Friday, July 15, 2016

The Chip dude comes to Fondren

It is a rather simple equation.  Bar + neighborhood homes = conflict.   Fondren residents are upset that a bar/pizza joint/pool hall/whateveryoucallit opened at the corner of Patton and North State Street.  The complaints soon arose and Patton Avenue residents took their fight to City Hall this week.  The video posted below shows a stream of neighbors addressing the City Council. 





Anna Wolfe  reported in the Clarion-Ledger:

Jackson's Chip Matthews opened the doors to Fondren Garage, which features a walk-up, open-air bar decorated with bulbs, about a month ago. Since then, he's hosted crowds of people from four to 300.

While he has rented a 50-space parking lot next door, it won't be in use until lights are installed. So on Fridays, the joint's busiest night, cars line nearly the entire length of Patton Avenue, a residential street in Fondren.

And it's disturbing the normally quiet neighborhood.

Now, Jackson officials say violations could cause Fondren Garage to be shut down. According to a statement, the city issued a zoning violation to Gary Clark, Matthews' partner, on June 7. They also sent a violation letter in reference to an illegal unscreened Dumpster.

 When the business failed to come into compliance, the city sent a court summons to Clark on July 7 ordering the owners to appear at Jackson Environmental Court on July 12. He didn't show....

 On Wednesday, Matthews opened the restaurant-bar at 10 a.m. like usual. He spent his morning answering his phone and explaining that he began his new business legally. First, he called his mama to let her know that he had not been arrested, as the media suggested he might be.

"Nobody's brought us anything," Matthews said. "I found out about it when Channel 16 showed up to do an interview with me last night."

Matthews obtained beer and retail sale permits in March. He also said he's followed proper procedure, having a multitude of inspections done on the building since October, when he first rented it.

"To me, it looks like a media firestorm created by one person who's just working on her reelection votes," Matthews said, referencing Barrett-Simon's work to close Fondren Garage.

But it appears Fondren Garage was able to obtain a permit without completing a site plan review, which is required by the city before a permit is issued. That review would have ensured that the business was in compliance with the zoning requirements.

"Everybody from the city came and inspected this building," Matthews said.

While Matthews said he is unaware of any official complaints from the city, only Clark is named on the company's filings. It's LLC registered with the secretary of state, called SHHH LLC, only includes Clark's name... Rest of article.


Add Chip Matthews to the equation posted above and the result will be anything but boring. Stay tuned. 

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is he the Club Fire guy?

Anonymous said...

These DAMN Millennials

Anonymous said...

It is nice to see that these citizens are getting the support from the council.

Anonymous said...

8:36 yes it is.

This place is a dump. Neighbor's have been upset about this way before he opened. No one wants a bar next door to their home. It's a bad location and essentially a big old house with a few pool tables.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Gary Clark the gut that had the Farmer's Market restaurant that had good southern style food? You could go down there for breakfast and lunch and get real food. Now all you get is strange stuff most of the time! Cindy Hyde-Smith broke Clark's contract by altering the RFP and gave the lease to Margaret Simon-Barrett's daughter. It smells a little fishy to me that Simon-Barrett would be going after Clark. Maybe Hyde-Smith is partly behind this. And what is with all the double names?????

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the City of Jackson enforcing ordinances

Anonymous said...

The only person who really cared about Chip Matthews was Mr. Crowley. That didn't turn out so well, did it?

Anonymous said...

We went there a couple of weeks ago and the food was OK. We were expecting classic video games like Barcadia, but all they had was some pool tables. Still it was a neat little place. Not sure I'd go back.

I'm amused that the too-hip-for-the-suburbs crowd that loves to brag about their address over mojitos at Babalu has a different opinion when an even hipper, younger set moves down the street and brings their brand of urban camaraderie a little too close. It's OK if they're carousing two streets over, but at the end of the road...well I don't know if I like that.

These people need to get ready, because directly across the street at the other corner of State and Patton is a newly renovated building that is courting retail, which may include more of those pesky youngsters engaging in behavior better suited to Duling Avenue.

Young people these days...I tell you!

Anonymous said...

Another example of the hassle new businesses get in Jackson when they try to get started.....

Anonymous said...

He should be enjoined from ever owning a restaurant/bar/etc. business. What an ass.

Anonymous said...

isn't there another pizza joint in Fondren? Just to the West of State Street.

Anonymous said...

