The Front Street Snack Bar has been an Iuka tradition for many years; it's numerous transformations dating back to the early 1900s. Squeezed into this tiny structure is a cooking area open to customers, a short sit-down bar, a cola cooler and one table. It is unbelievable what culinary delights emanate from such a small structure. Slugburgers, Great (never frozen) Hamburgers, Slaw Dawgs, Homemade Chicken Salad (on Tuesday) and Homemade Fried Pies delight folks who come for an "Old Days" lunch. Ask Genice about her Pool Room Slaw! A steady stream of customers come for their take-out lunch and a few squeeze into a spot to enjoy a sandwich and the constant patter. It seems that every customer has a short story to tell while their food is prepared before their very eyes.
Ms Genice Jones is the manager, cook, cashier and patient listener for the endless stories and political commentary. She smiles as the next person up tells a familiar tale about how his daddy brought him and the rest of their sawmill crew to the building 70 years ago to buy a sack of burgers for a nickle apiece. Slugburgers are still made in the same way today by fry cook Madison Hudson and still taste just as great. Seems like everybody has a slightly different story about the origination of the name "Slugburger", but the combo of beef and soy extender seems to relate to the Depression Era terminology of calling a five cent coin a "slug". Slugburgers cost five cents each back in the day. When you go to the cafe, ask a few people how the slugburger got it's name. Betcha get a different story every time!
Politicos make the Front Street Snack Bar a daily stop during campaign season. More than a few folks sip a glass bottle Coke while they thoughtfully listen to the latest promises of future nirvana. Some of the conversations drift over across the street to Jaybird Park which has picnic tables and a Gazebo.
Ya cannot buy a sackful of "slugs" for a dollar anymore, but five bucks and some good listening will get you a great lunch and maybe a better understanding of what makes things tick in Iuka, Mississippi.