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JAC K S O N VOL 19 NO. 12 // FEBRUARY 3 - MARCH 2, 2021 // SUBSCRIBE FREE FOR BREAKING NEWS AT JFPDAILY.COM

FREE PRESS MAGAZINE REPORTING TRUTH TO POWER IN MISSISSIPPI SINCE 2002

CELEBRATING 18 YEARS OF THE JFP

BEST OF

19 th annual FREE


This shouldn’t be how we say hello...or goodbye.

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

It’s our reality right now. But it won’t be if we do what it takes to beat COVID-19. Vaccines are coming, but until enough of us are vaccinated, we all still need to wear our masks, stay at least six feet from others, and avoid indoor social gatherings. The more we slow the spread, the faster we’ll return to normal hellos … and fewer goodbyes.

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Learn more about vaccines and slowing the spread at cdc.gov/coronavirus

Brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


contents

JACKSONIAN

February 3 March 2, ,2021 Vol. 19 No. 12

ON THE COVER Illustration by Zilpha Young

4 Publisher’s Note

6 People We have our fellow Jacksonians to thank for making the metro as wonderful as it is.

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any patrons of Massage Envy at Maywood Mart Shopping Center call Anita Winfield “The Knot Whisperer” because of her reputation for resolving sources of discomfort clients didn’t know they had. “I’m here to help someone else feel better than when they walked in,” the 43-year-old massage therapist says, even if that means putting in extra effort to address a problem in addition to a client’s original complaint. A lifelong Jackson native, Winfield graduated from Bailey Magnet High School in 1995 and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Jackson State University in 2000. Winfield taught in Jackson Public Schools from 2000 to 2001 before teaching anatomy and physiology at Jackson State from 2002 to 2007. While teaching, she pursued a master’s degree in biology, but a hyperthyroidism diagnosis forced her to stop her studies. “My system was out of control,” Winfield recalls. Without health insurance, she lived untreated for seven years. In 2014, Winfield learned she had Grave’s disease, an autoimmune disorder caused by a hyperactive thyroid, and spent five days in the hospital receiving treatment. “It almost took me out of here,” she says. “Almost.” Winfield decided to study massage therapy at the Institute for

Jackson has established a number of traditions and organizations that give back to the community.

Anita Winfield Health and Technology, Jackson campus in January 2019, because it related to her background teaching anatomy and physiology. She graduated 11 months later in December, received her license in February 2020, and started working at Massage Envy in March. Massage therapy provides a practical outlet for her knowledge, Winfield says, “because you have to understand (anatomy and physiology) to perform it on each client correctly.” Her personalized service encourages clients to communicate the experience they need to decompress. From being willing to modify her techniques, to even lending a listening ear, Winfield is there for those who seek her help. “Each client that I work on, I want to make sure they enjoy their massage and that I cater to their specific needs,” Winfield says. Winfield plans to pursue a master’s degree and a doctorate in kinesiology so that she can teach massage therapy. She is also preparing to launch I Am Royalty, LLC, a women’s accessory line she started created last summer, in February 2021. You can follow I Am Royalty, LLC on Facebook and @iamroyalty_77 on Instagram. “No matter what you face, keep going,” Winfield advises. “You may have setbacks, but they are only set-ups for your future coming to pass.” —Kyle Hamrick

16 Music & Nightlife The metro has a number of options to let you groove to your heart’s content.

22 Food Browse the restaurants that make Jackson the food hub it has become.

33 Urban Living Whatever your need, Jackson houses businesses that offer sources to provide.

40 BOJ Medical 41 Events 42 Puzzle 42 Sorensen 43 astro 43 Classifieds

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

courtesy Anita Winfield

12 Community & Culture

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publisher’s note Publisher & President Todd Stauffer Founding Editor Donna Ladd Associate Publisher Kimberly Griffin Creative Director Kristin Brenemen REPORTERS AND WRITERS City Reporter Kayode Crown Reporting Fellow Julian Mills Contributing Writers Dustin Cardon, Bryan Flynn, Taylor McKay Hathorn, Jenna Gibson, Tunga Otis, Richard Coupe,Torsheta Jackson, Michele D. Baker, Mike McDonald, Kyle Hamrick EDITORS AND OPERATIONS Managing Editor Nate Schumann JFPDaily.com Editor Dustin Cardon Executive Assistant Azia Wiggins Editorial Assistant Shaye Smith Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris

ONLINE & DIGITAL SERVICES Web Editor Dustin Cardon Web Designer Montroe Headd Let’s Talk Jackson Editor Kourtney Moncure SALES AND MARKETING (601-362-6121 x11) Marketing Writer Amber Cliett Smith Marketing Consultant Chris Rudd Advertising Designer Zilpha Young DISTRIBUTION Distribution Coordinator Ken Steere Distribution Team Yvonne Champion, Ruby Parks, Eddie Williams TALK TO US: Letters letters@jacksonfreepress.com Editorial editor@jacksonfreepress.com Queries submissions@jacksonfreepress.com Listings events@jacksonfreepress.com Advertising ads@jacksonfreepress.com Publisher todd@jacksonfreepress.com News tips news@jacksonfreepress.com

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Jackson Free Press 125 South Congress Street, Suite 1324 Jackson, Mississippi 39201 Editorial and Sales (601) 362-6121 Fax (601) 510-9019 Daily updates at jacksonfreepress.com

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The Jackson Free Press is the city’s award-winning, locally owned news magazine, reaching more than 35,000 readers per issue via more than 600 distribution locations in the Jackson metro area—and an average of over 35,000 visitors per week at www.jacksonfreepress. com. The Jackson Free Press is free for pick-up by readers; one copy per person, please. First-class subscriptions are available to “gold level” and higher members of the JFP VIP Club (jfp.ms/vip). The views expressed in this magazine and at jacksonfreepress.com are not necessarily those of the publisher or management of Jackson Free Press Inc. © Copyright 2021 Jackson Free Press Inc.

Email letters and opinion to letters@jacksonfreepress.com, fax to 601-510-9019 or mail to 125 South Congress St., Suite 1324, Jackson, Mississippi 39201. Include daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, as well as factchecked.

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e published our first ever Best of Jackson issue in January 2003, right after we’d launched the Jackson Free Press in the fall of 2002. Nearly two decades later, a lot has changed in Jackson. Heck, even State Street has been repaved. We’ve always had some good restaurants in Jackson, but this is more of a foodie town than ever before (pandemic aside). Metro Jackson has great options for live music (pandemic aside), live theater and dance (pandemic aside). There’s even live comedy now (pandemic aside) and, of course, there’s no shortage of places to get married (pandemic aside). I know we’re sick of the pandemic—no pun intended—and ready to get back out there and keep a little less social distance. Not that the curbside take-out and Netflix haven’t been fantastic. And we will get there when it’s safe as we continue safety precautions to protect each other now. In times like these, it is more important than ever to celebrate what is good about this place we call home. In that spirit, we’re publishing the 18th annual Best of Jackson issue, this one celebrating—among other things—the end of 2020. (Woohoo!) Congratulations to all of our Finalists and Winners. We took our new Best of Jackson balloting system for a spin for this year’s ballot, and it worked—we had the most individual votes we’ve ever seen in a Best of Jackson contest. Thanks to everyone who voted and made your voice heard. If you’re a Finalist or Winner in this year’s Best of Jackson, we’ll be emailing certificates this year—make sure Kimberly Griffin knows where you are (email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 x11). We also have glass plaques available for purchase (and other options) if you would like one for your wall, shelf, lobby, etc. (We don’t authorize any other companies to sell plaques or awards, so if you hear from them, know that they’re not official!) Along with this issue, we’re launching the all-new Best of Jackson City Guide, which is live at https://guide.bestofjackson.com. Again if you’re a Finalist or Winner, you’ve got options for upgrading your listing with custom images, links to your site and some SEO goodness to help people find you in search.

// by Todd Stauffer On Feb. 15, we’ll have our Best of Jackson virtual awards party via Facebook Live, starting at 6 p.m. If you’re a Winner, we would love to get you to record a thank you or acceptance (60 seconds or less) in your place of business, with your team, band, supporting cast, etc., that we can include in the virtual celebration. Email me at todd@jacksonfreepress.com for details; we’ll be reaching out to winners as well. Our next issue of the Jackson Free Press will publish on March 3, 2021, and one of the main features will be the Best of Jackson 2021 Healthcare balcourTeSy Todd STauffer

ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Senior Designer Zilpha Young Contributing Photographers Seyma Bayram, Acacia Clark, Nick Judin, Imani Khayyam, Ashton Pittman, Brandon Smith

Celebrating the Best: Pandemic Style

Todd Stauffer

Join our email list at JFPDaily.com for reminders about the Best of Jackson virtual award ceremony on February 15. lot, where we take nominations for Best Doctor, Best Dentist, Best Speciality Clinic, Best Hospital and many more. If those are waters you swim in and you’d like to campaign this year (with paid ads and/or free social media graphics) please get hold of Kimberly Griffin or myself. As this is our first monthly issue of the Jackson Free Press, let me remind you that we continue daily news, people and entertainment reporting online. To stay in the know, subscribe to the JFPDaily.com email newsletter and, of course, you can

follow us on social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, for breaking news. If you’re a business, nonprofit, promoter or someone else who needs to get the word out about your event or promotion during February, call us even though the print issue is already to bed. We have digital advertising options on JFP.ms and via the Google Display network; we can get your event or promotion announced via JFP Daily as well. If you haven’t heard of JFP Digital Services, you might like what we offer for local businesses and nonprofits. We can help you build a new website, publish a blog and news items, fill your social-media channels, create and maintain an email newsletter, and grow an audience of engaged customers or constituents. If you need help with a communications strategy, social-media strategy, or you want to improve your search position and learn more about digital marketing options—email me (todd@jacksonfreepress.com). I’d like to acknowledge the group of fine folks who put this fantastic issue together. Managing Editor Nate Schumann did a lot of the heavy lifting, with support from Web Editor Dustin Cardon, Editorial Assistant Shaye Smith and our team of freelance writers and photographers. Associate Publisher Kimberly Griffin oversaw the balloting and sold ads and sponsorships. Creative Director Kristin Brenenmen pulled everything together into a beautiful package with help from Senior Designer Zilpha Young, who also designed and placed most of the ads. Executive Assistant Azia Wiggins kept various trains running on time. If you are a Finalist or Winner and see an error in a listing, please let kimberly@ jacksonfreepress.com, and you can reach out to hear to learn more about the Best of Jackson promotional options as well. Please join us for the Best of Jackson virtual ceremony, which we promise to make as exciting as possible for a Facebook Live presentation. Our goal is to truly celebrate some fantastic people who work hard to make Jackson a unique place to live and enjoy. Soon, this pandemic will end, and we can get back out there. For now, remember to shop local and support our community as well as you can under the circumstances. Be safe, wear a mask, get that vaccine as soon as you can and stay positive. This issue should help—it’s full of the best that Jackson has to offer. Enjoy!


contributors

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Torsheta Jackson

Kyle Hamrick

Freelance writer Torsheta Jackson is originally from Shuqualak, Miss. A wife and mother of four, she writes and is a certified lactation counselor. She wrote Best of Jackson pieces for the issue.

Kyle Hamrick is a senior at Mississippi College pursuing a degree in history and minoring in journalism. He enjoys good conversations over good cups of coffee, and he will never turn down a new seersucker suit. He wrote Best of Jackson pieces and the Jacksonian.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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Richard Coupe

Taylor McKay Hathorn

Richard Coupe is a scientist, occasional writer, soccer referee, and once more, against all odds, the owner of a house needing much work. He wrote Best of Jackson pieces for the issue.

Taylor McKay Hathorn is an alumna of Mississippi College’s English program and a student at Asbury Theological Seminary. She tweets her opinions @_ youaremore_. She wrote nearly half of the Best of Jackson pieces for the issue.

Michele D. Baker

Dustin Cardon

When not baking bread from scratch, writing grants or creating websites, published author Michele D. Baker loves travel and sipping tea at the Pyramids Overlook Inn in Cairo, Egypt. She currently lives in Belhaven. She wrote Best of Jackson pieces.

Web Editor Dustin Cardon is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. He enjoys reading fantasy novels and wants to write them himself one day. He wrote and factchecked Best of Jackson pieces for the issue.

4315 Industrial Drive, Jackson, MS 39209 (601) 352-2004 or (800) 530-7194 www.hnrsupply.com Also located in Meridian & Gulfport, MS, Memphis & Nashville, TN and Tuscaloosa, AL

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Kitchen Equipment & Supplies • China • Glassware Refrigeration Equipment • Ice Machines Stainless Steel Worktables • Shelving & Storage Solutions

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Barista: Victoria Fortenberry

Best Chef: Godfrey Morgan

(Cups Espresso Cafe, 2757 Old Canton Road, 601362-7422, cupsespressocafe.com)

(Godfrey’s, 2460 Terry Road, 601-398-3602, facebook.com/Godfreys)

Finalists: Kree’ Blackwell (Bar 3911, 3911 Northview Drive, 601-586-1468) / Cody Cox (Urban Foxes, 826 North St., 769-572-5505, urbanfoxesjxn.com) / Jessica Glenn (The Bean, 2914 N. State St., 769-572-5752, facebook.com/thebeanjxn) / Cameron Phillips / Joey Tannehill (Cups Espresso Cafe, multiple locations, cupsespressocafe.com) / Jordan White (The Bean, 2914 N. State St., 769-572-5752, facebook.com/thebeanjxn)

Best Bartender: Terrance “T.P.” Patton

(Names & Faces Lounge, 224 E. Capitol St., 601-9555285, facebook.com/namesandfaceslounge)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

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Finalists: Brandi Carter (Elvie’s, 809 Manship St., 601-863-8828, elviesrestaurant.com) / Tristan Duplichain / Kurt Monaghan (Hal & Mal’s, 200 Commerce St., 601-948-0888, halandmals.com) / Ashley Pullin

Finalists: Derek Emerson (CAET Seafood and Oysterette; 1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 9015, Ridgeland; 601-321-9169; caetseafood.com) / Hunter Evans (Elvie’s, 809 Manship St., 601-863-8828, elviesrestaurant.com) / Rashanna Newsome (Aplos Simple Mediterranean; 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 174; 601-714-8989; eataplos.com) / Pierre Pryor (Iron Horse Grill, 320 W. Pearl St., 601-398-0151, theironhorsegrill.com) / Enrika Williams (Fauna Foodworks, 601-287-1276, facebook.com/faunafoodworks) / Connor Wolf (Farmer’s Table in Livingston, 1030 Market St., Flora, 601-506-6821, farmerstableinlivingston.com)

Best Dressed: Angela Phillips For as long as she can remember, Angela Phillips, 33, has enjoyed assembling outfits that look good and reflect her creative personality. “I can remember my dad when I was younger always saying, ‘Wherever you go, you got to make sure you look presentable,’” she says, recalling how he would often wait for her to get her look right before going out. Phillips grew up in north Jackson, graduated from Murrah High School, and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Jackson State University in 2012 before completing her MBA at Belhaven University in 2018. Phillips, now the local leasing manager at Northpark Mall in Ridgeland, strives for outfits that can go from the office to out on the town without sacrificing her personality or professionalism. Drawing inspiration from E! News correspondent Nina Parker, Phillips likes to keep up with what’s next in fashion, from earth-toned tops and rose gold jewelry to leather joggers and Steve Madden sneakers. Though every piece bears her touch, Phillips says her personality really shows in her shoes and her earrings. Offering advice on cultivating one’s own style, Phillips believes being yourself is the key. “You are your own brand,” she says. —Kyle Hamrick

COURTESY ANGELA PHILLIPS

FULLOFLAVA PHOTOGRAPHY

Terrance Patton, more commonly known by his nickname T.P., owns, manages and bartends at the Names and Faces Lounge in downtown Jackson. Although his familial roots lie in Memphis, Patton has considered Jackson home since 2003 when he arrived with a band scholarship to Jackson State University. After graduation, he worked as a server, gaining enough of a following and skill that he eventually garnered a spot behind the bar. “I love being around people. I’m just a people person,” Patton says. “I like being the ear of people in everyday situations. I’m like a counselor behind the bar. I can feel what kind of day people are having based on body language and facial expressions.” He completed his bartending certification in Tunica where he learned about a panoply of drinks, signs of customer intoxication, proper wine storage, drink vehicles and other topics. The training comprised three months filled with eight-hour classes. His motivation for opening the lounge derived from both a desire to be financially independent and a drive to place a friendly eating and drinking establishment where customers can feel comfortable staying for hours—and, perhaps most importantly, return again and again—in the city he calls home. Not only did Page design Names and Faces Lounge, he participated in the construction, and he plans to open a second location in Hattiesburg in the near future. —Mike McDonald

Godfrey Morgan, the owner and chef of Godfrey’s, describes his restaurant and catering service on Terry Road as his “little island in south Jackson.” Though the restaurant’s menu and ambience are inspired by his Caribbean roots, the 41-year-old says his kitchen serves everything from oxtail and jerk chicken to veggie spring rolls and queso fries. Born in Jamaica, Morgan grew up in the Cayman Islands before he moved to Jackson, where he completed culinary school at Hinds Community College in 2004. After working with world-class chefs in casinos in Mississippi and Louisiana, Morgan became the executive chef at Jackson State University in 2007, where he would stay for the next 11 years. In 2018, after operating a catering service on the side, Morgan opened a fulltime catering business that also served takeaway meals once a week. His food was so popular that he opened a full-service restaurant a year later. Everything on his menu is made from his original recipes in house, fresh every day. He says he likes to go “over the top” to make sure every dish is “always seasoned to perfection.” “I love the joy that food brings,” Morgan says. “To me, food is life.” —Kyle Hamrick

BEN HON

JOSH TOMLISON

“I call myself the surliest barista in Jackson,” Victoria Fortenberry, a barista at Cups Espresso Café in Fondren, says. Meanwhile, her coworkers, however, call her “Uncle Vic” for her loving and protective personality. Since 2015, with a year-long stint in the middle as a bartender, the 24-year-old has served cortados and other drinks she can make with her eyes shut to scores of regulars and visitors alike. The Rankin County native found a community at Cups “listening to music and drinking too much coffee,” she says. “I pretty much grew up in this coffee shop.”After graduating homeschool in 2015, Fortenberry tried out three majors at three different colleges before realizing it wasn’t for her. She also plays the keyboard while her sister, Katie Fortenberry, plays the drums for Double Take, a musical duo they formed three years ago. Fortenberry likes that Cups’ beans are ethically sourced and locally roasted, and is grateful to keep working amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “I feel very privileged to work not only with the family we have at Cups, but with the family we have in the neighborhood,” Fortenberry says. —Kyle Hamrick

Finalists: Kyris Brown / Inez Doe / Eric Henderson / Jobeth Leigh Mcintosh / Alex Moore / Hannah Roland


Are you a finalist or winner? Need your certificate? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Fitness Trainer: Trey Jordan

