Business built from scratch: ‘We started with a sandwich’


Hattiesburg’s Twillie Philly, a new and booming sub shop on Hardy Street, offers a variety of sandwiches, the most popular being the Twillie Philly. The menu includes salads, sides and drinks.

A convenient aspect to Twillie Philly is its delivery service. The shop has bar seating and throughout its venue, which isapartoftheTheHubbar and nightclub. Twillie Philly is located on 1206 Hardy St. in Hattiesburg.

With the Hattiesburg sub shop inside The Hub, customers can experience a daytime snack or nighttime amusement. The location of the bar and sub shop has, however, sparked some concern from surrounding neighbors. The venue offers nightlife venue for music and socializing.

“I don’t know of any complaints, but I’ve reached out to some of neighbors in case of anything,” said co-owner of The Hub Malcolm Clark.

Clark said the business does its best to be considerate of residents in regard to noise level and trash disposal.

“There is a house 10 feet behind the building,” Clark said. “We will check into it to make sure there are no issues.”

The commercial property is not a typical club. It features a restaurant with a bar and event room that can be rented out for parties, bands or other events. There is even a back bar for private events.

Clark said he would be looking into any concerns from surrounding neighbors. Clark has not received any complains, however.

“Neighbors moreso keep us informed,” he said.

The restaurant has been improving since its opening last August.

“We have good food, a nice environment and you can always come in and find sports events on the big screen,” Clark said.

The restaurant has ample space and free Wi-Fi.

“Sometimes people come in and sit around and don’t order anything,” Clark said.

Other than booked events, the casual eatery hosts its own music events called the Soul Group and Centric Soul.

Twillie Philly offers affordable dishes such as fries topped with chicken, shrimp, sautéed peppers and onions and dowsed with nacho cheese.

When The Hub opened, it aimed to be a restaurant and event center.

“We built a kitchen and halfway through that, we talked with Mr. Twillie, who had a previous location, and he was in process of leaving that location, so we decided to bring him in and offer a food vendor.”

So far, the community seems to be enjoying the restaurant and what it offers.

“We’ve heard a lot from customers,” I talk with people all the time,” Clark said. “People give good reviews. Just like any business we are going to evolve to make sure we are able to serve our customers to best of our ability.”

We are two businesses that came together,” Clark said. “We have a direction and vision.”

Owner of Twillie Philly Subs and More Carlos Twillie is an alumni of Southern Miss where he studied business administration.

The hours are suitable for those who like to grab a quick lunch or college students who seek a late night snack. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.

“We started with a sandwich,” Twillie said.

A friend of his used to run a restaurant before passing away.

“I was cooking and doing rap music, so the neighborhood knew me,” Twillie said.

As a cook who did not eat red meat or pork, Twillie would eat grilled chicken sandwiches. He began selling sandwiches with a tent and a grill on Dabbs Street.

“Because the neighborhood was run-down, it was rough getting people from the other side of town to come,” he said.

Twillie rented a building on Dabbs Street, and his sandwich grew popular.

After outgrowing the spot and the equipment malfunctioning from overuse, the business moved locations to The Hub.

Before reopening, The Hub experienced a lag in business and closed. Now, both businesses are booming as more customers find out about the joint restaurant and nightclub.

“Business has doubled since Dabbs Street,” Twillie said.

Surrounding businesses have supported the growth of Twillie Philly.

“Floyd Patterson from Floyd’s Grill has been a big blessing,” Twillie said. “He was very helpful, teaching tactics in restaurant business. Sports 22 and other independent smaller food places all welcomed us with open arms.”

We are a restaurant and provide a great product,” Twillie said. “We make sure food is highest quality and atmosphere is comfortable for anybody.”

Twillie said his customers range from teachers from Hattiesburg High School to local construction workers.

“We try to attract anybody who’s hungry,” he said.

The famous Twillie Philly sandwich is a grilled chicken and shrimp sandwich with sautéed onions and peppers. The restaurant also offers nachos, spuds and fries. Anything with the name Twillie Philly includes chicken, shrimp and onions and peppers.

Local customers have been showing support of the new restaurant through posting on Twillie Philly’s Facebook page and giving their positive regards in person.