish is most popular but they offer grilled and blackened as well.
Or perhaps you’re looking for seafood — You’re in luck, they serve up a mean shrimp platter.
Not a fish fan? You’re also in luck! They serve premium hand breaded chicken that you’re sure to enjoy.
Perhaps Skot's favorite menu item is what comes first…coleslaw! While you’re waiting on your dinner to be served you’ll be offered endless coleslaw — and it’s good. Be careful not to eat too much coleslaw before your meal arrives.
Trust us, it’s a real possibility!
Over the years, Grampa’s has been located on Mission Road and Stagecoach Road, but now calls Maumelle Boulevard home. Check them out on Facebook for a full menu and hours of operation.