Trey Jordan, a Ridgeland resident who became a certified fitness instructor and personal trainer in 2019, says he was quite surprised to be named a Best of Jackson finalist after such a short time. “Honestly, it’s such an honor being named for something like this and be recognized so quickly,” Jordan says. Jordan joined the U.S. Navy after graduating high school and discovered his passion toward helping others train while serving as a command fitness leader. After finishing his tour of duty in 2018, he began working to receive certification as a personal trainer from a company called ACE. While working toward his certification, Jordan signed on as a trainee with women’s fitness organization Burn Boot Camp under owner Shelly Key at the organization’s Madison location, where he taught 45-minute “camps” that covered strength and weight training, body weight movement, athletic and metabolic conditioning and more. In January 2021, Jordan left Burn Boot Camp to return to college, but intends to work as a private personal trainer in the meantime. —Dustin Cardon

Finalists: Christine Cody (Makeup by Christine Cody, 601-760-2776) / Kellie Donaldson (Cole Facial Clinic, 204 E. Layfair Drive, Flowood, 601-933-2004, colefacialclinic.com) / Jess King (Jess K. Beauty, 769-233-3403) / Savannah Lloyd (Faces, 1115 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, 601-607-3033, facesdr.com) / Jennifer Palamono / Sara Tisdale (Blackledge Face Center, 1659 Leila Drive, 601-981-3033, blackledgefacecenter.com)

Finalists: Jasmine Brinson (Javatar Fitness, 601-613-9295, javatarfitness.com) / Jason Gibson (XplicitJ3, 1625 E. County Line Road, Suite 340, 601-850-3425, xplicitj3fitness.com) / Paul Lacoste (Paul Lacoste Sports, 601-398-0950, paullacoste.com) / Lenny Ross (Madison Healthplex, 501 Baptist Drive, Madison, 601-856-7757, healthplexperformance.com) / Oraeshia “Rhee” Unger (XplicitJ3, 1625 E. County Line Road, Suite 340, 601-850-3425, xplicitj3fitness.com) / Scott Young (Mettle Sports; 854 Centre St., Suite D3, Ridgeland; mettlesports.org)

Best First Responder: Marcus Rounsaville (Jackson Fire Department)

Finalists: John Cooly (Madison Police Department) / Hunter Grewe (Flora Fire Department) / Coty Hamilton (Richland Police Department) / Michael Hollingsworth / Christopher T. Sawyer (Law Enforcement and Safety Consultant, Motivus Momentum Agency) / Courtney Tullos (Paramedic, American Medical Response)

Best Hair Stylist: Amanda “Pretty Slayer” Williamson-Anderson

(Pretty Slayer Beauty Boutique, 115 N. State St., 601-918-4499, prettyslayer.com)

For Amanda Williamson-Anderson, hairstyling has been a family affair, getting her start by sitting in the salon with her mother, who worked as a stylist. Although her over-exposure to the industry at first made her reluctant to go into practice for herself, she eventually admitted that it was the “thing she gravitated toward” and opened Pretty Slayer Beauty Boutique. Specializing in weaves, wigs, sew-ins and other hair extensions, Williamson-Anderson earned her “Pretty Slayer” moniker from her clients, out of appreciation for the attractive hair styles she gave them. In return, she cites her time interacting with clients as her favorite part of her daily work. “Women need to vent, so listening to them and making them feel pretty are important. I want them to leave out of (the salon) feeling totally different than they did when I came in,” she says. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

COURTESY AMANDA “PRETTY SLAYER” WILLIAMSON-ANDERSON

COURTESY MARCUS ROUNSAVILLE

Even though he did not dream of being a firefighter when he was growing up, Marcus Rounsaville says “there is nothing greater” after serving with the Jackson Fire Department for the past 16 years. Born in Chicago, Ill., the 41-year-old grew up between Illinois and Mississippi before settling in Natchez in the eighth grade. He says his twin brother Maurice is “his biggest supporter,” and that he would not be the same without him. Rounsaville joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1998 after graduating from Provine High School. After four years and two tours of duty in Afghanistan, Rounsaville completed a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Jackson State University in 2004. He remembers April 1, 2005, as the day that marked his transition from serving his country as a soldier to serving his city as a firefighter. While people often call about water leaks and other non-fire emergencies, Rounsaville says he will always show up. “This is my city,” he said. “I love it, and I will never let it down.” Despite being eligible for retirement, Rounsaville wants to keep improving, and leave behind a legacy of dedication that his successor can pick up and continue. —Kyle Hamrick

COURTESY TREY JORDAN

Licensed esthetician Arcadia Smith has come a long way since graduating from Magnolia College of Cosmetology. Now more than a decade later, Smith owns her own business: BeautifulGorgeous World Skin Care Studio. She works by appointment only, providing each client individualized treatments suited to their needs on that day. “Your skin is completely new every 30 days, so I treat you with a fresh approach each time,” she explains. “I offer pH testing, skin surface testing, infrared sauna, microdermabrasion, enzyme peels (and chemical peels). All facials include light therapy,” Smith says. A personalized 30-minute appointment is $55, with consultations set at $25. Smith is also trained to detect and identify melanoma skin cancers, referring them to a physician afterward. Teaching people to care for their skin and prevent problems is a real passion. “I love to educate,” she says. “People tend to do better once you break it down so they understand how to take care of their skin and why.” —Michele D. Baker

COURTESY ARCADIA SMITH

(Burn Boot Camp, 115 Laurel Park Cove, Suite 107, Flowood; 769-572-4438; burnbootcamp.com)

Finalists: Lychanda Coleman-Brown (Shekinah Glory Hair Designs, 11055 Highway 467, Raymond, 601-857-9990, facebook.com/shekinahglory06) / Pollye Cooper (109 E. Main St., Florence, 601-213-6538, facebook.com/Pollye-Cooper-Cosmetologist) / Inez Doe (Ufancii Beauty Bar, 5735 Interstate 55, 601-790-0297, ufanciibeautybar.com) / Carly Temple (Turning Heads Salon, 498 Highway 16, Suite B, Carthage, 601-267-3544, facebook.com/Turningheadssalon2016) / Molly Gee Webster (Molly Gee and Co., 219 Garden Park Drive, Suite 200A, Madison, 601-853-0054, mollygeeandco.com) / Cammie Whitehead (The Glossary Salon, 109 E. Mail St., Florence, 601-845-1111, glossaryhairsalon.com)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Best Facialist/Esthetician: Arcadia Smith

(BeautifulGorgeous World Skin Care Studio, 5903 Ridgewood Road, Suite 103, 601-899-3154, facebook.com/BeautyBrandJackson)

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Local Business Owner: Jeff Good

Best Makeup Artist: Christine Cody

(Mangia Bene Restaurant Management Group, 3317 N. State St., 601-982-4443, facebook.com/MangiaBeneInc)

(Makeup by Christine Cody, 601-760-2776, instagram.com/makeupbycody35)

Finalists: Tracy Branch (The Tracy Branch Agency, tracybranch.com) / Jill Jackson (Mississippi Medium, 601-706-9644, jillmjackson.com) / Godfrey Morgan (Godfrey’s, 2460 Terry Road, 601-398-3602, facebook.com/Godfreys) / Melissa Kirksey (BB’S LIVE - Bonny Blair’s, 1149 Old Fannin Road, Suite 16, Flowood; 769-251-0692) / Jenni Sivils (The Prickly Hippie; 500 Highway 51, Suite F, Ridgeland; 601-910-6730, pricklyhippie.com) / Lee Vance, Jr. (Josephine’s Kitchen, 4638 Hanging Moss Road, 769-572-4276, josephineskitchenms.com)

Best Nail Technician: Kristy Nguyen

Tiffany Bennett has been a licensed massage therapist since graduating cum laude from Antonelli College in 2013. Bennett has a thriving practice specializing in deep tissue, Swedish, chair and prenatal massage; reflexology; and hot stone therapy. “Receiving regular massage helps relieve anxiety, tension and stress,” Bennett says. “It can help you get focused and increase blood flow. Especially during this pandemic, it can help you relax, renew and revive mentally, physically and emotionally.” Bennett works from Massage Envy in Madison. She also does outcalls within a 30minute driving radius (Jackson, Brandon, Pearl, Byram, Canton, Madison) and charges $80 an hour or 90 minutes for $120. She is also available for girls’ night in massage parties and couples’ massages. Taking the dangers of COVID-19 seriously, Bennett offers parting advice during the pandemic: “Wear your mask, wash your hands, stay safe and protected. Be smart; be sure you and your therapist are taking the necessary precautions.” —Michele D. Baker

Kristy Nguyen put herself through college by working part-time and during summers as a nail technician, and this year, she’ll celebrate her 10th year in the business. “I didn’t really think I’d ever do nails permanently, but I fell in love with it and wanted to learn more,” Nguyen recalls. She regales her clients with this origin story at her place of business, Rouge Nail Salon in Flowood. Customer comfort is a priority for Nguyen, who cites her relationship with her customers as the best part of her work. “I love meeting new clients, but my regulars feel like family,” Nguyen says. “They’ve followed me since I’ve started my journey. They know everything about me, and I like to get to know them.” Nguyen believes that knowing her customers helps her meet their hectic schedules, as Rouge Nails is appointment only. “People don’t have to wait,” Nguyen says of the practice. This consideration for time allows Nguyen to do what she does best while tending to her clients’ nail care needs: give them a space to be heard. “I’m a good listener,” she reflects. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Finalists: London Hamilton (NomiSpa; 734 Fairview St.; 601-948-3429; fairviewinn.com/ spa) / Christopher Jordan (iRevive Bodyworks Massage & Spa, 1900 Dunbarton Drive, Suite C, 601-259-8918, facebook.com/irevivebodyworks) / Lashea Leggett (LaLa Spa, 220 Avalon Circle, Suite E, Brandon; 601-951-6436; lalaspa.biz) / Tiffany Melton (Massage by Tiffany; 4435 Mangum Drive, Suite B, Flowood; 601-317-1788, facebook.com/massagebytiff)

COURTESY KRISTY NGUYEN

(Rouge Nails Lash Wax, 5352 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 769-572-4747, facebook.com/rougenailsms)

COURTESY TIFFANY BENNETT

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Finalists: Denavia Bell (Poisonous Stripes Makeup Artistry, facebook.com/poisonousstripesmakeupartistry) / April Epps (A. Renee Makeup Artistry, 601-850-7658, areneemakeup.com) / Kayla Jones (The Beauty Pantry, 504 N. Bierdeman Road, Pearl, 601-850-9038) / Bailey Marie New (Molly Gee & Co., 219 Garden Park Drive, Madison, 601-853-0054, mollygeeandco.com) / Carly Temple (Turning Heads Salon, 498 Highway 16, Suite B, Carthage, 601-267-3544, facebook.com/Turningheadssalon2016) / Cammie Whitehead (The Glossary Salon, 109 E. Mail St., Florence, 601-845-1111, glossaryhairsalon.com)

Best Massage Therapist: Tiffany Bennett (Massage Envy, multiple locations, massageenvy.com)

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Christine Cody is passionate about beauty. A professional makeup artist since 2001, Cody acts as a beauty guide and makeup instructor to women of all ages and races. The bulk of Cody’s work is creating glamorous looks for birthdays, weddings, senior proms and family photo shoots, although she also does themed theatrical makeup for Halloween and other holidays. “This is not a job, it’s a personal mission,” Cody says. “Bringing joy and confidence to women delights my soul. When they look in the mirror and are transformed, I’m overjoyed.” One-on-one appointments last between 60 and 90 minutes in her downtown Jackson studio, where Cody mixes and matches product lines to create a personalized “beauty recipe” for each client. Prices vary. “I’ve been lucky enough to find and live my passion,” Cody says. “I love finding the special spark within each woman and bringing it forward.” —Michele D. Baker

COURTESY CODY MAKEUP

COURTESY JEFF GOOD

When Jeff Good hung up his apron at The Light House Restaurant (now closed) in the 1980s, his boss told him the restaurant business was in his blood. After 26 years of running three Jackson restaurants, Good, a self-described “57year-old Pollyanna,” says his old boss was right, “I’m just geared for hospitality.” Born in Iowa and raised in Utah, Good completed his senior year at Murrah High School when his family moved to Jackson in 1980. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Millsaps College in 1986. After selling computer systems for six years, Good reunited with Dan Blumenthal, a high school friend and professional chef, and re-entered the restaurant business. The pair launched Bravo! Italian Restaurant and Bar in 1994, Broad Street Baking Company and Café in 1998, and Sal and Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint in 2007. Good says his restaurants are focused on quality food and quality service. “I’m thankful for the support we’ve received,” he says, “and I hope we can keep going.” —Kyle Hamrick

Finalists: Shea Mitch / Diane Nguyen (Polished Nail Bar, 115 Village Square Drive, Suite K, Brandon; 601-398-3984; facebook.com/Polished-Nail-Bar) / Lambria Tillman (Lambo Nails, 307C Clinton Blvd., Clinton, 601-846-5077, facebook.com/shegotlamboed) / Kevin Truong (Kevin’s Nail Spa, 655 Lake Harbour Drive, Suite 600, Ridgeland; 601-427-5211; facebook.com/Kevinnailsspa39157) / Victoria Walker (Cuticles Nail Studio, 2947-5 Old Canton Road, 601-366-6999, cuticlesnailstudio.com) / Rasheedah Williams (Shee’ Nails, 115 N. State St., 601-668-9399, facebook.com/sheenail)


MEDITERRANEAN GRILL

We are grateful and humbled by your nominations. Twenty-twenty was a tough year. Your support and your votes mean a lot to us. We say it every year but we don’t take any of you for granted. These past 10 months makes it more true than ever before.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. - The Aladdin Team

And finalist for: Best Greek or Mediterranean Restaurant 730 Lakeland Dr. Jackson, MS | 601-366-6033 | Sun-Thurs: 11am - 10pm, Fri-Sat: 11am - 11pm W E D E L I V E R F O R C AT E R I N G O R D E R S

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Thank you for making us winners for: Best Ethnic Market Best Place for Healthy Food Best Vegetarian Options

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Photographer: D’Artagnan Winford

Best Professor: Erin Pickens

(Tougaloo College, tougaloo.edu)

COURTESY D’ARTAGNAN WINFORD

For fine-art portrait photographer D’Artagnan Winford, pictures keep records of specific moments in time, and he knows them when he sees them. “I am looking for nuances, things in their gaze, a certain confidence, high self-esteem. I may say all of a sudden: ‘Hold it right there!’ They reply by asking ‘Hold what right there?’ And that’s the moment I snap the picture,” Winford says. Raised in the Delta, Winford worked at Mississippi Valley State University as a senior graphic designer after graduating from MVSU in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. While he initially did not anticipate venturing into professional photography, an art-director position at Jackson State University led him to take photos for the school in a freelance capacity, and he enjoyed the process enough that he opened D’Artagnan Portrait to hone his craft. —Mike McDonald

Finalists: Bryan Mckenny (Bryan McKenny Photography, 601-530-0463, bmckennystudios.com) / Crystal Marie Thompson (Crystal Marie Photography, 601-691-0487, facebook.com/CrystalMariePhoto) / Leah Bardin (Leah Bardin Photography, facebook.com/ Bardinphotography) / Michael Bilbrew (Bilbrew Photography, 601-850-6677, bilbrewpics. com) / Natasha Childers (Natasha Childers Photography, 601-720-4750, facebook.com/ NatashaChildersPhotography) / Tristan Duplichain (Tristan Duplichain Photography, 601946-3708, tristanduplichain.com) / Will Sterling (Sterling Photography, 300 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive S.E., Ridgeland, 678-429-9800, facebook.com/sterlingpics)

COURTESY ERIN PICKENS

(D’Artagnan Portrait, 121 Millsaps Avenue, Jackson, 662515-5989, facebook.com/DArtagnanportrait)

During her 23 years as a morning news anchor, Erin Pickens heard generations of interns romanticize the “glamour” of television news. “It’s so not glamorous,” Pickens laughs. “I got into teaching because I thought it would be great for them to know what they’re getting into—from a real-life perspective.” This led Pickens to apply to teach masscommunication courses at Tougaloo College, a position she’s now held for seven years while continuing to work as an anchor for WAPT. “It’s rewarding,” Pickens says of her time at the historically Black college. “It’s a chance to mold young minds, and even if TV news isn’t glamorous, it’s important. We’re informing the public about what’s going in their communities.” Pickens emphasizes community in her classroom, bringing the lessons she’s learned at the station to her afternoon classes at the university. “The students (in my class) say, ‘Wow!’ when they see what all we encounter on a daily basis. The movies are really embellished, but this is real life.” —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Finalists: Natasha Childers / Noel Didla (Jackson State University, jsums.edu) / Miriam Gray (Jackson State University, jsums.edu) / Krisha Hawkins / Glake Hill (Jackson State University, jsums.edu) / Rodney Washington (University of Mississippi Medical Center, umc.edu) / Tracey Wells-Harmon (Jackson State University, jsums.edu)

Best Server/Waitperson: Megan Evans

(The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, 1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601- 398-4562, themanshipjackson.com)

Best Real Estate Agent: Meshia Edwards

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

COURTESY MESHIA EDWARDS

Meshia Edwards started her career in credit repair, but her husband’s position in the mortgage industry piqued her interest, and she began working in realty not long after. “When I got into real estate in 2012, I came in with a five-year plan,” Edwards recalls. “I wanted to get all the experience and exposure I could before starting my own brokerage.” Edwards achieved her goals, opening Community First Real Estate, which she has now expanded to include six agents and property listings in Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties. The firm’s community impact remains its primary goal. “My favorite part of my job is seeing the faces of the home buyers at the end of the journey,” Edwards says. “Whenever I feel like I’m getting tired or secondguessing myself, I think of those smiling faces.” —Taylor McKay Hathorn

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Finalists: Deanna Mikel (The Agency Real Estate Services, 350 Arbor Drive, Suite A, Ridgeland; 601-665-4869; deannamikel.theagencyrealestateservices.com) / Shadow Robinson (Next Level Real Estate, 5350 Executive Plaza, Suite 1, 769-251-0856, facebook.com/nextlevelrealestatellcms) / Dwanna Stanley (The Agency Real Estate Services, 350 Arbor Drive, Suite A, Ridgeland; 601-665-4869; dwannastanley.theagencyrealestateservices.com) / Shandra Thompson (The Agency Real Estate Services, 350 Arbor Drive, Suite A, Ridgeland; 601665-4869; theagencyrealestateservices.com) / Rashida Walker (W Real Estate, 2160 Main Street, Suite B, Madison; 601-499-0952; wrealestatellc.com) / Kitcson White (Home Buyers Marketing MS; 129 Executive Drive, Suite G, Madison; 601-790-1772; homebuyersmississippi.com)

