Iconic Bates marks 50th year March 4

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2020

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A landmark Camellia City eatery that has been featured in newspapers and on travel blogs far and wide is celebrating a milestone this week.

Bates House of Turkey is marking its 50th anniversary, an event it plans to celebrate throughout the month of March. However, the official celebration takes place at 9 a.m. today, March 4, at the restaurant, located at 1001 Fort Dale Rd. in Greenville.

“The Greenville Chamber will be there to assist in a special 50th anniversary ribbon cutting for this iconic restaurant,” Tracy Salter, executive director of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce, said. “Bates is beloved by so many travelers through our community, as well as by its many local fans.”

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Bates House of Turkey, famed for such treats as cranberry sauce sandwiches, turkey chili taco salads, whole turkeys to go and more, also has fans in high places.

“We are delighted that both Gov. Kay Ivey and a representative from Martha Roby’s office will be in attendance for the celebration,” Salter added.

Bates Turkey Farm in neighboring Lowndes County has been offering free-range turkeys since 1923. In 1969, the Bates family decided to open the doors to the Greenville restaurant, conveniently located just 12 miles from the farm and easily accessed by travelers on I-65.

The turkey farm, which on averages raises 50,000 birds a year, ships turkeys to customers from coast to coast as well as to providing the turkeys for the local eatery.

Over the years, the Greenville restaurant has been featured in major newspapers as well as the popular regional publication, “Southern Living” magazine.

Each November, Bates sends one of its turkeys to Montgomery for an official pardon by the Governor, providing an iconic annual photo op every Thanksgiving.

“Please come and join us as we celebrate this milestone event with food, fun and fellowship on Wednesday morning at Bates House of Turkey,” Salter concluded.