Hamock’s Perkadeli to close in May after 23 years in Clinton


  • Darlene Hamock at Hamock’s Perkadeli and Catering is known for providing her signature chicken salad in boxed lunches for her catering customers.

  • This table of food was prepared by Darlene Hamock for a catering customer.

Hamock’s Perkadeli, a staple in Clinton for 23 years, will be closing May 27, as its owner, Darlene Hamock, says she’s quitting the restaurant business for health reasons.

“After much prayer and thought, we have decided to close Hamock’s Perkadeli,” Hamock said in a video message she posted late last week to the business’ Facebook page. “The arthritis in my body is too much for me to continue on a daily basis.”

The restaurant, which specializes in Hamock’s famous chicken salad and her bakery creations — including hand-designed special-occasion cakes — now operates Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

But even though the restaurant side of the business will be closing, Hamock will continue making cakes to order and handling some catering jobs, as her health permits, she said. The catering and cake-baking have long been the busiest part of her business.

“I will continue to do cakes and reasonably sized catering orders,” she said. “So please be sure to call me for your special events or if you need a lot of box lunches or anything like that. Also, chicken salad.”

She said she will maintain the Hamock’s Perkadeli-Cakes Facebook page to promote the catering and cake business.

“Please don’t put me out of the picture,” she said in the video. “Give me a call, and I’ll see what I can do. I’m not always going to be available, but when I can, I will do what I can.”

She also noted that she won’t leave any current customers high and dry. Her catering business is usually booked months in advance, and she said, “All events that I have booked will continue as planned.”

“I love what I do, and the people of Anderson County and Clinton,” Hamock said. “You all have been unbelievably supportive of us. You’ll never know how much we appreciate it.”

She said in late 2019 that her catering business was “mostly full meals now, where not too long ago the small bites and finger foods, including desserts, were more popular.”

“We do have menus for both,” she said. Her prices typically range from $15 to $20 per person, with the higher prices including complete on-site service, including plates and table wear.

“I like for people to make their own menus, so we’re pretty flexible,” Hamock said in 2019. “But that does take more notice. We also have casseroles to go,”

In the past, Hamock has regularly catered events ranging from 75 to 350 people, but has also done all-day events for 1,000 or more, such as grand openings and similar jobs. She also has done catering for local industrial plants, some of which required her to provide food for three different shifts over a single workday.

As for the Hamock’s Perkadeli, “Our last day will be Thursday, May 27,” she said.

“That is 23 years and 12 days from when we opened.”