A julep leaf tattoo serves as a physical reminder of Megan Evans’ time working as part of the team that worked for Julep Restaurant and Bar, a business that closed over five years ago. The environment that her coworkers and boss established for her made Julep feel like a second home filled with her surrogate family, and they still do their best to keep up with one another today. Like many teenagers, Evans began waiting tables at 16 years old to earn some money and practice independence. Over time, though, her enjoyment of the job increased, and she’s continued to serve patrons throughout the years. “Being attentive to the customer is key,” Evans says. “I have to let everything go at the door when I come in. I love working at a place that’s good and consistently good. I know it’s not a job for everybody, but I love it.” The Brandon native began working at The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen around four months ago, and she has already ingratiated herself into the family, feeling empowered. “They have me training people,” she notes. “I’ve been blown away by the business. People want to get out right now. People want to support local places. People have been really generous,” Evans says. —Mike McDonald

COURTESY MEGAN EVANS

(Community First Real Estate, 101 Business Park Drive, Suite I, Ridgeland; 601-956-6567; yourcommunityfirst.net)

Finalists: Zack Barret (Saltine, 622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899, jackson.saltinerestaurant.com) / Amelia Brunson (The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, 1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601- 398-4562, themanshipjackson.com) / Kayley Jones (Bonnie Blair’s Irish Pub-BB’s Live; 1149 Old Fannin Road, Suite 16, Flowood; 769-251-00692) / Jillian Pitchard / Dani Vercher (Martin’s Downtown, 214 S. State St., 601-352-9712, martinsdowntownjxn.com) / Ashliegh Wooten


Are you a finalist or winner? Need your certificate? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Sexiest Bartender: Kree’ Blackwell

Best Teacher: Veronica Dykes

When Kree’ Blackwell isn’t pouring drinks and serving laughs at Bar 3911, she has a desk job. “Bartending helps me with the monotony throughout my week,” Blackwell says of her daily transition. “It’s a relief and a release from sitting at a desk answering phones and doing paperwork.” Although she does appreciate the departure her work as a bartender provides, what keeps her coming back night after night is the people—on both sides of the counter. “I love the people that I work with and the customers. They make the night.” The customers have watched Blackwell progress throughout her entire tenure as a bartender, as she’s spent her entire five-year career mixing drinks at Bar 3911, previously named “Wanderlust.” Being recognized after such a short time in the field isn’t an honor that she takes lightly, saying, “The amount of people who wanted to see me on the Best of Jackson ballot makes me feel good. Even though it’s just a job, the customers and staff have made it so much more.” —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Veronica Dykes has taught at Lanier High School for six years, but her love for teaching started much earlier. “My mother was a teacher for 38 years, so I had always grown up around education. Seeing my mom and the effort she put in endeared me to the profession,” Dykes recalls. “Teaching is my own way of giving back. I can give to my students in the way my teachers gave to me.” The teachers who encouraged Dykes through her educational upbringing taught locally, as Dykes graduated from Madison Central High School before earning her teaching degree at Delta State University. Her first five years at Lanier High School were spent teaching English II, which is a state-tested subject for high schoolers in Mississippi, so she found her move to English III this school year to be “a relief,” she says with a laugh. No matter the subject or grade level she teaches, Dykes is quick to point out that her students teach her as much as she teaches them. “(Empathy) isn’t something I acquired on my own. My students taught me how to be a better person,” she says. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

(Bar 3911, 3911 Northview Drive, 601-586-1468)

(Lanier High School)

COURTESY VERONICA DYKES

KREE BLACKWELL

Finalists: Charlie Keister (Fondren Public, 2765 Old Canton Road, 769-216-2589, facebook. com/fondrenpublic) / Kurt Monaghan (Hal & Mal’s, 200 Commerce St., 601-948-0888, halandmals.com) / Kristi Leigh Odom (Twin Peaks, 6010 Interstate 55 Frontage Road, 769524-3552, twinpeaksrestaurant.com) / Lisa Palmer / Ashley Pullin / Colton Woodward (Fizz Mobile Bartending, fizzmobilebartending.com)

Finalists: Chinelo Bosah Evans (Early College High School @ Tougaloo College) / Noel Didla (Jackson State University) / Shelby Fant (Florence Middle School) / Alex Gibert (Ridgeland High School) / Blakeney McGraw (Olde Towne Middle School) / Jamie Moore (Olde Towne Middle School)

Best Urban Warrior: Maggie Wade

Finalists: Kaye Donald (Hartfield Academy, 1240 Luckney Road, Flowood, 601-992-5333, hartfield.org) / Clay Edwards (Clay Edwards Media, savejxn.com) / Jeff Good (Mangia Bene Restaurant Management Group, 3317 N. State St., 601-982-4443, facebook.com/MangiaBeneInc) / Judge Carlyn Hicks (Hinds County Court Judge, 407 East Pascagoula St., 601-9686670, courts.ms.gov) / Rukia Lumumba (People’s Advocacy Institute; 190 E. Capitol St., Suite 450; 601-885-3240; peoplesadvocacyinstitute.com)

Best Visual Artist: Wyatt Waters

(Wyatt Waters Gallery, 307 Jefferson St., Clinton, 601-925-8115, wyattwaters.com)

Wyatt Waters, an artist who specializes in watercolor, remembers playing a game as a child where he would look at something, close each eye in turns, and then compare the two images. Even today, the 65-year-old says his art, which is almost always done on location, is motivated by a curiosity for his subject. “It’s about discovery for me,” Waters says. “It shows me that the world is different from what I thought before I was standing in front of it.” Waters has operated a gallery and studio in Clinton for 21 years, selling original works as well as prints and other merchandise. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Waters closed his gallery and reopened two months later after improving his online store and establishing guidelines for social distancing. As an artist, Waters says he enjoys coming up with creative solutions to problems and projects. Recently, while painting outside, a bird dropped two times on his work in progress. “I had to take that and adapt it into something in my painting,” he says, laughing. A longtime Mississippi native, Waters looks forward to continuing travels with his wife throughout the South painting for an upcoming book. —Kyle Hamrick

COURTESY WYATT WATERS

COURTESY MAGGIE WADE

Maggie Wade has garnered over 500 awards for her work in journalism since going to work at WLBT during her senior year of college, but for the media maven, her truest work comes through advocating for disadvantaged youth in the metro area. “To me, (being an urban warrior) means constantly being willing to take a stand for our children,” Wade says. “When we meet a child, we have an opportunity to give them tools to be a better human.” The news anchor has provided youth with such tools by producing news segments on foster children in search of permanent homes through her platform at WLBT, and she also lends her passion for underprivileged children to Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth’s advisory board. Her commitment has not gone unnoticed in Jackson circles, as Wade was conferred an honorary doctorate by Belhaven University and meritoriously completed her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Mississippi College in December 2020. For Wade, the work itself remains more important than any accolades she has received. “When we have strong communities, we have strong families. That’s one way we can all be urban warriors,” she concludes. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Finalists: Brian Ballou (facebook.com/btballou) / Cody Cox (facebook.com/cody.cox) / Sabrina Howard (601-940-6804, sabrinahoward.com) / Azha Sanders (azhatattoos.com) / Haley Toups (instagram.com/haleytoupz) / Ginger Williams (gingerwilliamscook.com)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

(WLBT-TV, 715 South Jefferson St., 601-948-3333, wlbt.com)

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@ jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Arts Organization, Best Place to Get Married: Mississippi Museum of Art

Best Festival, Best Annual Event: Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade and Festival

With its series of constantly rotating exhibits and a substantial permanent collection, the Mississippi Museum of Art offers something for fans of nearly every artistic medium and period. For Director of Marketing Jana Brady, these varied stylings foster MMA’s aim: conversation. “Our hope for the local community is that you can see and experience art where you normally wouldn’t and to create a place where you can have comfortable conversations about art and about Mississippi’s past, present and future,” Brady says. This sense of comfort and familiarity have led many Mississippians to choose the museum as their wedding venue, and Brady believes that the space lends itself to such a choice. “The museum offers a wedding experience like no other,” Brady remarks. “There’s a beautiful indoor and outdoor space, and we have rotating collections, so they have their own entertainment by having (their wedding) at the museum.” Anyone who married at the museum during 2020 had the special privilege of having works from masters Van Gogh, Monet and Degas on display nearby in the galleries for their special occasion, as the museum has played host to an exhibit featuring the European artists and their contemporaries. The museum’s exhibits are open to visitors and members alike, with certain hours designated as “senior hours” to offset COVID-19 concerns. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Thirty-seven years ago, Malcolm White and a group of his friends dressed as characters from various media—he was Colonel Sanders—to parade through Jackson’s streets. But what originally started out as lighthearted fun has now grown into one of Jackson’s most unique cultural events, now named after White’s late brother, Hal, who was an ardent supporter of the yearly festival. As the years went by, parade participants formalized into krewes, with many groups getting together every year to plan around that year’s theme or around an original idea they may have that they believe will contribute to the merriment. Described by parade enthusiasts as Mississippi’s “green Mardi Gras,” the event begins at Hal and Mal’s, circling past the Old Capitol Museum, the Governor’s Mansion and the Westin Hotel en route back to its starting point. This mid-Jackson celebration of the good work of UMMC’s Children’s of Mississippi hospital features Mississippi blues singers, along with a hearty helping of New Orleans-style brass music, which provides a soundtrack for the after-parties that continue long into the night. Although White cancelled the 2020 parade due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for the 2021 parade are in full swing, with parade organizers planning to retain the previous theme: “Here’s Looking at RUDE, Kid” if they receive permission from the city, which is still pending. The upcoming parade will also feature last year’s grand marshal, Trace Alston, and is slated to take place on the fourth Saturday of March, with the usual 70,000-plus revelers expected to join in the fun. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

(380 S. Lamar St., 601-960-1515, msmuseumart.org)

Best Festival Finalists Bright Lights Belhaven Nights (August, brightlightsbelhavennights.com) / Cathead Jam (May, catheadjam.com) / CelticFest Mississippi (March, celticfestms.org) / Farish Street Heritage Festival (October, farishstreetheritagefestival.com) / Mississippi Anime Festival (March, msanimefest.com) / Mississippi Craft Beer Festival (June, fondren.org)

Best Place to Get Married Finalists Bridlewood of Madison (3024 Highway 22, Madison, 601-707-4024, thebarnatbridlewood. com) / The Cedars (4145 Old Canton Road, 601-366-5552) / Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429, fairviewinn.com) / First Baptist Church Jackson (431 N. State St., 601949-1900, firstbaptistjackson.org) / Ice House (251 W. South St., 601-398-3200, icehousevenue.com) / McClain Lodge (314 Clark Creek Road, Brandon, 601-829-1101, mcclain.ms)

Best Annual Event Finalists Bright Lights Belhaven Nights (August, brightlightsbelhavennights.com) / Cathead Jam (May, catheadjam.com) / Jackson Indie Music Week (January, jxnindiemusic.com) / Mississippi Comic Con (June, mississippicomiccon.com) / Mistletoe Marketplace (November, mistletoemarketplace.com)”601-362-9676, jacksonacademy.org)

(5406 Interstate 55, 601-9771001, balletmagnificat.com)

Founded in 1986 by husband-andwife team Keith and Kathy Thibodeaux, Ballet Magnificat! is an arts organization dedicated to celebrating the word of God through dance. The inter-denominational Protestant ministry tours the world as the first professional Christian ballet company. Ballet Magnificat’s School of the Arts offers dance classes for students as young as 3 years old through adult ages. Magnificat! Youth Ballet and MiniMag! often perform at local nursing homes, schools and churches, and the Sum-

mer Dance Intensive and Teachers Workshop bring hundreds of students from around the world to Jackson for a unique technical and spiritual experience. Ballet Magnificat! also started the Dance Program at Belhaven University, providing curriculum, faculty and facilities; it has now grown into a full Dance Major program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. The studio also helped Belhaven University start the school’s dance program. Most recently, the company has added Ballet Magnificat! Brazil, headquartered in Curitiba, which includes a trainee program and a performance company, and

COURTESY BALLET MAGNIFICAT!

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

KRISTIN BRENEMEN

TRIP BURNS / FILE PHOTO

Best Arts Organization Finalists HeARTworks (1100 W. Capitol St., 601-353-2759, stewpot.org) / Mississippi Arts Commission (501 N. West St., Suite 1101A, 601-359-6030, arts.ms.gov) / Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (201 E. Pascagoula St., 601-960-1565, msorchestra.com) / New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St., 601-948-3533, newstagetheatre.com)

Best Dance Group: Ballet Magnificat!

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(March, halsstpaddysparade.com)

dancers from all over South and Central America proudly proclaim God’s word. “Our hearts’ desire … is to be faithful to our lord Jesus Christ and go where He wants us to go,” Keith says. —Michele D. Baker

Finalists: Dance Works Studio (1104 E. Northside Drive, Clinton, 601-720-1885, dwsms. com) / Dancing Dolls (1410 Ellis Ave., 770265-1111, dollhousedancefactory.com) / Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet (110 Homestead Drive, Madison; 601-853-4508; 106 Autumn Ridge Place, Suite 3 & 4, Brandon; 601-9929016; msmetroballet.com) / Montage Theatre of Dance (608 Hinds Blvd., Raymond, 601857-3460, hindscc.edu) / Prancing J-Settes (1400 John R. Lynch St., 601-979-2026, sonicboomofthesouth.com) / Xpress Dance Company (2160 Main St., Suite D, Madison; 601-853-0826; 155 W. Government St., Brandon; 601-954-6268; xdance.net)


Are you a finalist or winner? Need your certificate? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress. com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Tourist Attraction, Best Museum: Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Best Live Theatre/Theatrical Group: New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St., 601-948-3533, newstagetheatre.com)

Best Tourist Attraction Finalists Brandon Amphitheater (8190 Rock Way, Brandon, 601-724-2726, brandonamphitheater. com) / Fondren (916-812-5678, fondren.org) / McClain Resort (874 Holly Bush Road, Brandon, 601-829-1101, mcclain.ms) / Mississippi Comic Con (1200 Mississippi St., mississippicomiccon.com) / Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive, 601-576-6000, mdwfp.com/museum) / Two Mississippi Museums (222 North St., mdah. ms.gov/2mm) Best Museum Finalists Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive, 601-432-4500, msagmuseum. org) / Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Museum Blvd., 601-981-5469, mschildrensmuseum.org) / Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601-960-1515, msmuseumart.org) / Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive, 601-576-6000, mdwfp.com/museum) / Smith Robertson Museum (528 Bloom St., 601-960-1457, jacksonms.gov/smith-robertson-museum)

Best Category We Left Off: Best Tattoo Artist Many consider tattoos to be one of the best forms of self-expression, art they can display to the world. As commonplace as tattoos have become, it’s no wonder that Jacksonians would want to highlight the talented artists who hone their craft in the metro by voting that they would like to see a Best Tattoo Artist category. Since tattoos are generally permanent forms of body art, finding a qualified tattoo artist who can enact your vision for your tattoo can be key, and Jackson is rife with both outstanding shops and artists. While this category does not exist in the current Best of Jackson series, readers can browse the finalists for Best Tattoo/Piercing Parlor in the Urban Living section to see which shops they may want to consider. —Amber Helsel Finalists: Best Children’s Entertainment / Best Couple / Best Home-Based Business / Best Place for a First Date / Best Virtual Church Service

Although the COVID-19 pandemic changed the shape of New Stage Theatre’s 2020 season, Artistic Director Francine Reynolds believes that the variety of programs Mississippi’s only professional theater company offered during this time has ensured its continued success. “(We offer) education programs, which creates the next adult audience, and we have a lot of extras: children’s shows, holiday shows and two different new play series,” Reynolds says. The Eudora Welty New Play series focuses on the development of new plays, while the Mississippi Plays series either features the works of Mississippi writers or depicts the lives of Mississippians, with many stage selections doing both. New Stage also offers a series of on-demand pre-recorded solo shows that people could stream from anywhere, such as “Why I Live at the P.O.” and the upcoming “Fannie Lou Hamer.” This season offered a socially distant spin on these celebrations of Mississippi life, introducing its “Thursday Night Virtual Plays, Conversations and Cocktails” series that featured live readings of plays, one of which revisited “Pipeline,” the last show to be performed before a live audience at the theater. Reynolds cited the play as being among her favorites, although she quips that “the most recent play is always (her) favorite.” New Stage also paired each live reading with a recipe for what we all really needed in 2020: a hard drink. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

COURTESY NEW STAGE THEATRE

COURTESY MISSISSIPPI CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum’s eight galleries allow Mississippi students and visitors from around the globe to learn about Black Mississippians’ struggle against centuries of systemic oppression and their fight for civil rights. “Students weren’t taught this in the history books,” Pamela Junior, director of the Two Mississippi Museums, says. “People walk in and understand that (the fight for civil rights) wasn’t just about people like Rosa Parks—who didn’t live in Mississippi. Our heroes and sheroes are right here, and they did astonishing things.” The museum, which has been nationally recognized for its contribution to the study of southern civil-rights history, exacerbates this sense of astonishment with its interactive exhibits. A jail cell, a replica of the enclosures at Parchman Prison Farm, is located inside the museum, along with a series of mugshots of the Freedom Riders who were once imprisoned there. The centerpiece of the museum, dubbed “This Little Light of Mine,” however, sings literally and figuratively with hope. In addition, a model classroom, which highlights the stark differences between white and Black schools, showcases a video describing the ramifications of the Brown v. the Board of Education decision. Another hallway houses five “lynching monoliths” engraved with names of known victims of lynching in the state that had the most. Ultimately, he museum challenges Mississippians and non-Mississippians alike to reckon with the nation’s dark history and to take action to forge a brighter future, an opportunity that the Jacksonian community appreciates enough to vote for the establishment in the Best of Jackson series year after year since its debut. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Finalists: Black Rose Theatre Company (103 Black St., Brandon, 601-852-1293, blackrosetheatre.wordpress.com) / Enchanting Memories Entertainment (662-590-2748, facebook.com/enchantingmemoriesentertainment) / MADDRAMA (601-454-1183, maddrama.com) / Magically Perfect (504-502-2847, facebook.com/magicallyperfectentertainment) / Mississippi Children’s Music Theater (100 Post Oak Road, Madison, 601-201-8558, mschildrensmusictheater.com)

Best Art Gallery: Fondren Art Gallery

(3242 North State St., 601-981-9222, fondrenartgallery.com)

Seventeen years ago, Richard McKey built and designed Fondren Art Gallery as “a multi-use building and business” to create art and promote local, national and international artists. Today, with more than 30 artists and 500 pieces on display, the gallery endeavors to offer art of exceptional quality at affordable prices. “There’s some really funky, crazy art in there, but there’s some fine art also,” McKey says, “I like that. I don’t want it to be a gallery that just pleases one type of person. I want to be able to attract, entertain and please a lot of different people.” In addition to pieces from every medium, Fondren Art Gallery also offers a custom framing service and a music studio for instrumental lessons and live performances. Although COVID-19 has limited the number of customers in the gallery at any one time, McKey offers a full catalogue of works through his online store. A creator himself with a background in public art, carpentry and music, McKey hopes the new year will see in-store business and live music “fired up again.” And with construction on the road in front of his gallery finished, Fondren Art Gallery is more accessible than ever. —Kyle Hamrick Finalists: AND Gallery (133 Millsaps Ave., andgallery.org) / Brown’s Fine Art and Framing (630 Fondren Place, 601-982-4844, brownsfineart.com) / Fischer Galleries (736 S. President St., 601-291-9115, fischergalleries.com) / OffBeat (151 Wesley Ave., 601-376-9404, offbeatjxn.com) / View Gallery (1491 Canton Mart Road, Suite 7, 601-278-3991, viewgalleryart. com)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

