Drew Henson opened the Cock of the Walk in March of 1984 in the present day site of The Cypress Inn. By August of that year, however, the decision was made to pull out of the franchise due to limitations of the menu items and hours of operation enforced by the franchise contract. The Cock of the Walk signs came down and up went signs with the new name, Henson’s Cypress Inn.
The combination of family recipes and local ingredients quickly made Cypress Inn popular with both locals and visitors. The chicken salad recipe is from Henson’s mother, the bran muffins from a bed and breakfast in Natchez, Miss, and the yeast rolls are a relative’s recipe.
Built with cypress wood the restaurant blends in perfectly with the landscape along the Black Warrior River. Approximately four acres of combined manicured and natural gardens makes Cypress Inn the perfect backdrop for special events or an evening for two.
Recent renovations were completed in 2005 expanding the Lobby and adding a 550 gallon fresh water fish tank which now houses catfish, bream, bass, and tilapia. The Sandbar was also updated adding more seating with elegant light fixtures, black concrete counter tops and new appliances. This was the second renovation after an $800,000 remodeling and expansion of the kitchen was completed in 2003.
Since opening, the Cypress Inn has won several awards including “Restaurant of Distinction” from the Tuscaloosa Convention and Visitors Bureau and “Top 10 Catfish Restaurants in America” by the Catfish Institute of America. Articles recognizing Cypress Inn for quality southern cuisine can be found in Southern Living Magazine, TuscaloosaMagazine and Travel South.