Ex-lawman has big plans for Rosco’s on 98 East

Whitney Webb stands in the bar in Rosco’s.

Right now, Rosco’s is just a bar on Highway 98 East. But owners Whitney and Michelle Webb are hoping for it to be much more, with plans for a campground, softball field and maybe even resort status (see article below).

“It’s not your stereotypical honky-tonk or nightclub,” said Webb, 42.

“I want to create a place that’s safer and just different from what’s been done. We have a bus. We offer pickup and  dropoff service for groups and individuals.”

The name Rosco comes from the character Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane on the old “Dukes of Hazzard” TV show.

“It’s sort of a tongue-in-cheek throwback,” said Webb, noting the place is decorated with a law enforcement theme.

The property is the old Woody’s Salvage on Highway 98 East, notable for an old Ford Fairmont elevated on a pole.

Michelle suggested making it look like an old patrol car, and they did.

There’s also a junkyard theme since many of the “Dukes of Hazzard” chases went through a junkyard. Webb has a classic-looking tow truck, restored by his father Jimmy, parked out front.

The 54-acre property on the south side of Highway 98 runs a quarter mile east of Gibson Road.

The property is former farm land that was later a salvage yard. Before the Webbs bought it, they made sure it had a clean bill of health from the Department of Environmental Quality.

“It was overgrown but it was clean of parts and stuff,” Webb said.

Michelle is an emergency room registered nurse at Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center. The decision to open Rosco’s was mutual.

It opened in April, but there is much more to be done.

The building is in three parts, with the main bar, a second bar downstairs with a stage, and a third area currently used for storage that will serve as a pool hall and game room.

The business is open 3 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Saturdays and noon to midnight Sundays. It sells beer and snacks.

Webb is applying for resort status, which would allow him to sell liquor and stay open to 2 a.m.

Webb worked for the Pike County Sheriff’s Department from 2005 to 2010 and the McComb Police Department from 2010 to 2017. As such, he wanted an establishment that would be “more friendly to law enforcement.”

“Having seen so much — and of course Michelle working in the emergency room and all the stuff she sees —  it gives us a little more insight into running things cleanly,” Webb said.

He checked with state agencies and talked to other bar owners as well as area residents.

“My experience in law enforcement gave me the knowledge and experience seeing how not to do things and how to do things,” he said.

He keeps a framed copy of state alcohol regulations under the bar for anyone with questions.

The property fronts Highway 98 but has an entrance off Gibson Road. Behind the bar is wide open pasture.

“I’d like to be able to do some camper spots for people to come in,” Webb said. “I don’t want to start a camper park.”

He also hopes to put a softball field there. It would have longer hours, lower rates and fewer restrictions than other area fields, he said.

While he sells snacks like popcorn, candy, chips and jerky, he has no plans for a kitchen — too many regulations. He does have caterers set up outside on occasion.

He has held fundraising events for charities, including Amateur Pool Players Association competitions. The bar is equipped with pool tables and wide-screen TVs.

He’s had several bands come for indoor concerts and hopes to have outdoor events in the future. On tap is a group called Tennessee Outlaw Country.

“We’ve had a good bit of interest from bands around the state,” Webb said.

As for noise, “so far all of the neighbors say it’s rare that they hear anything from here while we have a band,” he said.

Some neighbors even come over to listen during concerts.

Other activities include dart tournaments, chili cookoff and trivia night on Thursdays.

Barry Nicholson of “Street Outlaws” helped Webb out a lot, including painting the elevated patrol car and donating part of his wrecked “Godfather” car.

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