(222 North St., Suite 2205, 601-576-6800, mcrm.mdah.ms.gov)

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@ jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Local Podcast: Save JXN

Best Public Forum/Speaker Series: Mississippi Black Leadership Summit

(savejxn.com)

Finalists: EmpowHER Podcast with Krississippi / From The Heart of A / Key to the City (facebook.com/key2thecitypod) / Othor Cain Media (facebook.com/othorcainmedia) / Reality Breached (realitybreached.com) / Token Talk

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

The Mississippi Black Leadership Summit started over 10 years ago as a place for elected officials and community members to create solutions to community issues like public education, economic development, voting rights, criminal rights and environmental justice. “We began as a monthly luncheon,” Nsombi Lambright, executive director of One Voice, says. “Over the years, it evolved into a full conference event.” The annual Summit brings together sheriffs, tax collectors and assessors, mayors, attorneys, judges and others. In 2020, the slate included state Reps. Chris Bell and Kabir Karriem and Emmy-nominated actress Aunjanue Ellis (“The Help,” “Get On Up”). “We come together for strategy and to share best practices across the state and south,” Lambright says. “The State of Black Mississippi” was the final panel. The Summit will continue to bring together diverse leaders. “We want (them) to play a strong leadership role—guiding the agenda and holding the space so community people can talk to their elected officials,” Lambright says. —Michele D. Baker Finalists: Empowering Progressive Speakers Toastmasters Club (4780 N. Interstate 55, 662251-6517, toastmasters.org) / Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series (1701 N. State St., 601-9741000, millsaps.edu/major-happenings/arts-lecture-series) / Operation Shoestring (1711 Bailey Ave., 601-353-6336, operationshoestring.org) / Refill Cafe Friday Forum (136 S. Adams St., 601-540-7231, refilljackson.org) / Save Jxn (savejxn.com)

Best Socially Distanced Activity in Jackson: McClain Safari Tours

Best Nonprofit Organization: The Mustard Seed (1085 Luckney Road, Brandon, 601992-3556, mustardseedms.org)

(in-person/hybrid, Junior League of Jackson, 805 Riverside Drive, 601-948-2357, mistletoemarketplace.com)

Buddy and Joni McClain, the owners of McClain Resort in Brandon, first kept a private collection of animals, but visitors enjoyed the animals just as much as they did. Thus, the McClain Safari Park and Tours came into being in May 2018. More than 500 animals from 50 different species call the 2,000-acre park home, Safari Park Director Matt Jurney explains. Guided tours began with wagons pulled by tractors, but the pandemic caused the park to open self-guided, drive-through tours over the summer. Families can still enjoy the zebras, giraffes and other exotic animals while maintaining safe social-distancing practices in their own vehicles. “By no means was COVID-19 a good thing, but it allowed us to adapt and make some good changes,” Jurney says. On average, roughly 200 cars visit the park each weekend, doling out provided feed to the waiting animals. —Kyle Hamrick

At age 21, adults with disabilities no longer qualify for special-ed services through Mississippi public schools, and “their worlds to get smaller,” The Mustard Seed’s Community Relations Director Mandy Sisson says. The organization offers its 40 “seedsters,” who range in age from 21 to their mid-70s, the opportunity to learn about the arts, but the nonprofit’s goal stretches far beyond the walls of its Brandon campus. “They have an opportunity to live a full life that’s engaged and fulfilling,” Sisson says. “We aren’t hiding them on campus. We want them out in the community, showing what they can contribute to society.” The Seedsters create hand-painted ceramic art, which the nonprofit sells in its gift shop and at locations in the metro. The sales constitute 20% of the Mustard Seed’s budget. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Mistletoe Marketplace recently celebrated 40 years, “but had to reinvent and reimagine Mistletoe Marketplace 2020” due to COVID-19, as steering committee chair Lori Hill Marshall explains, in order “to help the economy, but in a safe way.” The Junior League of Jackson worked with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs to determine the safest strategy. As a result, the organization decided to limit physical attendance and hold shopping shifts at three hours apiece. “We hosted the bands, auctions and luncheon speaker Tim Tebow online,” Marshall says. As a result, they raised about $1 million to support early literacy, children’s health and social development for youth. —Michele D. Baker

(874 Holly Bush Road, Brandon, 601-829-1101, mcclain.ms)

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(1072 W. Lynch St., 601-353-8452, facebook.com/MississippiBlackLeadershipSummit) COURTESY ONE VOICE

COURTESY CLAY EDWARDS

After 30 years of living in south Jackson, Clay Edwards concluded that “there aren’t very many loud-mouth conservatives, and it felt like a niche that wasn’t being catered to.” A proponent of the capital city who bears a “Welcome to Jackson” tattoo on his arm, Edwards received backlash when he shared a video he made with a drone that showcased many of the abandoned buildings in Jackson to his Facebook page. “I started getting attacked by people calling me racist and all those other things, just because I was posting pictures of these empty buildings,” he says. To present his intent and beliefs more clearly, he decided: “I should probably start talking to tell my side of the story.” Thus, he began his savejxn.com website where he posts podcasts, as well as videos and other materials. His website is still a “work in progress,” he says, but Save Jxn has garnered more than 26,000 followers on Facebook, 16,000 followers on Instagram and 1,600 subscribers on YouTube. His wife, Crystal Edwards, sometimes co-hosts the podcast, which Clay describes as “Jackson, Mississippi’s only right-leaning news and politics-based podcast.” “I like to consider us the No. 1 source for an alternative opinion on the local news, kinda the Jacktown Alex Jones, minus the conspiracy theories,” Edwards says. —Richard Coupe

Finalists: Capital City Kayak Adventures (601-9537615, capitalcitykayaks.com) / Chalk Walk (Northpark Fall Fest, 1200 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland, 601863-2300, visitnorthpark.com) / Dinner at/Staying Home / Museum-to-Market Trail (jxntrailblazers.com) / Reservoir Overlook (Natchez Trace Parkway, Milepost 105.6, natcheztracetravel.com)

Finalists: CARA - Community Animal Rescue & Adoption (960 N. Flag Chapel Road, 601-922-7575, carams.org) / The Good Samaritan Center (114 Millsaps Ave., 601-3556276, good-sam.com) / Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Museum Blvd., 601-981-5469, mschildrensmuseum. org) / My Brother’s Keeper (407 Orchard Park, Ridgeland, 769-216-2455, mbkinc.org) / Ronald McDonald House (UMMC) (2524 N. State St., 601-981-5683, rmhcms.org) / WFBC Inc. (769-257-0073, wfbc-inc.business.site)

Best Virtual Fundraiser/Charity: Mistletoe Marketplace

Finalists: 12Ks for the Holidays (Good Samaritan Center, 114 Millsaps Ave., 601-355-6276, goodsamaritancenter. org) / Best Dressed Jackson (The American Cancer Society, 1380 Livingston Lane, 800-227-2345, acsevents.org) / Discovery Night - Remix! (Mississippi Children’s Museum, 2145 Museum Blvd., 601-981-5469, mschildrensmuseum.org) / Pink Fridays (ICTV & The Steven James Foundation, ictelevision.com) / Real Men Wear Pink (The American Cancer Society, 1380 Livingston Lane, 800-227-2345, acsevents.org) / Refill Jackson Initiative (136 S. Adams St., 601-540-7231, refilljackson.org)


Are you a finalist or winner? Need your certificate? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress. com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Radio Personality or Team: Nate and Traci

Best Stage Play (In-Person or Virtual): “Mamma Mia”

(WUSJ 96.3, yourcountryus96.com)

Best Community Garden/Nature Attraction: Natchez Trace Parkway (601-856-7321, nps.gov/natr)

The Natchez Trace Parkway encompasses the 440mile stretch from Nashville, Tenn., to its namesake Natchez, Miss., and some of its scenic trails are nestled in Hinds County. “I think the fact that it’s a national park unit really (brings people to the area),” park ranger Perri Spreiser says. “We protect 423 sites across the country, and each is a little different.” The Natchez Trace Parkway harbors plenty of hiking trails, from a “10-minute stroll to a 10-mile hike,” as Spreiser puts it. Many of the trails and scenic views highlight the parkway’s original inhabitants: the Native American Chickasaw tribe. The crowning jewel of the Jackson stretch of the parkway is a large reservoir featuring overlooks and trails with panoramic views of the 33,000-acre lake. The Cypress Swamp, just north of the reservoir, boasts alligators swimming just beneath its boardwalk trail. —Taylor McKay Hathorn Finalists: The Art Garden (Mississippi Museum of Art, 429 S. West St., 601-973-3681, msmuseumart.org) / Eudora Welty House & Garden (1119 Pinehurst St., 601-354-5219, mdah.ms.gov) / Green Grass Acres (534 S. Farish St., 470645-3669, mainvest.com/b/green-grass-acres-llc-jackson) / LeFleur’s Bluff State Park (3315 Lakeland Terrace, 601-9873923, mdwfp.com) / Mynelle Gardens (4736 Clinton Blvd., 601-960-1894)

Finalists: “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical” (New Stage Theatre, 1100 Carlisle St., 601-948-3533, newstagetheatre.com) / “The Rocky Horror Burlesque Show” (Black Hat Shows, 601-376-9005, facebook.com/BlackHatBurlesque) / “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (Fondren Theatre Workshop, 4145 Old Canton Road, fondrentheatreworkshop.org) / Thursday Night Virtual Plays: Conversations and Cocktails (New Stage Theatre, 1100 Carlise St., 601-948-3533, newstagetheatre.com) / “Why I Live at the P.O.” (New Stage Theatre, 1100 Carlisle St., 601-948-3533, newstagetheatre.com)

Best Radio Station: WJMI

(99.7, 99 Jams; 731 S. Pear Orchard Road, Suite 27, Ridgeland; 601-957-1300; WJMI.com)

WJMI’s roots run deep in Jackson. For nearly 50 years, the station has been No. 1 in the hearts and minds of its listeners. “It’s fitting that we are first in our target market, hip-hop,” Christiana Williams says. The on-air personality also works as promotion and sales director for Alpha Media, which owns the station. “We have such dedicated and loyal listeners.” WJMI disc jockeys spin urban contemporary music, introducing brand-new hits and nodding to the past with an occasional golden oldie. The keys to WJMI’s longevity, Williams asserts, include its seasoned staff, loyal and involved listeners and the station’s strong community ties. “We have longstanding relationships with our partners,” she says. Last Christmas, the station partnered with the Jackson Police Department on a toy drive, where WJMI helped 100 families by giving nearly $20,000 worth of toys. The station also bestows some lucky listeners with monetary prizes during the holiday season, giving away $5,500 in total this last December. “Our long-term relationships with local businesses, nonprofits and service clubs allow us to keep giving back,” Williams says. —Michele D. Baker Finalists: WMPN (MPB 91.3, mpbonline.org/radio) / WMSI (Miss 103, miss103.iheart.com) / WUSJ (96.3, yourcountryus96.com) / WYOY (Y101, 101.7, y101.com)

Best Reason to Live in Jackson: ‘It’s Home’ Nearly 165,000 people call the city of Jackson home, and while some residents are native Jacksonians, others chose to put down roots in the capital city. While visitors flock to Jackson to take advantage of its unique yearly offerings, like the state fair, WellsFest, and Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade and Festival, locals enjoy the full measure of excitement that comes from living in Mississippi’s largest city. Whether it’s the numerous colleges and universities scattered across the metro area, the constantly evolving food scene, the unbeatable nightlife or the proximity to natural attractions like the Natchez Trace and the Reservoir, the “city with soul” draws the attention of people from all walks of life. Jackson shows its soul best through its willingness to embrace a brighter tomorrow, symbolized in part by the new state flag that now flies over the Capitol building downtown, just a block away from the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum that’s dedicated to the true, complex and often tragic story of Mississippi’s past. —Taylor McKay Hathorn Finalists: Affordable Housing / Community / Culture / Fondren / Food / People

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Finalists: Christiana Williams (WJMI 99.7, wjmi.com) / DJ Scrap Dirty (WRBJ 97.7, thebeatofthecapital.com) / Mista Maine (WRBJ 97.7, thebeatofthecapital. com) / Percy Davis (WOAD 103.5, woad.com) / Tambra Cherie (WRBJ 97.7, thebeatofthecapital.com)

Despite the difficulties the theater community has faced this year, Jackson Academy managed to put together a successful run of the ABBA musical “Mamma Mia!” “It’s a huge challenge to put on a full-scale production when you’re dealing with teenagers who have school schedules, but this year was particularly difficult with COVID-19 protocols,” Director of Theatre Arts Kerri Sanders reflects. Students at the Jackson private school began rehearsals—wearing masks and submitting to temperature checks—in July, and Sanders believes that her students admirably rose to the challenge. “Even though they’re student actors, they’re held to the same standards as professional actors,” Sanders says. This included a professional orchestra and professional costuming, making the show shine during its three evening performances at the Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center, which was filled to 25% of its capacity. Senior Emma Collums, who starred as Donna, and junior Gretchen Morris, who played Sophie, were supported by a talented cast of juniors and seniors who give new meaning to that old adage: “The show must go on!” —Taylor McKay Hathorn

CPURTESY JACKSON ACADEMY

COURTESY NATE AND TRACI

Country music lovers across the metro area depend on WUSJ’s morning team Nate and Traci to begin their day. The affable duo put fun and family on the menu each morning. “We are live, local and we were both born and raised here,” Traci Lee says. “Our listeners relate to us because we’ve known each other for more than 20 years, and we still like each other.” “Well, we like each other 60% of the time,” Nate West jokes. “We talk about real stuff. … I’m a single dad to a terrific daughter, and we always tease Traci because she’s not dating right now.” The pair like to laugh, but their relationship also demonstrates genuine respect as well. “I feel so lucky to be working with someone of Nate’s caliber. He’s a legend in this market,” Lee says. “And I’m so grateful for our listeners. If we can make them smile, we’ve done our jobs.” Hear Nate and Traci on Your Country US 96 (96.3 FM) Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and catch the “Best Of” show on Saturdays from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. —Michele D. Baker

(Jackson Academy Theater) (4908 Ridgewood Road, 601-3629676, jacksonacademy.org/arts-music/theater)

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Bar, Best Pub Quiz/Trivia Night: Fenian’s Pub

Best Local Band: Southern Komfort Brass Band

In 2021, Fenian’s Pub will celebrate its 25th year in business on East Fortification Street. Named after Finn McCool, a giant of Irish lore who is buried beneath Dublin, the Irish-themed bar serves traditional pub fare such as the scotch egg and fish and chips, but its most popular offerings are its beverages. Fenian’s offers an array of stouts and claims to have one of “the most extensive selections of Irish whiskies in the southeast.” Plus, the pub’s menu also features specialty drinks like the spiced pear old fashioned, the el diablo noche and the whiskey apple peanut butter, nicknamed the “WAP,” a nod to Cardi B’s song of the same name. Patrons who appreciate the pop-culture reference can try their hand at “Pub Quiz,” a trivia night offered at 7 p.m. each Wednesday that covers a wide range of topics. Each competing team is permitted six participants, and the winning team has the opportunity to take home prizes from the local Cathead Distillery. The pub quiz is currently postponed due to high COVID-19 numbers, and Fenian’s provides curbside pick-up to locals not yet ready to dine in. Fenian’s also honors those who have been vital during the pandemic with “Service Industry Day,” which takes place Monday through Thursday after 10 p.m. and offers $1 off every drink to qualifying customers. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Though its style is based in the jazz traditions of New Orleans, the Southern Komfort Brass Brand infuses Mississippi’s music history into every song it performs. “We always want to point to where we are,” Lorenzo Gayden says, listing B.B. King and Robert Johnson as influences. The band formed after playing an event in 2010, and over the past 10 years has assembled a repertoire of over 120 songs, 15 of which are original compositions. Its nine members played jazz and marched with bands in college, and many are alumni of Jackson State University’s own Sonic Boom of the South. While Southern Komfort’s unique and improvisational covers are popular requests, many people enjoy their originals, like “Nothing But Love” and their recent Spotify single “D.A.F.” The band largely performs on Facebook Live now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Gayden says they “plan on hitting the ground running, and being better than when we left off” when gigs re-open. The nine members include Cedric Eubanks on tenor saxophone; Terry Miller, Corey Hannah and Joseph Handy on trumpets; Lorenzo Gayden and Eric James on trombones; Jamie Abrams on sousaphone; Gerard Howard on bass drum; and Timothy Boyd on snare drum. —Kyle Hamrick

(901 E. Fortification St., 601-948-0055, fenianspub.com)

(601-376-9764, facebook.com/southernkomfort)

Best Pub Quiz/Trivia Night Finalists Fondren Public (2765 Old Canton Road, 769-216-2589, facebook.com/fondrenpublic) / Library Lounge at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429, fairviewinn.com) / Lost Pizza Co. (1392 W. Government, Brandon, 601-824-5515; 144 Friendly and Fresh Drive, Flowood, 601-345-8679; 500 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 769-300-31116; lostpizza.com) / Pig & Pint (3139 N. State St., 601-326-6070, pigandpint. com) / Urban Foxes (826 North St., 769-572-5505, urbanfoxesjxn.com)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Finalists: 601 LIVE (601-735-8778, facebook.com/601liveband) / The Ballard Journeay Show (ballardjourneayshow.com) / Burnham Road (artistecard.com/ burnhamroad) / Chad Wesley Band (chadwesley.com) / Hairicane (601-7509991, facebook.com/Hairicane) / Steele Heart (601-832-5351, facebook.com/ Steele-Heart)

Best College Student Hangout: M-Bar Sports Grill

Best Live Music Venue or Place for Live Music: Duling Hall

M-Bar Sports Grill off County Line Road sports a number of attractions for those needing a break from their studies. Twenty-two televisions adorn the business’ walls, 20 clocking in at 55 inches and the remaining two at an impressive 80 inches. DJs like DJ Kool Laid raise the hype levels with their vibing beats, and the kitchen boasts a varied menu. The sports bar’s culinary fare ranges from appetizers like fried green tomatoes, sliders and “M-Dip,” which is a mix of cream cheese, diced green onions and seasoned ground chuck served in a bowl surrounded by chips. Entrees include shrimp po boys, wings and philly cheesesteak sandwiches. M-Bar’s drink selection includes domestic and imported beer, wine, and signature drinks such as the hard-hitting “Walk Me Down,” made with gin, rum, triple sec, tequila, blue curios, and sweet-and-sour mix. During happy hour, 4 p.m to 7 p.m., M-Bar holds events based on the day of the week. Taco Tuesdays feature $2 steak, seafood and shrimp tacos, while Wing Wednesdays showcase 75-cent Wings. —Julian Mills