Well, if we (city, or even just Fondren for that matter) had a developmental plan that established "districts of usage," as in these types of business can be here, and these types here, where there can be a progression of business into residential districts, these type relationships could work, but we (city / fondren) have no true plan. This bar attracts the wrong element (or type drinker) to be next to family housing, there is really no argument for this, and this building and other along State Street should be classified as office space / studio space, with the biggest stretch being some type of lunch cafe. Even if he was "fully inspected" by the city, I would have to imagine that a lot was overlooked as, for example, the cities Building Inspection department is known to very lazy and bad, and slow moving on most everything. The guy probably has a great idea in a neighborhood bar, but it should probably be about 100yds up State St. towards UMC where it would be more appropriate for this type gathering. Beyond that, if he is supposed to close at midnight, and he has stayed open till 2:00a.m., then he has shown his cards, and truly guilty of being a very bad neighbor to the community he is asking to support his business venture

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, the intolerant Creative Class.

Kingfish said...

Dr. Bower lived there and owned the building across the street that house his Kidneycare company. Then he cashed out and sold the house. It was a beautiful house on the inside. Just beautiful. A shame it's come to this.

Yes, Sugar Daddy Clark lost the restaurant contract. I've got a copy of the new one for MSB's daughter. I need to post it. It also cost $100 for a copy of it. Cindy is all about getting her due.

Anonymous said...

Damn, that is a heap of NIMBYs living in Fondren. Same folks who've been dogging the oft-absent MBS for years are suddenly her most ardent supporters! Then you have Stamps test ballooning mayoral campaign sound bites including exhorting the Patton Avenue Parade of white peoples to send their children to JPS. LOL LOL LOL

Anonymous said...

Think I'll purchase a house on Patton and lease it back to Oxford House.

Anonymous said...

Does Kenneth Stokes always bring a bath towel to wipe his sweaty face to the council meetings?

Anonymous said...

The first RFP that went out at the fairgrounds stipulated that the concessions and Farmer's Market restaurant had to be taken together. The restaurant had just begun to make a little money for Clark. He owned all of equipment in there and when Hyde-Smith split the RFP up, so went the equipment. I understand that the Ag Department somehow came up with money to help the new contract holders. Hyde-Smith needs to be looked at closely - especially her Dodge Charger that was paid for out of her campaign fund and most likely on state contract pricing. I see an ethics investigation by Tom Hood coming soon. Clearly, a violation of the State Constitution is she did!

Anonymous said...

We are so conservative and self proclaimed lovers of the idea of being limited government and hate the government until we just love it.

We say we want less government because it hinders business and here we are doing it.

Personally, one of my favorite bars in the world is Uptown Henry's neighborhood bar in New Orleans. It's just a small little place owned by 'The Silver Fox' and his wife. A great place to watch baseball. Now there's a place, far from perfect, who embraces the funky and embraces a supportive environment for all kinds of businesses.

It must have been something else to actually live in the days when this was still a frontier. I'm going to move here, and build this up from nothing and make it work. I'm responsible for myself.

Can you imagine how Mississippi would blow up with development if entrepreneurs all over the world knew they could move here, face little regulation, and open up all kinds of business, to truly try and make it work without the hassle of the government? Like it was 100 years ago?

Let's be real with what Jackson really is. It's an old world frontier city that needs to be redeveloped as practically speaking, it looks like a bomb went off at its center. We've gotten so used to driving daily by the abandoned buildings that we think this level of blight is normal.

Let's be real with the fact that few really want to move here to make it better. We have to dole out hundreds of millions just to get theoretical projects that may or may not work, much less any established businesses.

And yet, here we have someone with the guts to try and make one of his ideas work, all while having to follow all the rules and regulations required, being criticized for "disturbing the normally quiet neighborhood." A neighborhood whose property values have gone exactly because of things like this.

But we clap for this.

It's probably difficult to imagine,a city and a State that actually mostly self regulated itself and was open for innovation and business.

But maybe we should think about those hipsters and other entrepreneurs in 2004 that decided to turn a defunct part of town into what it is today. Similar to Midtown today, no one cared to regulate what people tried to do in Fondren. And more people started coming. And now look at this one small positive sign of progress.

It's amusing to see.

Anonymous said...

The old farmer's market restaurant was always amazingly good.

Anonymous said...

