Monday, April 5, 2021

Moving Forward in The Fondren

 Progress continues in The Fondren.  Famed restaurateur Robert St. John provided an update on his Fondren project yesterday on Facebook: 

Construction in Jackson on the Fondren project is in full swing. The Capri theatre— Jackson’s only screen— will have reclining seats, a full bar, and appetizers. Highball Lanes will have 10 bowling lanes, and a Crescent City Grill-style restaurant and bar. The Pearl is a real-deal tiki bar. And the Ed’s Burger Joint will have a rooftop bar. We are fired up to be heading north. Look for us this fall.

 




 

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the city doesn’t get crime under control this will fail. If the city gets crime under control this will be a roaring success. It’s that simple. Praying for the latter.

Anonymous said...

Where will people park?

Anonymous said...

The project may come to fruition too late as more and more flee to areas where leadership actually values taxpayers' contributions by providing basic functions/services of municipalities like safety and water.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness someone is trying to make Jackson better. Just keep the Mayor and every member of the city council away from Fondren.

Anonymous said...

RSJ restaurants are worth a ten minute drive from foreign countries like Madison.

Anonymous said...

It will come just in time. The Fondren continues to lose its staple businesses month after month. This will make it worth visiting again.

Anonymous said...

bowling-will they have league night? or is this a rip off of the hipster bowling lane in nashville? (pinewood social)

Anonymous said...

will be a huge success. way to go!

Anonymous said...

The must be a lot of bowlers in fondren

Anonymous said...

This is so exciting and great news for the whole metro area! Glad to see more progress in the Fondren neighborhood! 9:13 and 9:16 way to try and find a negative spin on this great development.

Anonymous said...

I applaud the investment in one of the last viable commercial centers of the city. And, I hope the reward is well worth the risk being taken. Will it draw the suburbanites back to the city for entertainment, or will the thugs take it over, thereby making it an undesirable destination in short order?

Anonymous said...

Fondren is about the only bright spot in Jackson these days. Everything else has died on the vine. 8:57 and 9:23 speak truth! Only a continued escalation crime will cause this to fail, but that seems to be one of the main issues about which this current city administration can't get serious! It takes a brave developer to put this much money in an area over which the likes of Baby Chok holds the cards......

Anonymous said...

No offense, but, trendy-niche jernts like this come and go. Mostly go. There will never be another Cherokee.

Anonymous said...

10:05 - Always amused by do-goody folks who see reality as negative.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember when there was a Be-bop Record shop right next door to the Capri in the same building? That would've been around 1979-80 I think. The Capri was still showing feature films then.

By the mid-1980s, the Be-bop was long gone and the Capri had resorted to showing porn movies before closing for good.

It's nice to see someone giving that old building new life.

Anonymous said...

The Negative Nellies show up as usual.

Geez, I guess they didn't know that CV 19 took a toll on businesses everywhere. They might should take off their blinders to wherever they call home.

I wish the Nellies could get out more so they'd see that it's not just Fondren in Jackson that is enjoying a comeback. But, perhaps their appointed guardians won't let them.

Anonymous said...

I don't live in Hinds but I am always hopeful that any new business there will succeed...Best of luck to anyone who is willing to try to improve the area.

Anonymous said...



'RSJ restaurants are worth a ten minute drive from foreign countries like Madison."
April 5, 2021 at 9:24 AM

RSJ restaurants are worth a two-HOUR drive from Madison, when those restaurants are in Hattiesburg - BECAUSE they're in Hattiesburg, away from crazy, hateful, religion-obsessed, socially-paranoid Jacksonians (who're now fleeing-to and infecting Madison with their innate meanness).

Hattiesburg IS like another country. The people there are so much nicer, ANY excuse for a daytrip mini-vacation in Hattiesburg, is a good excuse.

PittPanther said...

8:57am, you get crime under control by having vibrant, highly populated areas with many people out and about.

Anonymous said...

Did that say "Jackson's only screen"? The capital city has not one movie screen at the moment and this will be the only one? That says a lot right there.

I really hope it does well. If they would add a cold craft beer $100 men's haircut joint, it will hit the hipster trifecta.

Anonymous said...

I hope it succeeds for Jackson's sake. I wonder whose money is paying for this. Kingkish? Bueller? Anyone?

Purely going by RSJ's recent guest postings here, he could not personally afford it out-of-pocket at this point but since he doesn't show me his bank statements I can only base that on what he has written about it.

I would guess, but do not know for certain, that something like this would take a while to pay off, especially given the current "big picture" for Jackson and what seems the likely potential customer base for this kind of venue.

Anonymous said...

Everyone in Fondren and Jackson is excited about this. IF you can't see this as a good thing for the area, then that's on you.

Anonymous said...

PittPanther with the dumbest comment of the day. Wow! All it takes to get crime under control is having highly populated areas! I guess that's why there's so little crime in new york city!

Hehe said...

Check your Hacky Sack at the front door with Security at the new
"F Bar"?

Anonymous said...

Anybody who thinks Hattiesburg is a destination-outing hasn't watched the crime numbers for the past ten years. The town is an extension of the ninth-ward a little further south.

