The owners of Fondren Public spent much of the summer renovating the space to a hip, inviting atmosphere, complete with an outdoor space and games such as bocce ball and shuffleboard.
Photo by Trip Burns
The owners and managers of Fondren Public worked a long time to make the bar a hotspot for a unique blend of young professionals and Fondren locals, and it paid off with Monday night's grand opening.
Patrons packed the house—choosing from an extensive beer, wine and spirit selection, playing bar games and watching Monday Night Football on any of the several flat-screen TVs. Some chose to play on one of the hand-built bar games, while others mingled against a long wall covered in bold beer-related text.
The pub is the brainchild of a small group of Jackson investors who adopted #followthejug as the catchphrase for the establishment. "The phrase refers to a small jug—a growler—that is refillable with any kind of the 24 beers on tap that leads our new offerings of craft beer," says Andrew Kehoe, the general manager of Fondren Public. The Growler costs $5, and refills start at $12. The jug is sealed onsite so patrons can enjoy it later.
Fondren Public is nestled between the circa URBAN ARTISAN LIVING boutique and the Zoubir Tabout
Antiques & Interieurs store in the Rainbow Co-Op shopping center on Old Canton Road. It opened Sept. 2, to the delight of beer lovers from Jackson and the surrounding areas.
"We are looking forward to offering something that Jackson presently doesn't have with respect to craft beer. We're planning Fondren Public to be informative and interactive with an up-and-coming community like Fondren to grow and increase knowledge of craft beer of beer drinkers," Kehoe says.
"We also have a new, and possibly one of the only, bocce (ball) courts located outside to attract people who want to have fun while enjoying a great brew."
Bocce, an Italian game, is similar to lawn bowling, but players throw the ball into the air in an underarm motion or roll it. Teams are made up of two to four members. Players must score seven to 13 points. The team that lands a spherical-shaped ball closer to the Jack, a smaller ball called a boccino, wins.
Additionally, Fondren Public offers 40 to 50 specialty bottled beers such as Yazoo Dos Perros, Sam Adams Boston Lager and NOLA Brown, as well as five beer cocktails with names like Mississippi Mule, Dark & Stormy, and Black Velvet. The pub features nine different types of wines and eight domestic beers.
The food menu boasts generous numbers of snacks, sliders, salads and "big bites." Specialty snacks include boiled peanuts flavored with cumin, sweet heat and cayenne. For those of us who like it hot, there's fried pepper jack cheese with candied bacon and sweet Tabasco glaze. The slider selection includes beef, chicken or pulled pork. Herbivores can try the veggie slider stuffed with eggplant, sauteed onions and a truffle white-bean spread.
For those with heartier appetites, Fondren Public's kitchen manager Matt Roberts created "big bites," which include a Cajun corn dog, BLT, and a fried chicken and waffle taco served with a honey glaze. Other treats include an arugula salad and tomato salad drizzled with a choice of ranch dressing or homemade vinaigrette.
For more information on Fondren Public (2765 Old Canton Road), visit its Facebook page or call 769-216-2589.
For more photos from the grand opening, visit jfp.ms/fondrenpublicopening.