Abraham Santa Cruz has energy—a lot of energy. And he's trying to make a way for a new downtown venture called Revolution's Corner, now open at the corner of Pearl and Roach streets in the Standard Life Building.
The store has only been open for two days, but downtowners are already taking notice of the new spot, Santa Cruz—one of the co-owners—said this morning.
"People are interested, and it's up us to match that interest with energy," Santa Cruz, 32, told the Jackson Free Press.
The bodega, operating in the space that formerly housed Adobo, is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, Revolution's Corner will remain open until midnight. On Sundays, the operating hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The 1,750-square-foot store houses a bodega with typical convenience-store staples such as eggs, milk and toiletries, as well as beer. Santa Cruz, who moved to Jackson from New Orleans five years ago and lives in Fondren, also plans to sell hot foods such as pizza and, later, to host game nights and other events.
There has long been talk about the need for such a market to serve downtown residents, but Santa Cruz said he and his partners wanted to seize on what he calls "the energy factor" in downtown right now.
"People respond to energy. Once they see the energy, they'll shop a little later, drink a little later. We're hoping to capitalize on that energy," said Santa Cruz, who also co-owns Massage Revolution in Regions Plaza in downtown Jackson.
In recent months, a new city ordinance that makes it easier to operate food trucks has given rise to hotdog vendors downtown. This week, a city-sponsored initiative called the We Are Jackson Food Truck Friday lunch series takes place Friday, Sept. 11, at 11 a.m. in Smith Park.
The City of Jackson, Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau, Downtown Jackson Partners and the Mississippi Museum of Art are sponsoring the event, which will be each Friday for one month and will feature such businesses as Hog Heaven, Lurny D's Grille, Small Town Hot Dogs and Pop Culture Ice Pops.
Santa Cruz said that in his native New Orleans he observed bad tourism, which eschews locals in favor of out-of-town guests, and good tourism, which encourages locals to participate.
"We hear a lot about tourism downtown and the need for more industry and more jobs. Rather than sit at city council and listen to numbers and the blame game, we figured we'd be a part of (the solution) and open up," Santa Cruz said.