May 20, 2019

New restaurant at Butler’s Mill

Courtesy of Vanessa Sorrell Burnside/The Randolph Leader

(Graham, AL) — One of the oldest structures in Randolph County has once again been given new life as restauranteurs Chris and Tabitha E. Phillips reopened Butler’s Mill in Graham.

Tabitha says it was a passion for history and a desire to carry that history into the future that led them to purchase Butler’s Mill.

Although this is their first-time in the restaurant business, both have been business owners before with Chris the owner of Servcom, an electric company, and Tabitha, the owner of A Southern Style Salon. The Phillipses live and also own and operate a poultry farm in Ranburne.

“Butler’s Mill is the community incorporating life back into the building and property. It provides new generations the knowledge of the hard-working intelligence of the many men and families who constructed and worked the mills,” she said.

(Photo: Butler's Mill on Facebook)

(Photo: Butler’s Mill on Facebook)

The menu features appetizers, such as fried green tomatoes, fried dill pickles, crab claws and oysters on the half shell.

Then it’s on to filets, ribeyes, prime rib, hamburger steaks, fried oysters, fried or grilled shrimp, fried or grilled catfish, grilled salmon, shrimp and grits, the fish of the day, fried or grilled chicken fingers, chicken alfredo, grilled chicken and burgers. This can be topped off with homemade pies and cakes made daily. There is also a salad bar and Sunday lunch buffet.

All of this is overlooking the peaceful Little Tallapoosa River, where James Saxon settled and built the first mill and dam.

In 1866, he sold the property to A.E. and Robert Iverson. The Iversons built a new mill house in 1881 with partner J.T. Hardin, who ground wheat and corn. They prepared the wood at the sawmill there.

The property was purchased in 1902 by J.L. Lovvorn, who added the cotton gin. In 1912, it was sold again to J.M. “Bully” Saxon, who had the dam rebuilt and installed more cotton-ginning equipment.

L.A. Butler bought the property from the Saxon estate in 1944 and ran it along with his sons. He built a new gin house in 1952. The last cotton – 15 bales per day – was ginned there in 1975.

The gin house was first converted into a restaurant in 1993 by John S. Kelly.

The Phillipses have plans to restore the gristmill and make meal by grinding corn again for a new generation of customers. They are restoring the sawmill for any and all types of events, such as reunions, birthdays, corporate events, weddings and receptions.

The restaurant part, an old cotton gin, has a large upstairs which they plan to renovate to have a bridal headquarters and banquet room.

Even the outdoors offer opportunities with space for large tents, gazebos, etc. The couple also hopes to work on a kayaking and tubing access to the river.

The hours are 3:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 to 3:30 on Sunday. The address is 2353 County Rd. 92, Graham. The phone number is (256) 342-0025. To get a look what Butler’s Mill has to offer, you may also check out their facebook page.

For more news and events from Randolph County visit The Randolph Leader


  1. Would be better if you had the seafood buffet on was so good came offen.

  2. Michelle Smith says

    Loved coming on Saturday nights for crab legs, strawberry cobbler and ice cream. It made the hour drive worth it. If I lived closer I would come but there are several options with same menu. Best wishes. Beautiful location

  3. Vickie Williford says

    Chris, Keith and I are Looking forward to coming and enjoying a meal with you. Love y’all’s ideas for Butler Mills. See you soon! V.W. & K.B.

  4. Penny steele says

    We use to eat there me and my husband went back one Sunday evening and it was closed down we like eating there

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