Duling Hall, a 350-seat event space in the heart of Fondren, is as vibrant today as when the former school hosted elementary-school recitals 50 years ago. It is in use more than 200 times per year for weddings, parties, receptions and concerts. “It’s a good-sounding room with its old, hollow wood stage,” owner and manager Arden Barnett says of the venue’s popularity. “We’ve got great lighting, it’s comfortable, there are no bad sight lines, and you can easily do a seated or standing-roomonly show. There’s a bar in the back and lots of restaurants nearby.” Before the pandemic, 85% of bookings were made by band agents requesting the venue for a concert. “We are known by many musicians and managers. (Duling) is a smaller venue than most bands usually play, but they love it,” Barnett says. Despite COVID, Duling hosted a few shows in November and December at about 25% capacity. “We sold only tables of two or four, no individual tickets,” Barnett explains. “There’s a barrier around the tables, and we ask patrons to wear masks. Every show sold out. We’re trying to help local bands stay alive.” —Michele D. Baker

Finalists: Bar 3911 (3911 Northview Drive, 601-586-1468, facebook.com/Bar-3911) / Coffee Prose (1619 N. West St.; 769-208-0230; 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 173; 769-237-6153; coffeeprose.com) / F. Jones Corner (303 N. Farish St., Suite 3227, 601-983-1148, fjonescorner.com) / Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St., 601-948-0055, fenianspub.com) / Fondren Public (2765 Old Canton Road, 769-216-2589, facebook.com/fondrenpublic) / Shucker’s Oyster Bar (116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, 601-853-0105, shuckersontherez.com)

Finalists: BB’S LIVE - Bonny Blair’s (1149 Old Fannin Road, Brandon, 769-447-5788) / The Iron Horse Grill (320 W. Pearl St., 601-398-0151, theironhorsegrill.com) / Johnny T’s Bistro & Blues (538 N. Farish St., 601-954-1323, johnnytsbistroandblues.com) / Martin’s Downtown (214 S. State St., 601-3354-9712, martinsdowntownjxn.com) / Pop’s Saloon (2636 S. Gallatin St., 601-961-4747) / Shucker’s Oyster Bar (116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, 601-853-0105, shuckersontherez.com)

(6340 Ridgewood Court Drive, 601-398-0999, facebook.com/TheMbarJxn)

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COURTESY SOUTHERN KOMFORT BRASS BAND

COURTESY FENIANS PUB

Best Bar Finalists 4th Avenue Lounge (209 S. Lamar St., 601-259-5825, 4thavenuejxn.com) / BB’S LIVE - Bonny Blair’s (1149 Old Fannin Road, Brandon, 769-447-5788) / M-Bar Sports Grill (6340 Ridgewood Court Drive, 601-398-0999, thembarjxn.com) / Names and Faces Lounge (224 E. Capitol St., 601-955-5285, facebook.com/namesandfaceslounge) / Pop’s Saloon (2636 S. Gallatin St., 601-961-4747) / Shucker’s Oyster Bar (116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, 601-853-0105, shuckersontherez.com)

(622 Duling Ave., 601-292-7121, dulinghall.com)


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February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need your certificate? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Local Cover Band: 601 Live

Best Local Musician: Jason Turner

The seven-piece cover band known as 601 Live formed in 2016 from a sheer love of music and its musicians’ desire to perform. “From church musicians to playing in the (school) band, each one of us has a musical history,” co-lead singer Sedric Brinson says. The cover band features lead singers Brinson, his father Terrell Brinson and John Majors; Tony Reaves is on keyboards; Mike Smith on guitar; and brothers Eric and Greg Richards play drums and bass guitar. “We cover a wide variety of genres and styles,” Brinson says. “We play soul, rhythm and blues, pop, Top 40; you name it. We have a show ready for any occasion.” The band is available for weddings, banquets, family reunions, parties and even casino shows, and a typical set lasts about two hours. “But a casino gig can last four or five hours,” Brinson explains. The band’s success seems to rest on a winning charisma between its three principal singers. “Dad is old school,” Brinson says. “I’m more new school, and John is the hype. He’s a master at getting the crowd energized.” —Michele D. Baker

Jason Turner, 42, started playing guitar when he was 12 years old, inspired by his thenfavorite band, Pearl Jam, as a way to escape a turbulent home life. Born and raised in Jackson, Turner started playing gigs at 16 and recorded his first album at 18 in two hours with the help of Johnny Crocker in 1997. Twenty-three years later, Turner has recorded and played his original compositions in venues large and small across the southeast. He released his seventh album, called “Reset,” in December 2016, and a ninth album titled “The Fire” in 2020. “Most of my songs are written about things I’ve been through, or am going through,” he reveals. “They’re all true stories.” When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March, Turner started performing concerts on Facebook Live and in friends’ driveways and cul-de-sacs. He also moved the lessons he gives through D.C. Guitars to Skype. Now a father of two teenage girls, Turner doesn’t care to be on the road as much as he once did. “At the end of the day, all I want to do is play my music for a living,” he says. “I wouldn’t have it any other way now.” Check out his latest single and album “The Fire” on Spotify and iTunes. —Kyle Hamrick

(601-735-8778, facebook.com/601liveband)

(jasonturnerband.com)

Best Local Singer: Eddie Cotton Jr.

COURTESY JASON TURNER

COURTESY 601 LIVE

Finalists: Acoustic Crossroads (662-822-9856, facebook.com/AcousticXroads) / Hairicane (601-750-9991, facebook.com/Hairicane) / Mississippi Moonlight (facebook.com/ MSMoonlightMusic) / Spunk Monkees (spunkmonkees.com) / Steele Heart (facebook. com/Steele-Heart) / Travelin’ Jane (601-613-7236, facebook.com/travelinjanebandandduo)

Finalists: Coke Bumaye (cokebumaye.bandcamp.com) / TJ Burnham (facebook.com/ TjBurnhamMusic) / Dear Silas (dear-silas.com) / Ron Etheridge (facebook.com/ron. etheridge1) / Russell McGuffee (facebook.com/russell.mcguffee) / Gena Steele (facebook. com/Steele-Heart)

(601-832-4646, facebook.com /eddiecottonblues)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

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Finalists: Laura Leigh Burnham (Burnham Road, facebook.com/TjBurnhamMusic) / Amanda Chappell (Travelin’ Jane, facebook.com/travelinjanebandandduo) / Dylan Lovett (instagram.com/dilllydawg) / Gena Steele (Steele Heart, facebook.com/Steele-Heart) / Jason Turner (jasonturnerband.com)

Best Place for Cocktails: 4th Avenue Lounge (209 S. Lamar St., 601-259-5825, 4thavenuejxn.com)

Patrons of 4th Avenue Lounge—a weekend staple for Jackson residents that is open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays—could sample a drink during each hour of operation on both nights and still not exhaust the lounge’s extensive cocktail menu. One such libation is “The 4th,” a self-titled drink featuring Ketel One vodka, lemon juice and simple syrup, accented with a sugar rim. The fresh beverage is right at home among the lounge’s other fruity offerings like the “Reflection,” which is spiked with raspberry liqueur, and the “4tharita,” which is mixed with both orange and lime juice. Guests who visit the South Lamar Street fixture in search of a darker drink can try the Hennessy-laced French 125 or the White Russian with its traditional draught of Kahlua. Any beverage can be paired with a “shareable” plate, many of which are slathered in the establishment’s signature “bangin’” sauce. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

COURTESY 4TH AVENUE LOUNGE

COURTESY EDDIE COTTON JR

Eddie Cotton Jr. got his musical start more than four decades ago at Christ Chapel C.O.G.I.C. in Clinton. His father, a preacher, encouraged the congregation and his son to worship with their voices. “We did a lot of singing,” Cotton says, “and it led to a scholarship to Jackson State to play in the jazz band.” He was introduced to many other musical styles, “but I always liked Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and B.B. King,” he says. At Sam’s Lounge, Cotton saw Sunny Riddell, and later he met King Edward, who invited Cotton to play with him onstage. A stint working at the Subway Lounge on Pearl Street spurred Cotton to form his own band, the Mississippi Cotton Club. The group played local haunts like George St. Grocery, Joker’s Tavern, the Alamo Theater and Poet’s, but also spent several years touring overseas in Europe and Canada. Now with multiple albums and top singles under his belt, Cotton does festivals, plays sets at Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg and performs at his father’s church. “Lots of places are shut down because of the pandemic, but eventually it will be over,” Cotton says. “And then we’re going to have a party.” —Michele D. Baker

Finalists: BB’S LIVE - Bonny Blair’s (1149 Old Fannin Road, Brandon, 769-251-0692) / The Briar Patch (1150 Old Cedars Lane, Flora, 601-559-8565, facebook.com/The-Briar-Patch) / Library Lounge at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429, fairviewinn.com) / Names and Faces Lounge (224 E. Capitol St., 601-955-5285, facebook.com/namesandfaceslounge) / Shucker’s Oyster Bar (116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, 601-853-0105, shuckersontherez. com) / Table 100 (100 Ridge Way, Flowood, 601-420-4202, tableonehundred.com)


Thank you from Fondren - A finalist in “Best Reason to Live in Jackson” On behalf of the business and residents of Fondren thank you for the nominations and votes for our businesses. Thank you for supporting us in 2020.

We are named a finalist or winner in the following categories: Aladdin Mediterranean Grill and Grocery

The Bean

Place for Coffee

Vegetarian Options Greek or Mediterranean Restaurant Brent’s Drugs Lunch Counter/Lunch Buffet Ethnic Market Hangover Food Place for Healthy Food Veggie Burger Breakfast Dumbo’s on Duling Fried Chicken Broad Street Baking New Restaurant Company Chicken Sandwich Bakery New Addition to Jackson

Cups Espresso Cafe Place for Coffee Geek Hangout

Babalu Tapas & Tacos Veggie Burger Margarita Curbside Delivery

Barrelhouse

Chicken Sandwich

Campbell’s Bakery Bakery

Electric Dagger Tattoo Shop

Fondren Cellars Liquor/Wine Store

Fondren Art Gallery Art Gallery

Fondren Neighborhood Tourist Attraction Reason to Live in Jackson

Fondren Public

Beer Selection (restaurant)

Fondren Theatre Workshop

Rooster’s

Fried Chicken French Fries Burger Fried Chicken Chicken Sandwich Hangover Food

Stage Play (in person or Saltine Restaurant virtual)”Rocky Horror Picture Show” Oysters Seafood Green Ghost Tacos French Fries Brunch Mexican/Latin Food Plate Lunch Margarita Beer Selection (restaurant) Happy Hour Mama Nature’s Juice Bar Place for Healthy Food

Thailicious Restaurant Thai Food

The Pig & Pint

Barbecue Curbside Delivery Beer Selection (restaurant) Outdoor Dining

Walker’s Drive-In

Restaurant Lunch Counter/Lunch Buffet Steak Place for Dessert Wine List or Wine Selection (restaurant) Fine Dining

visitjackson.com/safertravel #SafelyExploreJXN #VisitMSResponsibly

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

DISCOVER OUR

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Place to Dance: Johnny T’s Bistro & Blues

Best Virtual Music Performance: Rita Brent

The restaurant predicates its name on the legend of “Johnny T,” a supposed singer who would arrive at a juke joint in a nice vehicle and play throughout the night, or at least until closing hour, only to leave without a notice, discarding an autographed guitar behind as a musical calling card of sorts. Johnny T’s Bistro and Blues adds to the downtown culinary landscape with blue-plate lunch specials featuring southern staples like red beans and rice, pork chops with gravy and John Tierre baked chicken. Dinner, however, takes on an aquatic flair as most dishes include shrimp, crab or fish as the centerpiece. The building’s layout lends to a comfortable and intimate atmosphere since dining and musical entertainment go hand-in-hand at this familiar spot. The blending of cuisine and tunes extends to the upstairs private lounge as well. Johnny T’s is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then 4:30 p.m. until close, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 6 p.m. to close. —Mike McDonald

Rita Brent expresses herself through comedy, music and satirical prayers. “Comedy and music are avenues to share my message,” she explains. In 2018, her music video “Can You Rock Me Like a Pothole”— filmed on Mill Street—went viral on social media. “I felt that the potholes were starting to define Jackson, instead of the new Civil Rights Museum. There’s lots of things Jackson has going for it.” (Mill Street has since been completely repaved.) Her song “Quarantine Shuffle” targeted social distancing. Last September, Brent released “Kamala” ahead of the November election. She sings, “When Joe Biden selected her, I saw attempts to disregard or belittle her, and I was triggered. I saw myself in her.” The comedienne traveled back from Brooklyn to Jackson to record the song. “I wanted people to be serious about voting. It’s a song with a purpose,” she says. Recently, Brent and her wife moved to Atlanta, but Brent is still a Mississippi girl at heart. “When I perform around the world, I represent Mississippi. I hope that I shine a positive light on my city and state.” —Michele D. Baker

(538 N. Farish St., 601-954-1323, johnnytsbistroandblues.com)

(comedic singing, ritabrent.com)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Best Place to Play Pool: The Green Room

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COURTESY RITA BRENT

FILE PHOTO / IMANI KHAYYAM

Finalists: Bar 3911 (3911 Northview Drive, 601-586-1468, facebook.com/Bar-3911) / F. Jones Corner (303 N. Farish St., Suite 3227, 601-983-1148, fjonescorner.com) / Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St., 601-960-2700, oletavern.com) / Pop’s Saloon (2636 S. Gallatin St., 601-961-4747) / Shucker’s Oyster Bar (116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, 601-853-0105, shuckersontherez.com) / VIBE Jxn (6390 Ridgewood Road, 769-233-8713, vibejxn.com)

Finalists: Hunter Gibson (huntergibson.com) / Dylan Lovett (instagram.com/dilllydawg) / Lovin’ Ledbetter (lovinledbetter.com) / Stephanie Luckett (stefuniemusic.com) / Travelin’ Jane (601-613-7236, facebook.com/travelinjanebandandduo) / Jason Turner (jasonturnerband.com)

(444 Bounds St., 601-718-7665, facebook.com/The-Green-Room)

Best Service Industry Hangout: Capitol Grill

(5050 Interstate 55 N., Suite F, 601-8998845, capitolgrillofjackson.com)

Best Place to Drink Cheap: Last Call Sports Grill

The Green Room, a long-time pool hall in Jackson, returns to win this category once again. Open for more than 20 years, the business boasts 18 pool tables as well as a bar and grill that serves ribs, T-bones, wings, burgers, fries, fried okra, potato salad, baked beans and salad, as well as beverages. While visitors regularly stop by the tavern to share a drink or grab a cue, those with competitive spirit can opt to up the ante by participating in one of its monthly nine-ball pool tournaments, which usually attract people from across the southeast. The Green Room also offers catering services, providing family meal packs and hosting small parties. Daytime sharks and night owls alike can shoot pool from noon to 2 a.m. seven days a week. —Julian Mills

Capitol Grill owner Robert “Corky” Elliott describes it as a “laid back sports bar” with a familyfriendly atmosphere and numerous regulars who have cheerfully walked through the business’ doors time and time again since it opened in 2013. The restaurant/bar provides enough televisions to allow nearly everyone to watch their favorite SEC team, and the kitchen makes all of its food from scratch, down to its barbecue sauce. The menu includes salads, pizzas with toppings such as mushrooms and caramelized onions, red beans and rice, catfish, ribeye steaks, and appetizers like fried pickles, tamales and jumbo wings. At the bar, in addition to beer and wine, patrons can order specialty cocktails like The Capitol Mojito, mint-infused Shellback rum mixed with agave nectar, fresh lime juice and soda. —Julian Mills

Since opening Last Call Sports Grill in 2004, Rahul Chaddha credits the business’ reputation as a great place to drink cheap to the restaurant’s happy hour, which attracts a number of regulars. “We’ve got a strong base of loyal customers who come in for both the drinks and our small-plate food specials,” Chaddha says. Last Call’s happy hour runs from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and features 2-for-1 specials on all mixed drinks. Last Call also offers a loyalty card that rewards 10% back on every dollar spent, on top of other drink specials that run throughout the week. “I want to give a special thanks to all the regulars who supported us during the pandemic,” Chaddha says. “Thanks to the people of Jackson who gave us that support, we’re back at full strength. They made the right call by choosing Last Call.” —Dustin Cardon

Finalists: Bar 3911 (3911 Northview Drive, 601-5861468, facebook.com/Bar-3911) / BB’S LIVE - Bonny Blair’s (1149 Old Fannin Road, Brandon, 769-4475788) / F. Jones Corner (303 N. Farish St., Suite 3227, 601-983-1148, fjonescorner.com) / Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St., 601-948-0055, fenianspub.com) / Sam’s Lounge (5035 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, 601-983-2526) / Urban Foxes (826 North St., 769572-5505, urbanfoxesjxn.com)

Finalists: Capitol Grill (5050 Interstate 55 N., Suite F, 601899-8845, capitolgrillofjackson.com) / Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St., 601-948-0055, fenianspub.com) / Martin’s Downtown (214 S. State St., 601-3354-9712, martinsdowntownjxn.com) / Pelican Cove (3999A Harbor Walk Drive, Ridgeland, 601-605-1865, pelicancovegrill.net) / Sam’s Lounge (5035 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, 601-9832526) / Shucker’s Oyster Bar (116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, 601-853-0105, shuckersontherez.com)

Finalists: Dockery Grill (6791 S. Siwell Road, Byram, 601-665-4758, facebook.com/Dockery-Grill) / Last Call Sports Grill (1428 Old Square Road, 601-713-2700, lastcallsportsgrill.com) / The “Little” Pub in Ridgeland (387 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-898-2225, facebook.com/ TheLittlePubRidgelandMS) / Pop’s Saloon (2636 S. Gallatin St., 601-961-4747) / Sam’s Lounge (5035 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, 601-983-2526) / Shucker’s Oyster Bar (116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, 601-853-0105, shuckersontherez.com)

(1428 Old Square Road, 601-7132700, lastcallsportsgrill.com)


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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Ethnic Market, Best Place for Healthy Food, Best Vegetarian Options: Aladdin Mediterranean Grocery; Aladdin Mediterranean Grill

Best Fried Chicken, Best Lunch Counter/Buffet, Best Soul Food: Mama Hamil’s Southern Cookin’ & BBQ (480 Magnolia St., Madison, 601-856-4407, hamils.com)

IMANI KHAYYAM / FILE PHOTO

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Aladdin Mediterranean Grill has been a staple in the metro since 2004. Many locals regard Aladdin’s, located near Fondren, as Jackson’s premier spot for Mediterranean food such as shawarma, gyros, baklava and others. The restaurant and Aladdin’s Mediterranean Grocery next door are perennially on the Best of Jackson winners’ list. This year, the two together top the lists for Best Ethnic Grocery, Best Vegetarian Options and Best Place to Eat Healthy Food. “We mostly do everything from scratch, and we use lean meat and fresh ingredients,” Yoseph Ali, the proprietor, says of Aladdin’s healthy food preparation. “(For vegetarians), falafels are the big items, along with mixed vegetables and grape leaves. And, of course, all the dips we have are vegetarian friendly.” For those who are not familiar with Aladdin’s or Mediterranean food in general, Ali suggests they try the chicken gyros or one of the combination plates including items such as lamb chops and shrimp. Aladdin’s did have to make adjustments because of the COVID-19 virus, but it is still open for dine-in service, albeit with a smaller number of tables, and the staff has worked to improve the curbside takeaway and delivery services. Having the grocery store on the other side of the wall makes it easier for the restaurant to buy in bulk and pass on the savings to customers, Ali says. Some of the more popular items available at the grocery include dates, olives, tea, coffee, cheese, nan, chicken and more—some of which cannot be found at most other local grocers, as Aladdin’s imports them from overseas, particularly the large medjool dates. Aladdin’s desserts have garnered a number of fans as well, with baklava topping the list as a local favorite. —Richard Coupe