You can't put an outdoor patio bar that's open until 2 a.m. right next to a line of residences. This isn't Dodge City in the 1800's. You can laugh at Madison all you want but this is exactly why Madison is a success. Build a strong, safe, logical zoning system in the neighborhoods so people will WANT to live there and then make smart decisions about where to put the late-night bars and businesses. I would love to see Jackson prosper and the fact that Yarber is willing to ADMIT that someone in his administration screwed this up is a breath of fresh air. But you can't come into someone's residential area and pi#@ all over them to make some cash. I own and operate businesses and I don't like the regulations I go through. But I saw this owner interviewed and he's waving around his license and saying that he did his required site plan. A site plan is a drawing showing where the equipment is placed. Only an as##ole would say that this gives him the right to create a business that leads to this sort of havoc in someone's neighborhood. As for Stamps...would someone please put a three-minute limit on that chatterbox? He one step away from the Al Sharpton Show.

Anonymous said...

Does Kenneth Stokes always bring a bath towel to wipe his sweaty face to the council meetings?

Yes......all he needs now is to bring a trumpet and break out into a resounding rendition of "Hello Dolly".

Apologies to Satchmo...........

Anonymous said...

@12:21 it is dodge city in the 1800's. At least the Governor wants it to be with everyone open carrying guns. At least Dodge City had the sense enough to make people check guns once they reached the City Limits. JAckson could learn from this.

Anonymous said...

That sounds like something Hyde-Smith would do (cancel a contract to help a friend). After all, she's a Republican legislator. They play by their own rules...uh...I mean they have no rules for themselves. Excuse me...I need to leave now and head to the VIP tent at CSpire, get drunk, drive home, crash my car, and get off because I claimed (days later) that I had cough drops and cough spray right before I was found drunk. The drunk driver is the person Tate Reeves has in his # 1 leadership spot. As the very dishonorable Tate Reeves would say, "welcome to your MS state senate." Crooks.

Anonymous said...

Fondrenites getting mad at people doing stuff that Fondren type people want to do.

You want to make it like mid town new Orleans, you're going to have bars and dives in neighborhoods. That doesn't always attract the creme de la creme in the area. This is part of the hip uban atmosphere.

Reminisce This... said...

The best place in Fondren is Shakey's Pizza Parlor. Long picnic tables where everyone can visit and ice cold pitchers of Schlitz and PBR. Here! Here! And you can walk to Memorial Stadium for the games. Bama, LSU, State, Ole Miss....

Playing upscale video games and watching baseball is for pussies. Most of these places need a de-lice and grab-spray station at the entrance.

Anonymous said...

Mathews is an idiot. He and his two brothers tried making a go of it on the square in their hometown of Canton. He opened a pizza joint on the south side of the square that was PITIFUL. I only ate int here once. The food wasnt fit to eat and the service was worse than that.

He made a run at barbecue joint with 'Uncle Fullers' on the north side of the square. Equally as bad. Now he is involved with 'The Tomahawk Steak Company' on the square. I should have known better but I ate in there once. The steak was paper, over cooked and the service was deplorable. They charged $10 for a Margarita that you couldnt drink.

The boy might know how to run a bar because Fire had a pretty good run but he knows absolutely squat about running a restaurant and customer service.

His uncle Bobby Montgomery is going to get tired for financing his little ventures. Its looking like Uncle Bobby might have to come defend him with this one.

Anonymous said...

Remember when Shakey's became Montana's Ribs for a minute and every teenager in town hung out there because they didn't card? Closed within three months, but I can remember the parking deck across the street being filled with my peers getting drunk off 3.2 and blasting Boston from the Pontiac's 8-track.

This is the whiniest bunch of BS ever, because all these people love to talk about how cool Fondren is and they prove it by pointing to places like the Pig N Pint which is about 50 feet from Fondren Garage, just across the street. Once that stuff moves to their side of the road it's hissy-fit time. Whoever said NIMBY is dead on.

This is the JFP crowd's code for "I love those people, as long as they stay over there." Everyone is progressive and cool and braggadocious and hipper-than-thou as long as it's at least a block away, but when they have to deal with loud, late night music two doors down and wake up to empty beer cans on the lawn, suddenly it's a nuisance.

Wonder if Donna and Todd and the other JFProggies will sneer at these residents the way they do the people who moved to Madison to find a more family friendly life?

Anonymous said...

I heard Ms Barrett say "I wonder how this guy keeps slipping through the cracks?" I would expect he slips through because of his uncle Bobby. Uncle Bobby is strong and can bring quite a bit of weight to bear on most any official anywhere in the state.

