Whether you’re looking for a large patio to dine on, menu items you can’t find anywhere else, or some World-Famous fried chicken, you’ll be happy you pulled up to Champy’s.
Champy’s restaurant, located on Madison Boulevard near the Publix shopping center, opened early last July and has been rockin’ and rollin’ as one of the newest restaurants on the south side of Madison.
Eugene Jung, co-owner of both local Champy’s locations (the second one is located inside the new Trash Pandas stadium), jokes that he purchased a Champy’s “because of the chicken liver”. (Note to self: Order this next time!)
Shortly after sitting down with Jung last week, I overheard him order a couple of menu items “that you can’t get anywhere else”. I knew I was in for a treat.
Just a few minutes later, two items from the appetizer list were on the table: the Mississippi Delta Hot Tamales and the Smoked Sausage, Cheese, and Pickle plate.
In between learning about both dishes and the best way to enjoy them, Jung pauses to quickly greet a customer who was on his way out. He calls him by name, asks how he’s doing, and inquires about a potential upcoming surgery. He’s a regular at the restaurant, but Jung treated him like a long-time friend.
This is the type of family-friendly, personal, enjoyable experience that Champy’s sets out to create for every customer who walks through their doors.
“We love making those personal connections around here,” says Jung.
Back to those appetizers – they were divine. Jung suggested snagging a little bit of each item from the sausage plate (deep-fried sausage + banana pepper + cubed pepper jack cheese) to enjoy in one bite, which did not disappoint.
The Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale didn’t lack in portion size or flavor. Served with Saltine crackers and a side of fresh coleslaw, Jung suggests scooping a bit of coleslaw and tamale on the cracker to enjoy.
“Many customers order these dishes as entrees too,” Jung says.
Champy’s features two separate outdoor covered dining areas, which make up roughly 50 percent of the total restaurant seating. The patio area on the east side of the restaurant also features a section for live music, which Jung hopes to bring back in due time.
When asked how the pandemic affected operations at Champy’s, Jung sighs and says that there are very few parts of the restaurant that were untouched.
“We never stopped serving our customers. We continued to fulfill curbside orders as well as delivery orders with GrubSouth.”
Jung says that he hesitated to open their dining room doors again once given the green light from Governor Ivey, but ultimately decided to serve customers in-store again after making a slew of changes to ensure good health for their employees and customers.
All employees are wearing masks, and everything is disposable.
“If you want a lemon, we will give you a packet of lemon juice. We are really being that extra careful.”
Jung says that customers will also see tape on the floor marking social distancing recommendations.
Champy’s will still happily serve customers curbside, which is now made easier via online ordering.
“We have the best fried chicken, the freshest food, and great service, all things we really pride ourselves on,” Jung says. “But the main thing we want is for people to walk out saying is that we have really good service here. That is so important to us.”
Champy’s in Madison is located at 8020 Madison Boulevard and can be reached at 256-325-1633. Their hours are Sunday – Thursday from 10:30 AM – 10 PM and Friday – Saturday from 10:30 AM – 11 PM.
Photography by Whitney Briscoe Photography