Originally planned for a February or March opening, Sanford’s upcoming “Southern cooking” restaurant Toot’s is expected to open in mid or late May, according to CEO Howard Williams.

Williams told The Rant Thursday that his own health problems in the past two months have delayed the launch of the restaurant, housed in the long-closed Ham’s building at 1707 S. Horner Boulevard. The Rant first reported the new business back in January.

Williams described Toot’s — a name honoring Sanford’s rail history and the nickname that his mother (and restaurant owner) Lisa Williams grew up with — as “Southern cooking with sports bar food. The menu includes ribs, fried chicken, fish (fillets and bone-in), chicken gizzards, collard greens, black-eyed peas and more.

“What makes our food stand out is there’s nothing generic about it,” Williams said in January. “It’ll remind you of the food your grandmother or mom cooked. Everything’s fresh. Nothing’s frozen.”

He said the restaurant has begun hiring staff and will spend the next month fine-tuning the building for the May opening.