Fondren project moving along, despite supply-chain delays
Theater, bowling alley, restaurant, bars could open before year’s end
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A $13 million project on North State Street in the heart of Jackson’s Fondren district could open by the end of the year, despite some delays caused by international supply-chain issues.
Restaurateur Robert St. John says it won’t be long before you can have a cocktail, watch a movie, eat dinner, and go bowling after what will be the 22nd restaurant opening of his career.
“I’m very excited,” he says. “We’re getting really close.”
When WLBT last visited the site in May, the future Highball Lanes was still a vast expanse of land behind what used to be a Seabrook paint store. Now that a new addition has been completed, a crew from Brunswick in Ohio is installing ten bowling lanes behind what will be a restaurant and bar.
Next door, the Capri theater is also taking shape. The original projection room is being readied for a state-of-the-art digital projector that will beam first-run features to a 40-foot retractable screen that will face 160 reclining seats, including some on new risers in the back.
The project also includes a tiki bar called The Pearl.
St. John and the Jackson developers were hoping to have it all open this fall, but the same supply-chain issues affecting everything else have slowed things down a bit.
“Some of our materials that were ordered in plenty of time and scheduled to ship in plenty of time are now being delayed,” says developer David Pharr.
He says it has still been exciting to see everything come together.
“It’s just been incredible, every day, to come in here and see what’s new,” he says.
Pharr’s office was once housed in a small parcel at the front of the theater. The Rogue, a longtime men’s clothing store in Jackson, also had its beginnings in the Capri building.
Sometime next year, a new Ed’s Burger Joint will open in the old gas station north of the Capri. It will be similar to St. John’s restaurant of the same name in Hattiesburg, with the addition of a rooftop bar overlooking the neighborhood.
“I answer the question three or four times a day, even when I’m in Hattiesburg, ‘When are you opening in Fondren?’ So we’re very excited. This is something that will be very unique for this area, and really for the state, for that matter.”
St. John says they hope to begin welcoming customers before the end of the year.
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