Anonymous said...

Fondren businesses should tie into the closest hospital's water system.

Anonymous said...

4:51....huh?

The burg is booming. Old buildings coming back to life. Lots of residential units coming online inside the city limit. And as a side note, I've never seen a city pave so many roads in 3 years. Get out from under your rock and come visit.

Anonymous said...

Ditto what 4:51 says - Hattiesburg is overrun with drugs and crime. My son goes to school at USM. It's pathetic what happened to that town. Katrina washed all the New Orleans thugs straight into Hattiesburg. Then they stayed and had a bunch of thug kids. And the cops and city government sit on their hands.

Anonymous said...

The repeated stupidity that you can revive anything for the long term in Jackson is simply mind boggling. How is the King Edward doing?

Anonymous said...

Hope RSJ does well but any investment in Jackson right now is extremely high risk with limited upside.

Anonymous said...

Some folks view the theater redo with nostalgia and romanticism, but in reality its very limited seating plus the small single screen will probably only cater to the local neighborhood... until the percentages overtake it.

But I wish them well.

Has it been 10 years yet? said...

I wish them well! At least they're actually doing something, unlike other Jackson revitalization boondoggles that were nothing but silly talk, such as...

BB King's on Farish
Movie theaters at the District
Old Capitol Green
A domed stadium at JSU
The downtown robotic parking garage
The Metrocenter carousel/ferris wheel

and don't forget this gem:

Ben Allen, president of Downtown Jackson Partners, said at the press conference that he has seen figures showing that, with all the residential development downtown in the form of loft apartments and condos, that in 10 years there could be as many as 25,000 people living downtown, tripling traffic on Pearl Street and Pascagoula Street.

-- Mississippi Business Journal
-- March 3, 2008

PittPanther said...

2:53pm, I'm confused. You think that "crime under control" means "zero crimes?" Where does that happen?

NYC continues to be one of the most desirable cities in the world, but to hear you tell it, they can't be successful because their crime is not under control... You're insane.

Anonymous said...

This would have been a great idea twenty years ago. (when The Fondren was a thing)

I have always admired RSJ.
And still do.

But what are his backers thinking ?

The man doesn't reopen his signature restaurant "The Purple Parrot" ... bet yet is trying to open
a new venue in Jackson Mississippi ? This is the same logic of not reopening Galatoire's or such in New Orleans
but relocating to Mogadishu and constructing a new Chuck E.Cheese's.

I really do wish RSJ well with this venture, but I doubt it will be successful during the long run.

Anonymous said...

Them hipsters still trying to gentrify that area??? Haven't heard anything lately.

Holey Earlobes said...

The bar on the Titanic was a very popular venue an hour before the vessel went down. Such is The Fondren.

Anonymous said...

Nearly all of these comments are stupid. If any of you Jackson-haters ever took a break from watching local TV news and reading this blog, you might find yourself having a great meal and night out in Fondren, Belhaven, the District/Highland Village, or (gasp) Downtown. I realize your feeble brains and low energy bodies are more comfortable typing anonymous comments into this armpit-of-the-internet, but you really should get out more.

Anonymous said...

10:18

"...I realize your feeble brains and low energy bodies are more comfortable typing anonymous comments into this armpit-of-the-internet..."

So... you... DON'T have "a feeble brain? or a low energy body?" but you're also here "typing anonymous comments into this armpit-of-the-internet"? Smart guy.

Anonymous said...

@10:18 - and yet, here you are.

Anonymous said...

talk about pouring good money after bad...When you could build this anywhere in the surrounding metro area and it would do well, you choose to build it in this sewer (pun intended), inquiring minds have to wonder.

Fondren Hipster said...

4/5 @9:13 - A parking area is being built/redone behind the strip.
4/5 @9:54 - Yes, a hipster bowling lane similar to Pinewood Social.
4/5 @2:26 - Robert rarely puts up his own money. He has multiple investors and investor groups that finance the bulk of his restaurants.
4/6 @11:42 - Regarding "a domed stadium at JSU" being silly talk, included in the 2021 Legislative Session's appropriations bill is one million dollars to "study" building a stadium in downtown Jackson for JSU. It's not so much for JSU to have its own stadium as it is for UMMC to gain control over the current stadium's parcel of land.
- Like many in Fondren and other commenters I'm excited about this development and hope it's hugely successful. Hopefully the developers are smart enough to dig their own water well so these restaurants aren't shut down almost every other month because of Jackson water issues.
- Finally, for RSJ and the other developers (I'm looking at you David Pharr and Jason Watkins) did you really have to tear up the BRAND NEW sidewalks in Fondren by cutting holes for the fence posts? Sandbags would have sufficed. I expect you to do better than just filling up the holes. When you're finished with construction you need to rip out the now "holey" sidewalks and pour smooth new ones. Be a good boy scout and leave it better than it was, or at least return it to how it was.

Fondren Hipster said...

Correction to my @10:34 am post - It's only $250K to study locating a stadium for JSU downtown, not $1M as I previously posted.

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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.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


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.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

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.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

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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!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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