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Shanks Steak and Catfish announced that it will be hosting a fundraiser to honor their late owner, Wayne Burch.

Paul still, Burch's friend and an assistant manager at Shanks, said Burch passed away on Wednesday, sparking the idea for the fundraiser. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and will offer "memorial plates."

Still said the plates will include regular menu items sold at a small up-charge with all proceeds going to benefit the staff to get them through the month of December and to Burch's family for funeral preparations.

"We're selling plates for the fundraiser and have been asked if we can sell pans at wholesale, but unfortunately we cannot at this time -- we have to sell by plates," Still said. "We just encourage everyone to buy as many plates as they'd like."

Still said the restaurant will also host a memorial toast for Burch at 5 p.m. Sunday.

"The idea is anybody who wants to can come out and have a toast with us to his memory, [share] tales about Wayne and remember stories, that's what we are going to do," Still said.

Still described Burch as part country boy, part Santa Claus and said he got involved with Shanks back in August to help Burch build a website and develop a social media presence. Still said that Burch gave it his all for the restaurant and really loved its location off of Highway 43.

In an interview with the Tuscaloosa Thread back in July, Burch said the restaurant prides itself by buying quality ingredients that are prepared fresh in the restaurant. Still supported this, saying that the restaurant is known for its steaks.

"When you go in, it's like you are going to a grocery store," Still said. "It's a steak that is tender enough that you can cut it with a fork – forget about that knife. We have a side of beef and the beef is cut that day. Some steakhouses literally buy their streaks pre-portioned and sealed in plastic, but Shanks cuts theirs daily using only the top 2 percent grade beef available."

For more information, check out Shanks' website or their Facebook page.

Top Stories From The Tuscaloosa Thread (11/23-11/29)