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Best Ethnic Market Finalists Asian Market (901 Lakeland Place, Suite 6, Flowood; 769-572-7050; asianmarketflowood. com) / Carniceria Valdez (2275 Highway 80; 601-352-6300; 6520 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland; 601-899-6922) / Mr. Chen’s (5465 Interstate 55 N., 601-978-1865, mrchensms. com) / Patel Brothers (1999 Highway 80, Suite 15, 601-353-6611, patelbros.com) Best Place for Healthy Food Finalists Aplos Simple Medierranean (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 174, 601-714-8989, eataplos. com) / Kale Me Crazy (1067 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite D, Ridgeland; 601-499-0459; ridgeland.kalemecrazy.net) / Mama Nature’s Juice Bar (655 Lake Harbour Drive, Suite 400, Ridgeland; 601-499-4936; mamanatureswellness.com) Best Vegetarian Options Finalists BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 244, 601-982-8111, bravobuzz.com) / Cool Al’s (4654 McWillie Drive, 601-291-1146, coolalsrestaurant.org) / Kale Me Crazy (1067 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite D, 601-499-0459, ridgeland.kalemecrazy. net) / Mind Body and Soul Foodz (201 Ring Road, Suite 10, Ridgeland, 769-251-1211, mindbodyandsoulfoodz.com)

COURTESY MAMA HAMIL’S SOUTHERN COOKIN’ & BBQ

(730 Lakeland Drive, 601-366-6033, aladdininjackson.com)

Rising from its humble, log-cabin beginnings in 1977, Mama Hamil’s now occupies the massive structure behind its original building, offering daily “blue plate specials,” catering options and private event rooms. Regardless of how customers choose to order the Madison restaurant’s downhome southern cooking, Office Manager Bailey Lyles says the menu remains largely consistent. “Everything is handmade,” Lyles remarks. “We do everything fresh every morning.” One of the eatery’s freshest dishes is its popular fried chicken, which is handbattered and fried throughout the day. “If it’s out on the buffet, it’s been cooked within 10 minutes,” Lyles says of the signature poultry fare. While the buffet is currently unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols, Lyles notes that customers’ preferences are taken into account at every turn. “We haven’t made it over 50% capacity,” the office manager says. “Our customers are our top priority right now.” Although the restaurant’s seating is limited, its menu is not, as it features items such as macaroni and cheese, chicken and dumplings, peach cobbler and barbecue on the daily menu. For the cautious patrons who are not yet dining in, Mama Hamil’s offers the same traditional favorites through online orders that can be picked up between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. each day. Larger groups can choose delivery options, as the restaurant provides catered meals with a choice of two meats, three sides, a bread, a dessert and a beverage. No matter how customers prefer to order, Mama Hamil’s has resumed normal hours and are now once again open for both lunch and dinner. —Taylor McKay Hathorn Best Fried Chicken Finalists Dumbo’s on Duling (3100 N. State St., Suite 102, 601-336-3600, dumbosjackson.com) / The Gathering at Livingston (106 Livingston Church Road, Flora, 601-667-4282, livingstonmercantile.com) / Georgia Blue (202 Baptist Drive, Madison; 601-898-3330; 223 Ridge Way, Flowood; 601-919-1900, georgiablue.net) / Primos Cafe (2323 Lakeland Drive, Flowood; 601-936-3398; 515 Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland; 601-898-3600; 201 Baptist Drive, Madison; 601-853-3350; primoscafe.com) / Rooster’s (2906 N. State St., 601-9822001, eatroosters.com) Best Lunch Counter/Buffet Finalists Brent’s Drugs (655 Duling Ave., 601-366-3427, brentsdrugs.com) / Grant’s Kitchen & Grill (3820 Flowood Drive, Flowood, 601-665-4764, grantskitchen.com) / Ichiban Chinese Buffet (153 Ridge Way, Flowood, 601-919-0097; 3 Mac and Bones Blvd., Pearl, 769-208-2688; ichibangrillms.com) / Mama’s Eats-N-Sweets (2017 Boling St., 601-713-0550, facebook. com/mamaseats) / McClain Resort (874 Holly Bush Road, Brandon, 601-829-1101, mcclain.ms) Best Soul Food Finalists Bully’s Restaurant (3118 Livingston Road, Suite 6103, 601-362-0484, facebook.com/Bullys-Restaurant) / Godfrey’s (2460 Terry Road, 601-398-3602) / Josephine’s Kitchen (4638 Hanging Moss Road, 769-572-4276, josephineskitchenms.com) / Sugar’s Place (168 E. Griffith St., 601-352-2364, facebook.com/Sugars-Place-Downtown) / Sweetie Pies (110 E. South St., 769-524-4843, facebook.com/sweetiepiesofficial)


Are you a finalist or winner? Need your certificate? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Beer Selection (Restaurant), Best Place to Watch the Game: The Bulldog

(3139 N. State St., 601-326-6070, pigandpint.com)

Best Barbecue Finalists E & L Barbeque (1111 Bailey Ave., 601-355-5035, facebook.com/EandLBBQ) / Hickory Pit (1491 Canton Mart Road, 601-956-7079, facebook.com/Hickory-Pit) / Jefferson’s Grill Restaurant & Catering (5612 Old Canton Road, 601-863-5227, facebook.com/JeffersonsGrill-Restaurant-Catering) / Little Willie’s BBQ (115 Village Square Drive, Suite G, Brandon, 601-992-6328; 5419 Highway 25, Suite L, Flowood, 769-572-4238; 3015 Highway 80, Pearl, 601-397-6698; littlewilliesbarbeque.com) / Sylvester’s Mississippi Style BBQ (9434 Highway 18, Raymond, 601-346-8000, facebook.com/SylvestersMississippiStyleBBQ) Best Outdoor Dining Finalists Elvie’s (809 Manship St., 601-863--8828, elviesrestaurant.com) / Library Lounge at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429, fairviewinn.com) / The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen (1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601-398-4562, themanshipjackson.com) / The Rooftop Bar at Old Capitol Inn (226 N. State St., 601-359-9000, oldcapitolinn.com) / Sophomore Spanish Club (200 District Blvd. E., 601-203-3333, sophomorespanish.com)

(2323 Lakeland Drive, Flowood; 601-936-3398; 515 Lake Harbor Drive, Ridgeland; 601-898-3600; 201 Baptist Drive, Madison; 601-853-3350; primoscafe.com)

Primos Cafes, now with three locations, have been around since the 1920s and have a rich and storied tradition of serving food that keep Jacksonians coming back for more. “That’s why our business does so well. It reminds people of eating dinner at their mother’s house,” Kenya Parks, the director of operations for Primos Cafe, says. The restaurant offers breakfast all day, and the menu ranges from the Primos Parfait—homemade granola served with Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries—to a more traditional southern breakfast featuring hash browns, biscuits, white sausage gravy and eggs anyway you want them. On weekdays, Primos serves blueplate specials. Monday through Saturday,

the specials include a rotating entree with two vegetable dishes—although patrons may instead opt for an all-vegetable plate featuring four or five vegetable dishes. “(The blue-plate specials) are rotated out every two months, but there are staples that never change,” Parks says. “For instance, fried chicken, turkey and dressing, and chicken and dumplings—those are things that will always be part of our blue plates.” Meanwhile, Fridays consistently mean U.S. farm-raised catfish, which many describe as the highlight of the week, Parks asserts. Other menu items include sandwiches, wraps, burgers, catfish tacos, and baskets of chicken strips or Gulf-fried shrimp served with onion rings, regular

With exactly 50 beers available on tap, The Bulldog serves as a favorite haunt for locals aiming to watch NFL and college football, and for general manager Brittany Hutchins, the secret to the restaurant’s success lies with the football fans themselves. “They come in, and they know who’ll be there,” Hutchins says. “Half the time, they’ve already ordered their beer for them. It’s like a family.” The manager also credits The Bulldog’s servers and bartenders for fostering an atmosphere that keeps sports devotees coming back week after week. “One time, we were all down in the dumps because we thought (the customers) might not realize that we were open early, but out of nowhere, tons of Saints fans were there, cheering and watching the game,” Hutchins recalls. “We were passing out shots of Fireball. It was an awesome way to start the football season, and it was very memorable.” She jokes that the restaurant has “about 150,000 TVs, so you can’t go wrong there.” Besides libations, the restaurant offers a full dinner menu featuring original dishes such as crawfish banditos and Tex-Mex egg rolls with raspberry chipotle sauce. —Taylor McKay Hathorn Best Beer Selection (Restaurant) Finalists Fondren Public (2765 Old Canton Road, 769-216-2589, facebook.com/fondrenpublic) / Hops and Habanas (2771 Old Canton Road, 769-572-4631, hopsandhabanas.com) / Martin’s Downtown (214 S. State St., 601-3354-9712, martinsdowntownjxn.com) / The Pig & Pint (3139 N. State St., 601-326-6070, pigandpint.com) / Saltine Restaurant (622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899, saltinerestaurant.com) Best Place to Watch the Game Finalists 4th and Goal Sports Cafe (5100 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, 769-208-8283, 4thgoal. com) / BB’S LIVE - Bonny Blair’s (1149 Old Fannin Road, Brandon, 769-251-0692) / Capitol Grill (5050 Interstate 55 N., Suite F, 601-899-8845, capitolgrillofjackson.com) / Fondren Public (2765 Old Canton Road, 769-216-2589, facebook.com/fondrenpublic) / Last Call Sports Grill (1428 Old Square Road, 601-713-2700, lastcallsportsgrill.com) / Names and Faces Lounge (224 E. Capitol St., 601-955-5285)

TRIP BURNS/FILE PHOTO

Best Breakfast and Best Plate Lunch: Primos Cafe

(6111 Ridgewood Road, 601-978-3502, bulldog-jackson.draftfreak.com) COURTESY THE BULLDOG

TRIP BURNS / FILE PHOTO

The strings of lights that adorn Fondren’s popular barbecue restaurant create an inviting atmosphere for outdoor diners, as open-air picnic tables provide plenty of room for gatherings with family and friends. Prior to COVID, the restaurant also offered outdoor games like Jenga to add to the dining experience. Smoked favorites include the Pepsi-Cola-glazed baby back ribs or the pulled-pork barbecue nachos, topped with peppers, queso and pickled onions. Barbecue fans who prefer to eat at home have a section of the menu dedicated specifically to them, as takeout options can feed anywhere from two to six people, with the “P&P 6-Pack” featuring two pounds of pulled pork and half a dozen brioche buns in addition to baked beans, comeback coleslaw and potato salad. Diners can wash down these full-course southern meals with the more traditional sweet tea or by sampling Pig and Pint’s selection of draft, canned and bottled beers, and any meal can be capped with the establishment’s signature desserts: bananas foster bread pudding and white chocolate and cranberry bread pudding. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

fries or sweet potato fries. For dessert, customers can look for Primos’ three-layer cake, which comes in flavors such as caramel, Italian cream, carrot and many more. Alternatively, they can choose slices of pie in flavors like lemon or pecan, or visit the bakery for cookies, fudge squares and other freshly baked goods that they can take home to enjoy later. —Richard Coupe

Best Breakfast Finalists Brent’s Drugs (655 Duling Ave., 601-3663427, brentsdrugs.com) / Elvie’s (809 Manship St., 601-863--8828, elviesrestaurant. com) / Jo’s Diner (241 Ridge Way, Flowood, 601--988-9000, josdiner.net) / The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen (1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601-398-4562, themanshipjackson.com) / Sugar’s Place (168 E. Griffith St., 601-3522364) Best Plate Lunch Finalists George’s Museum Cafe (Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, 1150 Lakeland Drive, 601-981-1465, georges-museum-cafe. edan.io) / Georgia Blue (202 Baptist Drive, Madison, 601-898-3330; 223 Ridge Way, Flowood, 601-919-1900; georgiablue.net) / Saltine Restaurant (622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899, saltinerestaurant.com) / Taste of the Island (436 E. Capitol St., 601360-5900) / Trace Grill (574F Highway 51 N., Ridgeland, 601-853-1014, thetracegrill.com)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Best Barbecue, Best Outdoor Dining: The Pig & Pint

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Restaurant, Best Brunch: The Iron Horse Grill

Best Greek or Mediterranean Restaurant; Best Hangover Food: Keifer’s

(320 W. Pearl St., 601-398-0151, theironhorsegrill.com)

(710 Poplar Blvd., 601-355-6825, keifers.net; 120 N. Congress St., 601-353-4976, keifersdowntown.com)

Established in 1980, Keifer’s has become known by nearly anyone who has spent enough time in the metro. It opened a second location down in 1981 and later moved to its current location on Poplar Avenue in 2011. The menu features an extensive list of gyros, salads, desserts, appetizers and more. One of its most popular items—and one that lends to the title of Best Hangover Food— is probably the cottage fries, which are slices of potato fried and served with feta dressing (now available for purchase in bottle form at the Belhaven location). Other items of note include the pita mozz or peta feta, which is pita grilled and served with feta sauce. Both locations also have daily specials, such as a bacon cheeseburger, an ofteneffective means of easing the pain of a hangover. In warmer weather, both locations’ outside seating has been ideal for social distancing. Keifer’s in Belhaven is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The downtown location is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. —Amber Helsel

Best Brunch Finalists Elvie’s (809 Manship St., 601-863--8828, elviesrestaurant.com) / The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen (1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601-398-4562, themanshipjackson.com) / Primos Cafe (2323 Lakeland Drive, Flowood; 601-936-3398; 515 Lake Harbor Drive, Ridgeland; 601-898-3600; 201 Baptist Drive, Madison; 601-853-3350; primoscafe.com) / Saltine Restaurant (622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899, saltinerestaurant.com)

Best Greek or Mediterranean Restaurant Finalists Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive, 601-366-6033, aladdininjackson.com) / Aplos Simple Mediterranean (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 174, 601-714-8989, eataplos. com) / Kismet’s Restaurant (315 Crossgates Blvd., Brandon, 601-825-8380, facebook.com/ kismet) / Krilakis (207 W. Jackson St., Suite D, Ridgeland; 601-790-9463; krilakis.com) / Yiayia’s Greek Kitchen (587 Highway 51, Suite J, Ridgeland; 601-853-1110; yiayiasgreekkitchen.net)

Best Restaurant Finalists Elvie’s (809 Manship St., 601-863-8828, Elviesrestaurant.com) / Ely’s Restaurant & Bar (115 W. Jackson St., Suite 2E, Ridgeland, 601-605-6359, elysrestaurant.com) / Godfrey’s (2460 Terry Road, 601-398-3602) / Local 463 (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 5002, Ridgeland; 601-707-7684; local463.com) / Walker’s Drive In (3016 N. State St., 601-9822633, walkersdrivein.com)

Best Hangover Food Finalists Brent’s Drugs (655 Duling Ave., 601-366-3427, brentsdrugs.com) / Da Shak Grill (5752 Terry Road, Suite A1, Byram, 601-398-1765, da-shak-grill.edan.io) / Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St., 601-948-0055, fenianspub.com) / Rooster’s (2906 N. State St., Suite 104, 601-982-2001, eatroosters.com) / Santa Fe Grill & Bar (4924 Interstate 55 N., Suite 105, 769-216-3964, facebook.com/SantaFeJacksonMS)

Best Italian Food, Best Curbside Delivery: Amerigo Italian Restaurant

tomers) know they can have a nice meal at Amerigo, even if it’s served out of to-go boxes.”—Taylor McKay Hathorn

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COURTESY AMERIGO ITALIAN RESTAURANT

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

(6592 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 601-977-0563; 155 Market St., Flowood, 601-992-1550; amerigo.net)

Amerigo Italian Restaurant has been providing a taste of Italy to the Jackson community since the early 1980s, and their Ridgeland and Flowood locations are open for both lunch and dinner each day. “We’re committed to providing quality cuisine and service—while keeping our price point approachable,” Director of Marketing Ali Gensert says of the restaurant’s longstanding popularity with the Jackson community. The variety of the restaurant’s cuisine has kept Jacksonians coming back for decades, too, with customer favorites like smoked chicken ravioli, fettuccine imperial and pasta pomodoro highlighting the pasta menu and Prince Edward Island mussels and calamari fritti headlining the appetizer selection. Once the first two courses are cleared away, diners can sample sweeter tastes of Italy, with the restaurant offering tiramisu topped with creme anglaise and Kahlua-infused chocolate sauce. These and other authentic dishes are also available for curbside pick-up, with Amerigo staff members on

COURTESY KEIFERS

COURTESY THE IRON HORSE GRILL

Given the effort that The Iron Horse Grill puts in its Sunday mid-morning meals, it’s no wonder that the restaurant led the Best Brunch category of this year’s Best of Jackson results. During Sunday brunch, chefs operate stations where they prepare waffles with toppings such as maple syrup, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, pecans, cinnamon, powdered sugar or whipped cream, as well as omelets with familiar breakfast trimmings like bacon, sausage, ham, cheese, bell peppers, green onions or mushrooms and more adventurous fillings like crabmeat and crawfish. Additionally, Iron Horse offers bottomless mimosas and the smooth sounds of local jazz legend Tiger Rogers on the saxophone, creating an atmosphere that keeps customers coming back week after week. Outside of brunch, Iron Horse presents its signature flavors every other day of the week as well, offering a vast menu of appetizers, fajitas, burgers, sandwiches, salads, desserts and many other specialties. Those looking to listen to live music as they dine can browse Iron Horse’s website to see which artists are scheduled to perform in the weeks ahead. Iron Horse also caters, allows customers to book private events and hosts the Mississippi Music Experience, an educational tour for students that explores the state’s rich history of music and art. —Torsheta Jackson

stand-by to bring takeout orders to customers who don’t yet feel comfortable dining in. “It’s important for us to meet our guests’ needs at all times,” Gensert says of the practice. “Even if people aren’t comfortable dining in, we still want to provide a nice meal for them. People want what’s comfortable, and (our cus-

