Ajax under new ownership as Yates looks forward to next chapter

Published 7:44 am Monday, April 15, 2024

Ajax Diner has not only been a favorite for locals for almost three decades but has caught the taste buds of visitors from around the globe while winning awards locally and nationally.

At the helm has been Randy Yates, who named the restaurant after his grandfather, A.J.

The restaurant, located on the downtown Square, is known for its Southern comfort food, relaxed atmosphere, and a place where you’re likely to run into friends.

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After 27 years, Yates decided it was time to turn over the reigns to a new owner and focus on himself and his future while taking a much-deserved break.

Last week, Oxford’s Clay Scruggs became Ajax’s new owner. Scruggs is a Mississippi native and hotel developer with Cap Development Group.

“Today starts a new era for the legendary Ajax Diner,” stated a post on Ajax’s Facebook page. “Don’t worry, your favorite Southern comfort foods will be available in abundance.”

Just a few days after announcing the sale, the restaurant was named one of “The South’s Most Legendary Restaurants,” by “Southern Living” magazine.

“I’m very proud of that,” Yates told the Oxford Eagle last week.

Leaving his home-away-from-home after nearly three decades, Yates said he’s still working on writing up a social media post to express his gratitude to his customers and his staff.

“It’s hard to find the words,” he said.

Yates said he isn’t sure yet what the future holds for him, but he plans on taking the next few months to recharge.

“After 27 years at one place, I just wanted to see what my next chapter is going to be. I’ve got a lot of ideas,” he said. “But I’m going to take the summer and decide what I want to do.”

Yates said he’s worked every Saturday for the last 40 years of his life.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what happens on Saturdays,” he said.