20 Under 40 Feature: Renee WilkersonPublished 3:00pm Monday, July 29, 2013
With a versatile atmosphere where patrons can dine in at a white-tablecloth restaurant or kick back and relax in the lounge and bar, the Tally-Ho Restaurant has become a staple in Selma that has been family owned and managed for years.
Renee Wilkerson, manager at Tally-Ho Restaurant, has been a part of the business since she was a child.
“My title is manager but I have a lot of different hats in the restaurant business,” Wilkerson said, noting each night she shows up for work, she never knows which hat she’ll wear, but she’ll be prepared for whatever needs to be done. “I will greet you when you walk in the door, be your server, wash dishes if we have a big party, take out the trash if need be and when we have one of those crazy nights in the bar, I’ll jump back there and be a bartender.”
Her father, Bob Kelly, has owned Tally-Ho Restaurant for 34 years, and Wilkerson said the value of Tally Ho has been it’s ability to bring people together to form relationships over the years.
“I think the Tally Ho plays a big role in the community and has for a long time. People remember it when they were coming up with their grandparents. It’s been kind of staple in Selma,” Wilkerson said. “I’ve grown up in this business. I remember coming here when I was 5 years old. I got to learn so much about it, and got to know so many people when I was smaller, coming here with my dad and helping him out. You get to know so many people through this.”
With its versatility providing a restaurant, as well as a lounge and bar, Tally Ho has long provided an outlet for people young and old to get together for social outings and provides an outlet for special events like anniversaries and milestone birthdays.
“Selma is a small town, but I love that I meet someone new every night I go to work,” she said. “I love that I get to see a nervous boyfriend get on one knee and propose to his girlfriend and know that that special time in their lives were at the Tally Ho.”
Wilkerson said her role as well as the role of her family’s restaurant has long been to provide a place where people can gather and just relax, adding it’s a great part to play in the community that she loves.
“I think it’s great. I’m glad that we have a place for people to come and hang out and feel comfortable,” Wilkerson said. “I love it. I like Selma because it’s a small town, and everybody helps each other. And being in Selma and having this restaurant — it’s just great to provide something.”