Anonymous said...

Clark's "restaurant" food at the farmers market was mediocre at best. But as time went on the kitchen became increasingly grimy. How it ever passed health inspection is questionable. The vegetables were greasy and over cooked. Granted, sometimes a good greasy hamburger is just what you need. I stopped going when I could no longer stomach the greasy food and inferior prep-area cleanliness.

Tried the new Farmers Market Table....very good and diverse. Can get a good (non-greasy) meat hamburger or a quite tasty veggie burger. I like both and there's nothing 'odd' about their meatloaf or daily specials. Vegetables are delicious. Sign says veggies, eggs and meat come from local farmers.

Don't know about RFPs but, in this case, so glad a change was made.

Anonymous said...

The establishment is probably located within the proper zoning district due to the fact that the area is zoned that of mixed use. The problem may be that the city issued a privilege license without requiring the owner to go through the site plan review process. Keep Fondren Funky is their rallying cry. Sooooo.........??????

Crab Lice said...

Damn. Sorry. My bad. I said 'grab spray' and meant to say 'crab spray'. Line up....

Anonymous said...

City is only picking on him because he's Caucasian

Anonymous said...

Let's say all the permits are in order. Any person that has any experience running an establishment such as Fondern Garage should have known it was going to cause a stink with the neighbors. I do find it somewhat funny that all the hipsters that just have to live in Fondern are raising hell. They didn't think the Recovery Room was good enough for them and pressured the building owner not to renew the lease. They should have left it alone. Bring back the Recovery Room!!!!

Anonymous said...

After watching the news and reading the articles, it appears to me the place is legit. They have the proper permits and are in a commercially zoned building. I can see why folks wouldn't want a restaurant on their street- I wouldn't either. That's why when I bought a house, I bought in a neighborhood that's strictly residential. How can you live in a mixed use area with a building on your street that is zoned commercial and then be mad that it's being used for a commercial business? Sounds like something that should be considered BEFORE moving into a house.

Anonymous said...

Is uncle Bobby the same guy who brought us parkway east and taxpayers responsible for $30 million in bond debt while he grabbed legal fees?was Rudy involved too?

Anonymous said...

Is uncle Bobby the same bob Montgomery who as senate finance chairman doubled the state pension for legislators?maybe he advises the Clinton foundation in his retirement!

Kingfish said...

Canton reminds one of that town in Fistful of Dollars. Blackmons on one side, Montgomery & Banks on the other.

Sometimes there are just no good guys.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why this person keeps referring to Attorney Bob Montgomery as being Chip Matthews' uncle. Obviously, he has one of them confused; that Bob Montgomery is not his uncle. Chip's mother's maiden name was Montgomery; but, she and Bob are not brother and sister.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of fistful of dollars I heard bob Montgomery was known as Dollar Bob and hand delivered legal invoices to avoid mail fraud charges! Wasn't he involved with that felon who wanted to build a handicap theme park With county funds while he was attorney for board of supervisors?

Anonymous said...

Who cares whose dad is who or whose uncle is who? The question here is whether or not Fondren Garage is going to stay open of he closed. Do they want more businesses in Jackson or do they not?

Anonymous said...

A handicap theme park? Geez, how did I miss that

Anonymous said...

This is an easy problem to solve and I know that because it's been solved all over the country.
The obvious is getting the parking solved by having the lighting taken care of in the parking lot. That should have been done first...ball dropped.
But, most of our larger cities in the country have recognized the importance of maintaining a residential tax base and most States have helped their cities by providing monies that can protect neighborhoods with sound barriers between the neighborhood and commercial development.
It is inexplicable to me why our highway commissioners don't seem to know what a sound barrier is when they let bids for highway construction.

We don't have to reinvent the wheel. We only have to do what has been successful elsewhere. And, that is what Mary Hawkins Butler did when she went to Roswell,GA and instituted all their ordinances when she first got to be mayor! Of course, she hasn't stayed current but such is the human reaction to a little bit of knowledge and success.

Anonymous said...

9:36 pm

Who in Fondren pressured the family who owns the building not to renew the Rec Room lease?

Names please.

The Rec Room lease wasn't renewed because - money.

She got 5 times the rental income from Lennys and ran Room Service out.

Progress caused the Rec Room to close....which was a damn cool bar by the way.

Anonymous said...

KF - you weren't even in Jackson when John lived in that house.

You always drop statements and hints that imply you are from here but you are not.

