By Jack Weatherly
Mississippi restaurateur and author Robert St. John will bring his popular Hattiesburg restaurant, Ed’s Burger Joint, to the Fondren area as part of a $13 million entertainment project he is spearheading.
St. John, along with his partners, will reopen the historic Capri Theatre with a state-of-the-art projection system, reclining seats, food service, and a full bar, providing the city of Jackson with its only movie screen.
The reimagined Capri will offer first-run and classic movies as well as alternative content, such as live music. Adjacent to the Capri, the group is opening a bowling alley with a restaurant and two bars.
Ed’s will have rooftop seating and bar. “We are thrilled to bring Ed’s Burger Joint to Jackson,” says St. John. “I have always thought Fondren was the coolest neighborhood in the largest city in the state, and to have the opportunity to bring a movie theater and bowling alley – in addition to a restaurant and tiki bar – seems like a perfect fit for the casual, yet creative, vibe of Fondren.”
Ed’s Burger Joint is known for its authentic, fresh burgers, decadent shakes and homemade frozen pops.
The historic Capri will be Jackson’s only movie house, offer seating for 170 and will have a state-of-the-art projection system, reclining seats, food service, and a full bar.
It will offer first-run and classic movies as well as alternative content, such as live music.
Adjacent to the Capri, the group is opening a bowling alley with a restaurant and two bars.
Highball Lanes, offering 10l lanes, boutique games, and a full-service restaurant and cocktail bar with cuisine inspired by St. John’s Hattiesburg institution, Crescent City Grill.
The Pearl will offer tiki cocktails and small plates. The other businesses will be located in existing buildings in the Fondren strip, which will be rehabilitated to meet the standards for historic renovations.
The project will also include enhanced parking behind the State Street development.
“Fondren is already a thriving destination for shopping and dining, and this development will strengthen its reputation as a gathering spot, with some 30,000 square feet of entertainment and dining options,” said St. John.
With help from the City of Jackson and the Mississippi Development Authority, the project has qualified for the Mississippi Tourism Incentive Program.
The developers have worked extensively with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to plan the necessary restoration work.
Construction is set to begin this fall, with completion in third quarter of 2020. Wier Boerner Allin is the architect, and Copeland & Johns, Inc. is the general contractor.
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