Best Italian Food Finalists BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar (4500 Interstate 55 Frontage Road, Suite 244, 601-982-8111, bravobuzz.com) / Cerami’s Italian Restaurant (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-9192829, ceramisitalian.com) / Fratesi’s (910 Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland, 601-956-2929, fratesisrestaurant.com) / Sal & Mookie’s (565 Taylor St., 601-368-1919; 111 Colony Crossing Way, Suite 130, Madison, 601-499-1300; salandmookies.com) Best Curbside Delivery Finalists Aplos Simple Mediterranean (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 174, 601-714-8989, eataplos.com) / Babalu Tapas & Tacos (622 Duling Ave., 601-366-5757, eatbabalu.com) / Martin’s at Midtown (1101 Belmont St., Vicksburg, 601-636-2353, martinsatmidtown.com) / The Pig & Pint (3139 N. State St., 601326-6070, pigandpint.com) / Sal & Mookies (565 Taylor St.; 601-368-1919; 111 Colony Crossing Way, Suite 130, Madion; 601-499-1300; salandmookies.com) / Trace Grill (574 Highway 51, Suite F, Ridgeland; 601-853-1014; thetracegrill.com)


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February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms


Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Fine Dining, Best Steak: Char Restaurant

Best Fries, Best Catering: Georgia Blue

(4500 Interstate 55 N., 601-956-9562, charrestaurant.com)

Best Steak Finalists Ely’s Restaurant & Bar (115 W. Jackson St., Suite 2E, Ridgeland, 601-605-6359, elysrestaurant.com) / Koestler Prime (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 6001, Ridgeland, 601-957-3753, koestlerprime.com) / Shapley’s Restaurant (868 Centre St., Ridgeland, 601957-8000, mmshapleys.com) / Tico’s Steakhouse (1536 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland, 601-956-1030, ticossteakhouse.com) / Walker’s Drive In (3016 N. State St., 601-982-2633, walkersdrivein.com)

Best New Restaurant, Best New Addition: Dumbo’s on Duling

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Paul Adair, owner of Dumbo’s on Duling, gave his restaurant the name that had once been his own. Dumbo, the name that his first-grade classmates at Boyd Elementary School bestowed on him, has since brought the Jackson native good fortune during his first year in business. “(Our first year) has been a little strange because of COVID, but we have a small footprint, and the community has been really good to us,” Adair says. He added that the good reviews and consistent crowds have been encouraging for the restaurant nestled in the heart of Fondren and opening its doors during a difficult

Best Fries Finalists Aplos Simple Mediterranean (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 174, 601-714-8989, eataplos. com) / Elvie’s (809 Manship St., 601-863--8828, elviesrestaurant.com) / Fine & Dandy (100 District Blvd., 601-202-5050, eatdandy.com) / The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen (1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601-398-4562, themanshipjackson.com) / Rooster’s (2906 N. State St., Suite 104, 601-982-2001, eatroosters.com) / Saltine Restaurant (622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899, saltinerestaurant.com) Best Caterer Finalists 4Top Catering (401 Fontaine Place, Suite 103, Ridgeland; 601-968-7575; 4topcatering.com) / Fresh Cut Catering & Floral (108 Cypress Cove, Flowood, 601-939-4518, freshcutcateringandfloral.com) / The Iron Horse Grill (320 W. Pearl St., 601-398-0151, theironhorsegrill.com) / Mangia Bene Catering (4465 Interstate 55 N., 601-362-2900, mangiabene-catering.com)

year. Like the rest of the eclectic community, the restaurant has a unique flair. “Our space is really cool,” Adair says. “Ferriss and Company took my vision and ran with it, so the aesthetics are really neat.” Dumbo’s on Duling seeks to convey its singularity through its menu, too, offering a range of cuisines at brunch, lunch and dinner. Adair remarks that many customers prefer to order small plates when they come in to drink, which has caused their “snack” menu—which features signature staples such as crispy crab wontons and deviled eggs—to flourish. Adair praises his dedicated staff, whom he promises are “smiling beneath their masks,” for serving these snacks that complement the business’ popular cocktail program, COURTESY DUMBO’S ON DULING

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

(3100 N. State St., Suite 102, 601-3363600, dumbosjackson.com)

With locations in both Madison and Flowood, Georgia Blue’s signature dishes present a metropolitan flair to down-home cooking, with plates such as turnip green bites and gyro nachos studding the menu. These staples are available for both guests who dine in and guests who take advantage of the restaurant’s long-standing catering service. “We want them to get the same menu and the same quality of service they’d get in a restaurant,” proprietor Jason Burgardt says. The catering team works to fulfill this wish, as Burgardt notes that the staff tries to stay “a step or two ahead of every guest that calls.” The catering crew, which has remained largely consistent over the last seven years, isn’t afraid to take on multiple gatherings at once. This comes in handy, as Burgardt notes that “word of mouth is (the restaurant’s) best advertisement.” A favorite Georgia Blue creation for both catering events and indoor dining is the restaurant’s original beer-battered curly wedge fries. “I haven’t seen anyone else serve fries like ours,” Burgardt says. Although the fries were not on the business’ original menu, they are now considered an essential feature by guests and management alike. “We’ve been serving these fries for six years now, and we’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from guests, so we’ve never gone back,” Burgardt says. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

TRIP BURNS/FILE PHOTO

Best Fine Dining Finalists Amerigo Italian Restaurant (6592 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland; 601-977-0563; 155 Market St., Flowood; 601-992-1550; amerigo.net) / Koestler Prime (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 6001, Ridgeland, 601-957-3753, koestlerprime.com) / The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen (1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601-398-4562, themanshipjackson.com) / Shapley’s Restaurant (868 Centre St., Ridgeland, 601-957-8000, mmshapleys.com) / Table 100 (100 Ridge Way, Flowood, 601-420-4202, tableonehundred.com) / Walker’s Drive In ((3016 N. State St., 601-982-2633, walkersdrivein.com)

PARACHUTEMEDIA

Char has been a popular choice for Jackson diners for years, but Marketing Director Ali Gensert believes that the company’s people-oriented approach has kept customers coming back. “One of the biggest things we have going for us is that we have been able to celebrate with multiple generations of guests. It’s a comfortable atmosphere for them—people came in with their parents, and now they’re bringing their own families in,” Gensert says. Char’s steaks have remained a popular menu item, as the Highland Village staple serves a range of cuts—filet mignons, New York strips and cowboy and standard ribeyes—topped with maitre d’ butter. “We cook them to perfection as people order them,” Gensert says of the beef selection. Char’s extensive menu also includes brunch, lunch and dinner options, with each meal featuring a curated wine and cocktail list. The private dining room can seat between 10 and 120 guests and features customized menu options, audio visual equipment and complimentary wireless internet. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

(202 Baptist Drive, Madison; 601-898-3330; 223 Ridge Way, Flowood; 601-919-1900; georgiablue.net)

which Adair describes as simply “badass.” —Taylor McKay Hathorn Best New Restaurant Finalists Colony Bistro (121 Colony Crossing Way, Suite A, Madison; 601-707-4141; colonybistroms.com) / Da Shak Grill (5752 Terry Road, Suite A1, Byram; 601-398-1765; facebook.com/ DaShakBarGill) / Elvie’s (809 Manship St., 601-863-8828, Elviesrestaurant.com) / Sante Fe Grill & Bar (4924 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, Suite 105, 769-216-3464, facebook.com/ SantaFeJacksonMS) Best New Addition to Jackson Finalists Coffee Prose - Highland Village (4500 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, Suite 173, 769-237-6153, coffeeprose.com) / Elvie’s (809 Manship St., 601-863-8828, Elviesrestaurant.com) / Enchanting Memories Entertainment (662-590-2748, facebook.com/enchantingmemoriesentertainment) / Green Bean (100 E. Capitol St., Suite 106, 601-376-9317, greenbeanusa. com) / Kickin’ Crab (6376 Ridgewood Court Drive, 601-6654199, kickincrabms.com) / Mural On Old Capitol Inn (226 N. State St., 601-359-9000, oldcapitolinn.com)


Are you a finalist or winner? Need your certificate? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Beer Selection (Store): Hops and Habanas

Campbell’s Bakery may be one of the city’s oldest of its kind, but owner Mitchell Moore has made the business over since his takeover in 2011. Before Moore, Campbell’s Bakery had been open for 50 years in its original location. After Moore’s takeover, he expanded to Madison in 2016—a location that unfortunately closed in 2020 amid the pandemic—and in 2019, he branched out and opened Campbell’s Craft Donuts in Belhaven. Campbell’s has everything many would want in a bakery: cupcakes, petit fours, cookies, cakes, pies and custom cakes. The business even offers gluten-free treats like cupcakes and cookies. Drive a few blocks over to Campbell’s Craft Donuts for a full menu complete with breakfast tacos, coffee and donuts nearly the size of your head. Both businesses have the ability to satisfy your sweet tooth. Campbell’s Bakery is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. —Amber Helsel

Time and time again, Hops and Habanas has graced the pages of Best of Jackson for its prominent beer selection. This year, however, appears to be the last time the storefront will be in the running for this particular category, as the business has closed as of mid-January. Rather than being another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, though, Rick and Trayce Miles shut down the store because they wanted to leave the retail business, having decided in 2019 to do so by 2021. Unable to find a buyer for the Hops and Habanas business, the Miles duo instead ended up selling the building itself. Nevertheless, they remain grateful for the support they have received from the public over the years. “We certainly appreciate our customer and community support over the years and will miss the many friendships we have made along the way. We thank all our past and most recent employees who represented Hops and Habanas,” Rick, who is already a full-time ER physician, says. “We do feel regrets on leaving a big void in the beer and cigar retail sales area as well as the Jackson social and entertainment scene. But in the end, we were ready for a lifestyle change of our own and are looking forward to moving on.” —Richard Coupe

COURTESY CAMPBELL’S BAKERY

(2771 Old Canton Road, 769-572-4631, hopsandhabanas.com)

Finalists: Broad Street Baking Company (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 101, 601-362-2900, broadstbakery. com) / La Brioche Patisserie & Bistro (1200 Eastover Drive, 601-988-2299, labriochems.com) / The Prickly Hippie (500 Highway 51, Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-910-6730, pricklyhippie.com) / Primos Cafe (2323 Lakeland Drive, Flowood; 601-936-3398; 515 Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland; 601-898-3600; 201 Baptist Drive, Madison; 601-853-3350; primoscafe.com) / Sugar Magnolia Takery (5417 Highway 25, Flowood, 601-992-8110, sugarmagnoliatakery.com)

Helping families in emergency crisis situations for over 45 years in the Greater Jackson area. @goodsamjackson @goodsamaritancenter

Finalists: Barley’s Beer Barn (1716 Highway 51, Suite E, Madison; 601-7907901; facebook.com/BarleysBeerBarn) / Craft Beer Cellar (500 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-790-7474, ridgeland.craftbeercellar.com) / LD’s BeerRun (5006 Parkway Drive, 769-208-8686, facebook.com/LDsBeerRun)

Home decor, furniture, gently used clothing, books, toys & more Wed.-Fri. 10AM-5:30PM Sat 10AM-5PM @nutsjackson

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Best Bakery: Campbell’s Bakery

(3013 N. State St., 601-362-4628; 1121 N. Jefferson St., 601-292-7555; campbellsbakery.ms)

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Oysters, Best Happy Hour: Saltine Restaurant

Best Place for Coffee, Best Geek Hangout: Cups Espresso Café

(622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899, saltinerestaurant.com)

(multiple locations, cupsespressocafe.com)

ANDREW WELCH

Best Oysters Finalists CAET Seafood and Oysterette (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 9015, Ridgeland; 601-321-9169; caetseafood.com) / Drago’s Seafood Restaurant (1005 E. County Line Road, 601-957-1515, dragosjackson.com) / Elvie’s (809 Manship St., 601-863-8828, Elviesrestaurant.com) / Shucker’s Oyster Bar (116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, 601-853-0105, shuckersontherez.com) Best Happy Hour Finalists 4th Avenue Lounge (209 S. Lamar St., 601-259-5825, 4thavenuejxn.com) / BB’S LIVE - Bonny Blair’s (1149 Old Fannin Road, Brandon, 769-251-0692) / Last Call Sports Grill (1428 Old Square Road, 601-713-2700, lastcallsportsgrill.com) / The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen (1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601-398-4562, themanshipjackson.com) / Names and Faces Lounge (224 E. Capitol St., 601-955-5285, facebook.com/namesandfaceslounge) / Shucker’s Oyster Bar (116 Conestoga Road, Ridgeland, 601-853-0105, shuckersontherez.com)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Best Burger: Stamps Super Burgers

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With nine locations around the metro Jackson area, Cups Espresso Café aims to serve quality, locally roasted, internationally sourced coffee in an atmosphere where people can experience community. Angela Cottrell, director of marketing, emphasizes that Cups has a cup of coffee for everyone, as customers may choose from a wide assortment of flavored drip coffees, artisan cappuccinos and many more options. The “very first ingredient,” Cottrell emphasizes, comes from the beans that are roasted in Ridgeland and available for brewing within 24 hours. Janice and Dennis Cameron opened the first Cups in Fondren in 1993. “She wanted to use Cups to promote local artists and creatives, and provide a place for people to come together,” Cottrell says. During the pandemic, each location remained open, offering curbside pick-up for customers and implementing social distancing and heightened cleaning practices to keep customers as safe as they could, all while maintaining that community atmosphere. Cups has always offered free Wi-Fi for customers, a convenient feature for students, remote workers and geeks alike. Looking ahead, Cups plans to debut a new Tanzanian flavored coffee and bring back the Chocolate Spirit flavor under the name Chocolua, with 20% of the proceeds benefiting Stewpot Community Services. —Kyle Hamrick

COURTESY CUPS ESPRESSO CAFE

Saltine takes its name from the vessel of an oyster, paying homage to its oyster bar as one of its most prominent features. “It’s our specialty and one of our top-selling items,” Marketing Director Ali Gensert says. The Fondren staple sources oysters from a variety of locations in its quest to provide the freshest options for Jackson seafood connoisseurs. The restaurant prepares the oysters in a variety of ways, with customer favorites including Bama BBQ served with white barbecue sauce and Oysters Lafitte garnished with crawfish tails, bacon, parmesan and the restaurant’s signature hot sauce butter. Diners can also try oysters on the half-shell, which are only $1 each during the Duling Street fixture’s happy hour, which occurs daily from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. “We also offer half-off draft beers, wines and cocktails,” Gensert says of the daily special. Some of these half-priced libations include “Admiral Nelson’s Revenge,” a heady blend of spiced rum and peach schnapps; “Eye of the Storm,” a patron reposado garnished with jalapeño syrup; and “Marlin Monroe,” a sparkling beverage mixed with muddled strawberry and spiked with Tito’s vodka. The draft beers on tap during these daily sales are varied, ranging from domestic lagers such as Michelob Ultra to sours like the Mississippi-brewed Blackberry Sour. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Best Place for Coffee Finalists The Bean (2914 N. State St., 769-572-5752, facebook.com/thebeanjxn) / Coffee Prose (1619 N. West St., 769-208-0230; 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 173, 769-237-6153; coffeeprose.com) / Fusion Coffeehouse (1111A Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, 601856-6001, fusioncoffeehouse.com) / Mocha Mugs (1800 W. Government St., Brandon, 601-825-1006; 119 Grandview Blvd., Madison, 601-605-0160; 5610 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-3684; mochamugs.com) / The Prickly Hippie (500 Highway 51, Suite F, Ridgeland; 601-910-6730; pricklyhippie.com) / Urban Foxes (826 North St., 769-5725505, urbanfoxesjxn.com) Best Geek Hangout Finalists Herbal Blessings (614 N. Farish St., 769-216-3450, herbalblessings601.com) / OffBeat (151 Wesley Ave., 601-376-9404, offbeatjxn.com) / Urban Foxes (826 North St., 769-572-5505, urbanfoxesjxn.com) / Van’s Comics, Cards & Games (731 S. Pear Orchard Road, Suite 1, Ridgeland, 601-898-9950, vansccg.com) / The Warp Zone Arcade (393 Crossgates Blvd., Suite C, Brandon; 601-706-4764, facebook.com/TheWarpZoneArcade)

Best Chicken Sandwich: Rooster’s

(1801 Dalton St., 601-352-4555, super-burgers.business.site)

(2906 N. State St., Suite 104, 601-982-2001, eatroosters.com)

Stamps Super Burgers, located in a residential area just south of Jackson State University, remains a perennial winner of the Best Burger in the Best of Jackson series. The institution originally began as a family-run grocery store and meat market in the 1970s, and legend has it that the owner of the store, Al Stamps, wanted a burger one Sunday afternoon in the early 1980s and headed up to the store to make it himself, thus beginning a dynasty that has continued for decades. The Super Burger sold for $1.65 in 1982, and while the fan-favorite costs a little more now, Best of Jackson results demonstrate that patrons consider the burger to be worth the price. The Stamps family’s drive for excellence has resulted in a burger legend and a destination for Jacksonians and visitors alike. Stamps also offers turkey burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken wings, fries, salads and other dishes. —Richard Coupe

As versatile as it is popular, Rooster’s chicken sandwich allows customers to choose a more traditional grilled or fried chicken sandwich, a chicken club, a chicken mushroom swiss or a chicken jalapeño to whet their taste for poultry, all between freshly baked buns made daily. Customers can pair their sandwiches with signature southern sides such as curly fries, onion rings, red beans and rice, and mac and cheese, or with desserts like banana pudding, garnished with sliced bananas and vanilla wafers. Rooster’s encourages patrons to share photos of these dishes on social media with the hashtag #JXNCKN, and the tag’s gallery makes for perfect menu browsing. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Finalists: Burgers Blues Barbecue (168 W. Government St., Brandon, 601-829-2500, burgersblues.com) / Cool Al’s (4654 McWillie Drive, 601-291-1146, coolalsrestaurant.org) / Lou’s Full-Serv (904B E. Fortification St., 601-487-6359, lousfullserv.com) / Rooster’s (2906 N. State St., Suite 104, 601-982-2001, eatroosters.com)

Finalists: Barrelhouse (3009 N. State St., 769-216-3167, barrelhousems.com) / Burgers Blues Barbecue (168 W. Government St., Brandon, 601-829-2500, burgersblues.com) / Dumbo’s on Duling (3100 N. State St., Suite 102, 601-336-3600, dumbosjackson.com) / Fine & Dandy (100 District Blvd. E., 601-202-5050, eatdandy.com) / Josephine’s Kitchen (4638 Hanging Moss Road, 769-572-4276, josephineskitchenms.com) / Lou’s Full-Serv (904B E. Fortification St., 601-487-6359, lousfullserv.com)


Are you a finalist or winner? Need your certificate? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Gumbo: Gumbo Girl

Best Doughnuts: Monroe’s Donuts and Bakery

Marilyn Kithuka, 49, otherwise known as the “Gumbo Girl,” has a bowl of gumbo for anybody and everybody, regardless of dietary restrictions or allergies. Kithuka builds her gumbo on “a dark brown, rich, thick roux,” she says, adding that her dishes are hearty as well. “In every spoon that you pick up, you’re gonna get meat,” the chef adds. Born and raised in Jackson, Kithuka started cooking gumbo 20 years ago for her family and friends. After catering for a few years, she opened her first location off Highway 18 in 2015. In January 2020, Kithuka opened her current location in Ridgeland. She credits her husband, James, for encouraging her to pursue her passion for cooking. “He was the key to me becoming Gumbo Girl,” Kithuka said. While many employees left due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite the temporary closure of the Highway 18 location, Kithuka says she’s “been fighting through it.” “God has given me one of my dreams,” she says. “The next one is just to get back to some sense of normalcy.” —Kyle Hamrick

