Monday, November 10, 2008

Big Daddy's at Tyvola Mall

Most Charlotteans are familiar with Big Daddy's seafood restaurant which has been a staple of the Lake Norman area (Mooresville) since 1974. Long forgotten is the Big Daddy's that was located at Tyvola Mall during the 1970's. In the days when Tyvola Mall actually was a small indoor mall, Big Daddy's opened in February 1976. Featuring a bar that seated 20 and two large dining rooms, this Big Daddy's location was popular for its oyster bar as well as its steamed shrimp bar. Despite being located on busy South Blvd (at the corner of Tyvola Rd), this location only lasted through the end of the 1970's. It was the fourth location in the Big Daddy's chain. 

The first Big Daddy's opened in Kure Beach in 1963, the second near Goldsboro in 1973, followed by the Mooresville and then the Tyvola Mall locations. They were owned by Tommy Bryant Lancaster. His face is that of the bearded skipper that has always been Big Daddy's trademark face on their signs and billboards (even today). The nickname Big Daddy came from the Burl Ives character in the the movie "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof" who Lancaster resembled. Tommy passed away in 1995 and the Mooresville location is currently owned and run by his grandson Freddie. 

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