Food Court Wars Winner to Open in August

Meridian, Miss. Meridian's mall is getting a new restaurant at its food court, after the city got national publicity in a cable TV reality show. The episode aired on the Food Network Sunday night.

An episode of Food Court Wars featured competition at Meridian's Bonita Lakes Mall.

Two teams competed to get a space at the mall rent-free for the year.

Many sites in Meridian were featured in the show. Local officials hope it will help the city as it tries to promote itself.

"It was fabulous exposure for Meridian," said tourism director, Dede Mogollon. "I mean, you can't buy that exposure on a national level, and so we were elated. We're thankful for our partners at CBL who went in and worked with Food Network to have this opportunity in Meridian."

The winner of last night's show was Mary Jo's Hot Tamales, owned by a couple from Clinton, Miss.

They expect to open their restaurant in the food court early next month.