Johnny Allison's Mardi Gras, Moon Pie Memories in Mobile with ASU Win

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 12:00 am  

Johnny Allison

What happens in Mobile doesn’t always stay in Mobile.

Johnny Allison, chairman of Home BancShares Inc. of Conway, didn’t exactly confirm the dollar amount supplied by a tipster. He didn’t exactly deny it either.

Did Allison shell out $12,000 to cover a bar tab of sorts during a conclave of Arkansas State University fans at Wintzell’s Oyster House in downtown Mobile, Ala., during the GoDaddy Bowl festivities on Jan. 3?

“We did support the Red Wolves,” Allison said with a laugh when we tracked him down by phone on Jan. 9.

“It was more than we expected. I think they taught me a lesson.”

And the lesson was?

“ASU fans like to drink,” he chuckled.

The event was hosted by the Arkansas State Alumni Association and Home BancShares’ Centennial Bank of Conway.

Allison, who grew up in Jonesboro and is an ASU alum, was told the food and drink served at Wintzell’s produced the biggest night ever for the restaurant.

Allison also reported that he and his wife were asked to ride in a Mardi Gras-style parade in Mobile on Jan. 4, where they got to ride in a 1937 Cadillac and throw Moon Pies, stuffed animals and beads to the crowd.

“It wasn’t on my bucket list, but I can add it after the fact,” he said.

The weekend in Mobile was a big one for Allison, who received the Champion of Life Award during the Mayor’s GoDaddy Bowl Luncheon.

And, yes, Home BancShares does have a banking presence in the Mobile area, seven branches in neighboring Baldwin County acquired during its Gulf Coast shopping spree.



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