Mammy's Cupboard – Natchez, Mississippi - Atlas Obscura
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Natchez, Mississippi

Mammy's Cupboard

This racially troublesome eatery thought a new coat of paint could erase its offensive connotations. 

The massive roadside statue/restaurant that is still known as Mammy’s Cupboard sells lunches and desserts with a healthy helping of politically incorrect architecture.

This anachronistic eatery was built in 1940 to capitalize on the popularity of the “mammy” figure that had been brought back into the cultural consciousness thanks to a character in the film Gone With The Wind. The “building” is built into the figure’s wide hoop skirt, which is topped with the dark-skinned torso of a maid holding a serving tray. The 28-foot tall brick structure was opened as a roadside restaurant targeting the same demographic as a number of other “world’s largest” sculptures.

For the first many years of the establishment, the figure was painted with the exceptionally dark skin of many a minstrel figure, but during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s the skin of the restaurant’s figure was painted a lighter shade of brown to assuage some of the racial criticism that had been leveled at the eatery. It has done little to lessen the stereotypical impact of the site and they continue to serve lunch and dessert from under the dress. There is also a gift shop.

Know Before You Go

Right on the side of US Hwy 61 in Natchez, MS