By JACK WEATHERLY
This Town of Livingston dates to 2014.
That was about 190 years after the original Livingston was created and long after it disappeared.
Now, its eighth and ninth buildings are under construction.
A Sal & Mookie’s will open in the upscale development at the intersection of Highways 463 and 22 in the rolling hills of Madison County.
Tommy Landrum will be the licensee for the “New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint.”
Upstairs in the two-story, 4,360-square-foot building, not including the balcony and patios, whose architecture will reflect that of the others, will be for the Pi(e) Lounge for adults during the evenings, while the whole restaurant will be open to families otherwise, he said.
Landrum, 35, said he worked in the restaurant industry in Dallas and in Mississippi after getting his degree in hospitality at Ole Miss. For the past two or three years, he worked for PFS Investments.
“What got me really excited was to be able to work with Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal,” the younger Landrum said.
Good said that “this is . . . the way we’d like to grow Sal & Mookie’s.” He stressed that he and co-owner Blumenthal are not franchising, but rather licensing the concept, which allows the licensee more flexibility
Good and Blumenthal own a Sal & Mookie’s in Jackson and licensed one in Biloxi. They also own Bravo!, a restaurant, and Broad Street Baking Co.
Tommy Landrum’s father, David Landrum, bought 480 acres in 2006 and had a vision that is being realized. The first business in Livingston in this century was Livingston Mercantile, which opened on October 2014.
Sal & Mookie’s, which is expected to be open in about a year, will make 12.
David Landrum said he plans for there eventually to be about 175,000 square feet under roof.
In the 19th century, the town grew to nine square blocks, starting with a courthouse that was in a grove of now huge and ancient cedar trees.
Railroads were built across the county but they bypassed the town, which sealed its fate and the governmental seat was eventually moved to Canton. Livingston lost its municipal charter.
David Landrum’s purchase of the 480-acre tract, included the old town and a spring-fed lake that is now the centerpiece of Chestnut Hill, which has 14 houses built or under construction.
The only remnants were the foundation of the old courthouse in what had been the town square, he said.
“We went to [Mississippi Department of] Archives and History and got the old town plat. It was three blocks by three blocks. We’re putting the streets back where they were in 1829.
“What attracted the people were the springs, which still flow.”
The development is finishing its seventh and eighth buildings.
The ninth will be be completed in February. It will be called The Chapel.
“I think it’s going to be one of the coolest wedding destinations in the state of Mississippi.” Landrum said.
“It’s going to be an exact replica” of a Methodist Church built in 1907 in Camden in north Madison County till it was moved to St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Ridgeland, where it was used as a chapel.
The school, which is undergoing a major expansion, didn’t have room for it, and donated it to the Livingston, he said.
It will be “absolutely gorgeous,” with pieces of the old church, such as windows and doors, lending a historical ambiance.
There will even be nondenominational Sunday services, he said.
The Town of Livingston has no residents thus far, and in fact it’s not really a town in the legal sense.
But if the creation of a “church” sounds like a step toward the founding of a real town, then consider that Landrum is “evaluating options” for incorporation.
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