The spring of 1992 saw the birth of what was soon to become an Oxford landmark. Housed in a Reconstruction-era livery stable on the Courthouse Square, City Grocery began serving North Mississippi’s most innovative faire with Chef John Currence at the helm of his first restaurant venture. Sixteen years later, Currence and company have seen a slew of openings under their instruction and retain ownership of two exceptionally successful ventures in Oxford; including, Bouré (an up-scale, full service family concept), and City Grocery Catering Company—a full service catering endeavor.
During the last 16 years, both the restaurant and bar have been hailed coast-to-coast as one of the finest establishments in Mississippi in publications such as The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal/ Constitution, The Los Angeles Times, The London Times, Southern Living, The Memphis Flyer, Seattle Daily, American Airlines’ In-flight, Esquire, USA Today, Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, Playboy, etc.
City Grocery received an invitation to cook at the James Beard Foundation in New York City in the summer of 1995. The spring of 1996 saw the filming of the Great Chef’s of the South in the City Grocery kitchen and the City Grocery Team returned to the James Beard House in the summer of 1997, the summer of 1999, the winter of 2001, and again in the summer of 2003. July of 1999 saw City Grocery featured in Food and Wine’s cover piece as in the fall of 2002 in Bon Appétit. Fall 1999 brought the first Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence to City Grocery in recognition of the restaurant’s wine list, program and education; recognition which has been garnered every year since. Spring of 2005 saw Currence nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef Southeast, along side of four of the South’s most talented guard. He was nominated again in the spring of 2007.