You are an interloper from Louisiana and it'd behoove you to quit trying to sound so familiar.

There's no prize for being a Jackson native....but feigning some type of historical personal knowledge about things which predate your time here is....well just plastic. It does more harm than good to your narrative.

Kingfish said...

You are without a doubt a friggin idiot and a liar to boot. Whatever you think you know about me is wrong. I suspect you know better but like to come here and trash things up. Nice try.

Anonymous said...

A quick note to anyone who says the building is zoned commercial — it is not. You can look it up. It's zoned residential with an Overlay district on top of it called the Fondren / North State St. Overlay. This has nothing to do with Fondren business district. This Overlay lays out a pretty clear list of what can be in that spot. Time will show that they achieved their permits by manipulating and deceiving the process, while taking advantage of poor administration and oversight.

Anonymous said...

Overlays are hell. The one on High Street is responsible for keeping that old monstrosity of a steel rush heap in place. It is one of Jackson's worst eyesores. Just don't know why we tolerate such ugly lots so close to the interstate and where all kinds of visitors to the fair, downtown, and hospitals travel. Maybe the overlay district will work for Fondren. It seems that restaurant permits can be converted to nightclubs in Jackson. Maybe this overlay district will prevent that. I would not want to have a nightclub near my bedroom regardless of how trendy my area may be. Some areas of the Vieux Carre' in NOLA would be unappealing to me because of the noise after 10:00 PM. But then, I work for a living.

Anonymous said...

12:47 A.M.

I was not addressing you when I stated the relationship of Chip Matthews and Bob Montgomery. I was addressing the poster who had made a statement that was untrue and obviously, something they knew nothing about. Please remember the old rule of "not speaking until spoken to" and also, the one that deals with minding your own business!

McDade's Has Roaches said...

Quoting someone: "Time will show that they achieved their permits by manipulating and deceiving the process, while taking advantage of poor administration and oversight."

If that's the case, tough-titty. Every developer, lawyer or property owner who seeks to have space rezoned has a bag full of tricks. If they work to the advantage of the petitioner, he's successful. If not, he'll be back later.

Poor administration and oversight equals tough-titty.

PS: My grandmother always said tough-titty fifty years ago to signify, 'You're shit out of luck, Charlie'.

Anonymous said...

Chips mother, Jerilynn, was a Montgomery. Bobby is her brother. I grew up in Canton and went to school with Mathews and his siblings Rodger, Monty and Donna. Where do you suppose 'Monty' got his name????

Anonymous said...

@2:31 - what 'steel rush heap' on High Street? You mean that one that isnt there anymore? Man, you ought to get out more and check the sights around town. Maybe while you are there, stop by the Farmers Market Cafe and grab lunch, although I have heard mixed reviews on the food nowdays after CHS and MBS have control of the restaurant.

Anonymous said...

All the comments about CHS and the fairgrounds contract, yet no one points out that during the lame-duck period of the former AG Commish he received a nice new King Ranch Ford truck after Clark got a long-term contract.

Anonymous said...

@1:31 - that's a wonderful fact to know.

Do you have any way to connect the two issues that you put together into one sentence to make your 'implied' accusation? I don't have any information at all about this issue. I don't care a damn about the former Ag Commissioner. But - just because he now has a new truck and he also awarded this particular contract (probably along with dozens of others, as a part of the job) - I would think any reasonable person would want a little more basis before you went and took such a liableous (although of course done without putting a name to your "anonymous" post) statement.

I'm sure you have the info but just don't want to share it with anyone, including folks that could actually do something about it if there is a basis for your implication.

Anonymous said...

@4:50 - Clark Jr. bragging about it to me would my basis. He tends to run his mouth - even more so when he was drunk at his ole camper down at the fairgrounds.

Anonymous said...

@9:21, 11:02, 11:21, 4:50 ---- Hey Gary!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lets get back to the important things. Who was his aunt's boyfriend's sister in law. Important things like that is what we should be talking about.

Anonymous said...

1:26: Where exactly can I "look Up" the city's zoning map? I cant find it online. The guy I called at zoning (who was very nice and answered after two rings) told me that's because the "admin wont give us any money" to digitalize it. I'd have to come down to the Zoning office where they have a 24 x 36 map. Could I get a same-size copy? No. How about an 11 x 17 or letter size? No, again, because the map has yet to be digitalized. Basically I need to bring bring a pencil and a piece of paper and just sketch the part I want.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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