Tribune Exclusive: Rumors Deli changing owners

Expanded hours and menu coming, but don’t worry; your favorites are safe!

Longtime Rumors Deli Owner Annette Harris (left) poses for a photo with incoming co-owner and manager Aaron Coombs (right) at the restaurant Friday afternoon. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Annette Harris, owner of Rumors Deli has announced the sale of the landmark Cullman eatery to the Coombs family of Houma, Louisiana. Mother/son team Jolene and Aaron Coombs will take charge of the deli March 1, with Harris staying on short-term to help the new owners get settled in and accustomed to Rumors’ way of doing business.

Harris told The Tribune, “It’s a good thing. I’ve been wanting to- you know, I’ve done this for so long- I kind of wanted to do something else, which, I’ve got some projects going. I’m not ready to say what that is, yet, because I’m just working on some stuff, but I do have a plan.”

Harris was not ready to reveal her new plans, but she did say that they did not include another restaurant.

The longtime owner said that, after spending most of her life in the restaurant business, she is looking forward to something else but in no hurry to get out.

“I was just ready, and the opportunity just came up,” said Harris. “It wasn’t something I was actively seeking, but an opportunity came up, so I was excited about it . . . It was just the right time, right place, right people.”

Expanding hours, expanding menu, but the Scoop (and much more) is safe

When the Coombs family takes charge, they plan to maintain the traditional daytime menu and schedule, but hope to expand shortly with evening hours, alcohol service and a new evening menu that will include bar food standards like burgers and wings, and a nod to their Louisiana home in the form of shrimp po’boys.

The family has applied for an alcohol license and is awaiting the processing of the application. According to Pat Coombs, who accompanied his son up from Louisiana this week, they will add a bar to the restaurant’s floorplan after the license is approved.

Pat Coombs added, “We hope to retain all the employees, and we’re hoping to hire more employees because, with expanded hours, we’re going to need more people.”

Aaron Coombs and mother Jolene Coombs will co-own Rumors, and Aaron Coombs will also act as manager.

Aaron Coombs told The Tribune, “We’re super excited to take over. I think it’s really going to be a positive thing. I think it’s going to be just a smooth and good transition into the new ownership.”

Harris concluded with a wish for the deli’s new owners and old customers: “I want the community to surround them like it did me, because they’re nice people and I think their head and heart is in the right place for this. I’m ready for it because I’ve done this for so long, but I’m excited that it’s something that’s going to carry on, and that they will add to it.”

Copyright 2021 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


W.C. Mann