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Fish Bay brings the beach (food) to Gray

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Fish Bay brings the beach (food) to Gray

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Wendy Nelson, head manager, and A.J. Solomon, cook, help keep customers happy at Fish Bay in Gray. ALAINA MINSHEW/ STAFF


Fish Bay is


up a little

taste of

the seaside and

friendly customer

service in Jones

County with their

seafood dishes.

The restaurant is located at 300 West Clinton Street in Gray and is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Brian Smith, one of three family owners of Fish Bay, lives in Macon, but he saw a need for a seafood restaurant in Jones County.

Smith said because of the growth in Gray, his family decided it would be a good place to open the business.

“We did a radius and there was no seafood here,” the owner said. “You have your chicken and your burgers, but no seafood, so we thought it was a great idea. If we can get people to know about Fish Bay in Gray, we can go farther.”

Head manager, Wendy Nelson, has lived in Jones County since she was a girl in the 5th grade and moved from Macon. She said she loves what Gray has to offer.

“As a small community, everybody is nice. I just like a small town and Gray is that. I like the schools here,” she said.

Nelson said helping to run an interesting business such as Fish Bay is fun and it’s challenging for her as a head manager. She said she has never been a head manager, but wanted to learn how since the restaurant is something new to Jones County.

“Fish Bay is different,” Nelson said. “We didn’t have anything like this here, so we decided to try it out and see how it would go. We are now known for our Bayside shrimp.”

The manager said they do as much as they can to satisfy their customers. One way they try is to bring new flavors to people and let them try a sample so they can find what they like from the menu.

“We sell whitefish, catfish, and tilapia, grilled of fried, battered fish and shrimp. We also have a number of sides,” she said.

Smith said people can stay in their hometown and have a great seafood meal. He also said having this restaurant here supports the community.

“A lot of people are afraid to go to Macon due to crime, so why not bring it to a great community such as Gray? Everyone is supportive and family oriented here. You see a lot of families together,” he said.

Nelson said the community needs new businesses like Fish Bay and hears from customers that they don’t want the restaurant to leave. She said they try to bring new foods to the menu based on customer feedback.

“People should eat here because we are different,” she said. “Gray has all these fast food places and barbecue places, but only one seafood place.”

A.J. Solomon, a cook at Fish Bay, said he lives in Macon and because of his job at the restaurant he gets to meet new people, which he enjoys doing.

“It’s a decent environment working here,” he said. “I enjoy working here because I like to cook and when I found out there was an opening here, I went for it. Everyone is so nice here.”

Fish Bay likes to bring the seaside to their customers, according to Nelson. She said if people want to try something different right here at home that they should stop by Fish Bay for some flavorful fish.

“It’s like seafood on the beach, but here in Gray,” Nelson said. “I’m glad I get to help others and make customers happy.”