Bodega Opening; Unemployment Slightly Up | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Bodega Opening; Unemployment Slightly Up


The Jackson City Council will finalize a bond sale providing $2.8 million to the development of the King Edward Hotel and the Standard Life Building this week.

Residents of downtown Jackson will soon have an option for grocery shopping nearby. Bodega, a combination grocery store and deli, is set to open by Thursday of this week, co-owner Gwin Wyatt told the Jackson Free Press today.

Wyatt and her husband and co-owner, Frank Wyat, plan to offer deli sandwiches and basic groceries, including fresh produce, at the shop. Located on the first floor of the Standard Life Building, Bodega's 1,700-square-foot space is divided between a grocery section and a deli with tables and seating. Gwin Wyatt said that installing a soda fountain is the last major task before opening.

The store's opening signals a turning point in downtown Jackson's resurgence, Standard Life resident Julie Skipper said. Skipper, who will return to her post as president of the Downtown Jackson Neighborhood Association in 2011, said that support for a local grocery store can also encourage other businesses, such as pharmacies, to locate downtown.

"It's going to be a huge marker for the progress of downtown, a way to show that it is truly a neighborhood," Skipper said.

Roberts Walthall on Hiatus
Water damage to the Roberts Walthall Hotel on East Capitol Street has forced the hotel to close its rooms for overnight stays. The building, which formerly operated as the Edison Walthall, has undergone $12 million in upgrades. The hotel's bar, hair salon and restaurant are still open.

Hotel general manager Jimmy Sanders did not immediately return a call and e-mail request for comment.

State Unemployment Rises Slightly
Mississippi's unemployement rate ticked upward slightly in November, rising from 9.7 percent to 9.8 percent, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Unemployment in the state stood at 10.7 percent in November 2009. Hinds County boasted numbers slightly below the state average, with an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent.

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