Lil Mama’s, Chicago-style hoagy restaurant, opening in Chattanooga

Hoagies provided by Lil Mama's to volunteers | Photo by NOOGAtoday

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Good morning. 👋 Trista here, and I know — it’s early, it’s Monday, and staying in bed sounds so nice. But hey, I have some good news for y’all. A new restaurant is coming to downtown Chattanooga, and we couldn’t be more excited. Lil Mama’s is a Chicago-style hoagy shop and it’s going to be on Patten Parkway, where Southern Squeeze used to be. (Don’t worry, juice fans, Southern Squeeze is still open at its North Shore location.)

Lil Mama’s is a product of owner Tiffany Banks’ love for feeding others. In fact, the origin story is really cute. 👇

I love cooking. It’s like my therapy. I have a son, and when his friends come over, they eat good. But one day they wanted to know what I was cooking and I didn’t feel like doing a lot of work, so I told them I’d make them hoagies. One of his friends knocked on my door and said ‘Ms. Tiffany, you can sell these.’ And that’s how it started.

Owner of Lil Mama’s, Tiffany Banks | Photo provided by Tiffany Banks

Before finding the storefront, Tiffany and her husband Eugene (AKA Joe) were fulfilling orders out of a commercial kitchen. Now, they’re focusing on opening the shop. In the meantime, though, Tiffany + Eugene have provided free lunches for multiple organizations, including We Over Me, Chattanooga Preparatory School, and Rise Chattanooga.

Lil Mama’s will have a ‘90s concept with bright, bold graffiti + decade reminiscent tunes. (Think Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, and A Tribe Called Quest.) Tiffany and Eugene are from Chicago, so you’ll get some Windy City vibes, too.

Lil Mama’s is set to open in mid-September and the new menu is coming out soon, so be on the lookout. 👀 While you wait to dig into a hoagy, you can follow the progress here + here.