After growing up in Holmes County, Monroe Jackson moved to Chicago, Ill., and his boss observed that he was the best dishwasher that he had ever had, so he took the young man under his wing and taught him to bake. After his boss’ death 16 years later, Jackson returned to the metro and used the skills he had learned during his sojourn up north to open Monroe’s Donuts in September 1995. “We’ve had tough times,” Jackson acknowledged. “What keeps you in business is having a good product, maintaining good customer service and keeping reasonable prices. Those three things will never fail.” Another aspect of Jackson’s business that has never failed is the wide array of confections that the bakery rolls out from dawn to dusk. “We’ve got glazed and chocolate donuts, cinnamon twists, bear claws, apple fritters—all sorts. They’re the best donuts in the state, and it keeps our customers coming back,” Jackson concludes. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

(multiple locations, monroesdonutsandbakery.com)

(900 E. County Line Road, Suite 107, Ridgeland; 601-790-0486; gumbogirl.com)

(941 Highway 80, Clinton, 601-9264793, facebook.com/tbeauxscrawfish)

When Leigh Anne Ray married into the Ray family, she also married into the family business: crawfish. Her father-in-law started T’Beaux’s in 1992, and her husband, Kelly, began managing the carryout seafood business before the two married. “It’s undoubtedly the seasoning. His dad has his own seasoning,” Ray says of the secret behind the family’s long-running success. “It’s different than anyone else’s, and it’s a different kind of product than most people use. It’s packaged just for our family.” Customers can buy the blend themselves for athome use, though, with the purchase of live crawfish. The main events at T’Beaux’s include the crowdpleasing crawfish, as well as shrimp, snow crab, dungeness crab and raw oysters, all of which can be served with Cajun-inspired side dishes like boudin, gumbo, and boiled corn and potatoes. —Taylor McKay Hathorn Finalists: Crawdad Hole (1150 Lakeland Drive, 601-9829299, thecrawdadhole.com) / The Crawfish Hut (6956 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 601-957-8900) / Mudbugs (1299 Old Fannin Road, Brandon, 601-992-5225; 151 W. Government St., Brandon, 601-706-4751; mudbugscrawfish.com) / Sal & Phil’s (6600 Old Canton Road, Suite B, Ridgeland, 601-957-1188, salandphils.com)

Finalists: Campbell’s Craft Donuts (1121 N. Jefferson St., 601-292-7555, campbellsdonuts.com) / The Dapper Doughnut (257 Ridge Way, Flowood, 601-9518999, thedapperdoughnut.com) / Donut Palace (multiple locations) / Pillow Donuts (707 Beau Pre Drive, Ridgeland, 601-790-9697; 1679 Old Fannin Road D, Flowood, 601-92-6040) / The Prickly Hippie (500 Highway 51, Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-910-6730, pricklyhippie.com)

Best Chinese Food: Mr. Chen’s (5465 Interstate 55 N., 601-9781865, mrchensms.com)

Known for its authenticity, Mr. Chen’s—in a strip mall off Interstate 55 in Jackson—offers 160 distinct dishes, with 30 of these highlighted as “Chef’s Specials.” Adventurous eaters can try something new like the restaurant’s flame-seared frog legs or its tofu live fish soup, while those who prefer more familiar dishes can sample cashew or sweet-and-sour chicken. The eatery also offers a variety of meatless options, with several dishes featuring tofu and vegetables. Mr. Chen’s strives to ensure that customers know what to expect, adorning their menu with images of red peppers to indicate what dishes might be considered spicy to more sensitive tastebuds. Those who do enjoy the menu’s spicier offerings can cool off with a sweet treat such as an iced milk tea, egg pudding or fried ice cream. —Taylor McKay Hathorn Finalists: China Cafe (160 Promenade Blvd., Flowood, 601-919-1388, chinacafe.us) / Gourmet Chinese Restaurant (587 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-605-1061, gourmetridgeland.com) / Hunan Wok (6556 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 601-956-8988) / Ichiban Chinese Buffet (153 Ridge Way, Flowood; 601-919-0097; 3 Mac and Bones Blvd., Pearl; 769-208-2688; ichibangrillms.com) / Wok To Go (4329 N. State St., 601-981-2112)

Best Sandwich Place: Room Service (4659 McWillie Drive, 601-362-44617; 1020 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, 601707-3600; roomservicejackson.com)

Room Service, which opened its doors in 1986, boasts 38 sandwiches, 35 salads and 24 dressings, all of which were inspired by owner Hays Thompson’s time in his mother’s kitchen. Confident in his creations, Thompson began his business by delivering sandwiches door-to-door, on foot. The restaurant has since opened two locations, one now in northeast Jackson and one in Ridgeland. Promising fresh ingredients, the establishment offers a set of sandwiches named after streets in Mississippi’s capital city: Capitol Street, High Street, State Street, George Street, Congress and Northside, along with its own street address: the McWillie. The menu of the Renaissance location features sandwiches with monikers derived from other areas of the country, such as the San Fran, the Aspen, the Deltan and the Bay St. Louis. —Taylor McKay Hathorn Finalists: Basil’s (2914 N. State St.; 601-982-2100; 1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland; 601-790-1919; 120 N. Congress St.; 601-944-9888; eatbasils.com) / The Beagle Bagel Cafe (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 145; 769-251-1892; 100 Mannsdale Park Drive, Suite II, Madison; 601-856-4377; beaglebagelcafe.com) / Martin’s Downtown (214 S. State St., 601-354-9712, martinsdowntownjxn.com)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Best Crawfish: T’Beaux’s Crawfish and Catering

COURTESY MONROE JACKSON

COURTESY MARILYN KITHUK

Finalists: Char Restaurant (4500 Interstate 55 N., 601-956-9562, charrestaurant.com) / Gumbo Pot (3401 Halls Ferry Road, Suite 5, Vicksburg, 601-501-1441, gumbopotms.com) / Hal & Mal’s (200 Commerce St., 601-948-0777, halandmals.com) / The Lost Cajun (6745 S. Siwell Road, Byram; 769-257-6644; 190 Riverwind E. Drive, Suite 307, Pearl; 601-4878598; thelostcajun.com) / Saltine Restaurant (622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899, saltinerestaurant.com)

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Liquor/Wine Store: Corkscrew Fine Wine and Spirits

Best Margarita: Babalu

Corkscrew Fine Wine and Spirits carries everything from $4 bottles of wine to flagons of liquor that cost well over $1,000, supporting Closing Manager Chris Pennock’s claim that the establishment has a “deep inventory.” “We are a warehouse-style liquor store, so we have a massive selection of items,” Pennock says. “We carry several thousand options as opposed to several hundred.” Among the most known of these thousands of offerings are Corkscrew’s high-end bourbon selection, which includes the entirety of the Buffalo Trace and Weller lines. Also popular at the I-55 fixture is tequila, as the store carries a range of choices from the Don Julio and Patron lines, along with Michael Jordan’s signature libation, Cincoro Anejo. The shop sells high amounts of alcohol each year, and Pennock believes that Corkscrew backs up their accolades with “great customer service,” saying that customers “don’t even have to touch their packages if they don’t want to.” —Taylor McKay Hathorn

For Assistant Manager Jasline Lee, the secret to Babalu’s margarita menu is in the mixing. “Our margaritas use fresh ingredients every single time,” Lee says of the tequila-infused concoctions. The ingredients, however, would be nothing without able hands to prepare them, and Lee commended Babalu’s slate of bartenders. “Our bartenders take time to learn and perfect their craft, and it’s made fresh right in front of you, as soon as you order it,” she says. The Duling Avenue establishment offers selections ranging from their namesake pomegranate-flavored “Baba Rita” to the blood-orange “Fondren Rita” named for the neighborhood. Daring drinkers can order a “Shine a Rita,” which is spiked with firefly peach moonshine. Recently, the business expanded its already-extensive menu by bringing back the tamarind margarita, which Lee described as a definite “crowd-pleaser.” All of Babalu’s signature “ritas” can be purchased for $11.50 or less. The business also holds “social hours” from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. each weeknight to reduce cocktail prices even further. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Finalists: Briarwood Wine & Spirits (4949 Old Canton Road, 601-956-5108, briarwoodwines.com) / Colony Wine Market (121 Colony Crossing Way, Suite B, Madison, 601-8981075, colonywinemarket.com) / Fondren Cellars (633 Duling Ave., 769-216-2323, fondrencellars.com) / Kats Wine & Spirits (921 E. Fortification St., 601-983-5287, katswine.com) / Wine & Spirits in the Quarter (1855 Lakeland Drive, 601-366-6644, drinkinman.com)

Best Mexican/Latin Food: Green Ghost Tacos

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

(2820 N. State St., 601-487-6082; 1290 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland, 601957-7436; greenghosttacos.com)

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Cesar Torres grew up in Guanajuato, Mexico, and moved to Jackson with his family. After 14 years in Chicago, Ill., learning the restaurant business, Torres decided to return to Mississippi and open a Mexican restaurant with his mother. They opened up the first Green Ghost Tacos in Ridgeland in 2015, followed by a second location in Fondren in 2018. “It’s food you’re not going to be able to get anywhere else,” Torres says. “Whenever you come to my restaurant, you get a home-cooked meal like I ate when I was a little kid.” He says his tacos, which can be customized from the outside in with any choice of meat and topping, are the crowd favorite, especially on Taco Tuesday when they sell for $2 apiece. —Kyle Hamrick Finalists: Cazadores (500 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601853-4417) / El Cabrito Mexican Restaurant (2990 Highway 49, Florence, 601-845-0347) / El Ranchito (1029 Highway 51, Madison, 601-605-1488, elranchitomadison. com) / Papito’s (111 Colony Crossing Way, Madison, 601503-0275, papitosmexicanrestaurant.com) / Salsa’s Mexican Restaurant (509 Springridge Road, Clinton, 601-9243733, ordersalsamexicanrestaurantms.com) / Santa Fe Grill & Bar (4924 Interstate 55 N., Suite 105, 769-216-3964)

TRIP BURNS / FILE PHOTO

(622 Duling Ave., 601-366-5757, eatbabalu.com) NICK JUDIN / FILE PHOTO

(4800 Interstate 55, 601-981-1333)

Finalists: Cinco De Mayo (800 Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland, 601-957-1882) / El Ranchito (1029 Highway 51, Madison, 601-605-1488, elranchitomadison.com) / Green Ghost Tacos (2820 N. State St., 601-487-6082; 1290 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland, 601-957-7436; greenghosttacos.com) / La Cazuela (1401 E. Fortification St., 601-353-3014) / Margaritas (1625 E. County Line Road, Suite 120, 601-957-7672) / Sombra Mexican Kitchen (140 Township Ave., Suite 100, Ridgeland; 601-707-7950; sombramexicankitchen.com)

Best Pizza: The Pizza Shack

(925 E. Fortification St., 601-352-2001; 3040 Highway 80, Suite A, Pearl, 601203-2986; pizzashackms.com)

The Pizza Shack has been serving up traditional and thin-crust creations since 2005, making their own dough daily in-house, which manager and co-owner Tony Hollins believes is reflective of the business’ commitment to freshness. “We’re known for piling on the toppings, so there are ingredients in every bite,” Hollins says. These toppings range from Pizza Shack originals like chicken curry and chicken Thai to more traditional offerings such as pepperoni, canadian bacon, beef and pineapple. Hollins purchased the East Fortification Street storefront in 2017 along with his wife, Cecila, and the pair continues to uphold the recipes customers love. —Taylor McKay Hathorn Finalists: Capitol Grill (5050 Interstate 55 N., Suite F, 601899-8845, capitolgrillofjackson.com) / Lost Pizza Co. (1392 W. Government, Brandon, 601-824-5515; 144 Friendly and Fresh Drive, Flowood, 601-345-8679; 500 Highway 51 in Trace Stadium, Ridgeland, 769-300-3116; lostpizza.com) / The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen (1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601-398-4562, themanshipjackson.com) / Sal and Mookie’s (565 Taylor St., 601-368-1919; 111 Colony Crossing Way, Suite 130, Madison, 601-499-1300; salandmookies.com) / Soulshine Pizza Factory (1111 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, 601-856-8646; 5352 Highway 25, Suite 1100, Flowood, 601-919-2000; soulshinepizza.com)

Best Wine List or Wine Selection (Restaurant): Table 100 (100 Ridge Way, Flowood, 601-4204202, tableonehundred.com)

Table 100’s menu devotes itself to white wines, as the restaurant offers a range of Chardonnays, Pinot Grigios, Sauvignon Blancs, Zinfandels and Rieslings, as well as “unique whites” like California’s Damiano Vineyard “Carol Shelton Wild Thing.” Meanwhile, the red wine listings are just as varied, featuring Cabernet Sauvignons, Pinot Noirs, Syrahs, Merlots and Red Zinfandels, along with red blends like the 2015 “Chateau Trois Moulins.” “You can enjoy something and learn something, too,” beverage manager and assistant general manager Chuck Nix says. “I try to find wines that are familiar enough to make guests comfortable but just unfamiliar enough for them to learn something new.” —Taylor McKay Hathorn Finalists: CAET Seafood and Oysterette (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 9015, Ridgeland, 601-321-9169, caetseafood.com) / Char Restaurant (4500 Interstate 55 N., 601-956-9562, charrestaurant.com) / Elvie’s (809 Manship St., 601-863--8828, elviesrestaurant.com) / Library Lounge at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St., 601948-3429, fairviewinn.com) / The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen (1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601-398-4562, themanshipjackson.com) / Walker’s Drive In (3016 N. State St., 601-982-2633, walkersdrivein.com)


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February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Seafood: The Seafood Shack

Best Thai Food: Thai Tasty

The Seafood Shack owes a portion of its success and renown to its relationship with Jackson State University, whose students and staff frequent the establishment due to its close proximity. “We have a very good relationship with JSU,” owner Cheryl Wade-Thompson says. “We have made it convenient for the students (to dine with us) by accepting the Super Card, and we do events where we directly support the students.” The number-one dish among student diners is the crazy cajun crab leg plate, which is topped with the restaurant’s signature crazy cajun sauce, a butter-based condiment unique to The Seafood Shack. While this plate holds its place as a fan-favorite, Wade-Thompson points out that all of the restaurant’s dishes feature “fresh and high-quality seafood at affordable prices.” Wade-Thompson, who owns the business with her husband, Johnny, also believes that the real culinary magic happens behind the scenes, and she notes that each dish is made with “love and passion, and with customers in mind.” “We do whatever we can to please our customers,” she adds. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

“Customer service—that’s all we know,” Thai Tasty’s owner, Ekkapob, told the Jackson Free Press. The Colonial Mart eatery aims to live up to its mantra, as the restaurant offers online ordering options to maximize customer safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The business also maximizes the value of their customers’ dollar, continuing to offer their $8.95 lunch special from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, with each plate featuring steamed jasmine rice and a choice of chicken, beef, pork and tofu. Diners who return to sample the dinner menu can find vegetarian options, and the restaurant also invites customers with allergies to alert them to any nut, dairy or seafood sensitivities so that they can prepare dishes free from these products. Thai Tasty also offers specialty items like the beef laab, customer-favorite beef noodle soup and cucumber salad, and a range of dessert options and Thai iced teas are available to top off customers’ dining experiences. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Finalists: CAET Seafood and Oysterette (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 9015, Ridgeland, 601-321-9169, caetseafood.com) / Crabs Seafood Shack (6954 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 601-956-5040, crabshackridgeland.com) / Da Shak Grill (5752 Terry Road, Suite A1, Byram, 601-398-1765, da-shak-grill.edan.io) / Saltine Restaurant (622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899, jackson.saltinerestaurant.com) / Steamer’s Shrimp and Crab Market (2530 Robinson Road, 601-665-4529, steamersshrimpandcrab.com)

Best Place for Dessert: Lou’s Full-Serv

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

(904B E. Fortification St., 601487-6359, lousfullserv.com)

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Lou’s Full-Serv staff crafts the restaurant’s desserts from scratch. “Everything is homemade,” owner Louis Larose explains. “It’s all made in-house, from ice cream to our praline streusel to sauces.” One such sweet sauce is the vanilla white chocolate drizzle that tops both the bread pudding and the warm blueberry cake cobbler. Larose notes that these two desserts outsell the rest of their six-item menu nearly 2-to-1. The restaurant’s ice cream selection adorns many of the menu items and features flavors such as “buttermilk brown sugar-caramel cookies and vanilla,” which is the restaurant’s own spin on cookies and cream. For the connoisseurs of more traditional fare, the restaurant also offers homemade chocolate ice cream and a cast-iron pecan pie. —Taylor McKay Hathorn Finalists: The Beagle Bagel Cafe (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 145; 769-251-1892; 100 Mannsdale Park Drive, Suite II, Madison; 601-856-4377; beaglebagelcafe.com) / The Prickly Hippie (500 Highway 51, Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-910-6730, pricklyhippie.com) / Ridgeland Coffee Co. (377 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-856-7374, ridgelandcoffeeco.com) / Urban Foxes (826 North St., 769-572-5505, urbanfoxesjxn.com) / Walker’s Drive In (3016 N. State St., 601-982-2633, walkersdrivein.com)

KRISTIN BRENEMEN

(5050 Parkway Drive, 601-540-2534, facebook.com/thaitastyrestaurant) COURTESY SEAFOOD SHACK

(1700 University Blvd., Suite 26, 601-357-0344,theseafoodshackjackson.com)

Finalists: Fusion Japanese & Thai Cuisine (1002 Treetops Blvd., Flowood, 601-664-7588, orderfusioncuisine.com) / Jutamas Thai Restaurant (500 Highway 51 Ridgeland, 769300-4125, jutamasthaims.com) / Surin of Thailand (now closed) / Thai Time Thai and Sushi Restaurant (1405 Old Square Road, 601-982-9991, thaitimems.com) / Thailicious Restaurant (3000 Old Canton Road, Suite 105, 601-398-1456, thailiciousms.com)

Best Sushi/Japanese Food: Ichiban Hibachi & Sushi

(153 Ridge Way, Flowood; 601-9190097; 3 Mac and Bones Blvd., Pearl; 769-208-2688; ichibangrillms.com)

Longtime Best of Jackson winner Ichiban Hibachi & Sushi may owe its success to its expansive menu, which has everything from vegetable, chicken, lobster or scallop hibachi to bento boxes with chicken teriyaki or shrimp tempura, as well as seafood tofu soup, egg rolls, sashimi, spicy shrimp, sushi rolls and more. Brother and sister duo Kam and Ling Ngai opened the original Ichiban on Lakeland in 2006. They later branched out to both Chinese and Japanese cuisine with Ichiban Chinese Buffet in addition to the hibachi restaurants. Now, they run five locations across the Jackson metro after the opening of a Madison location in 2019. —Dustin Cardon Finalists: Edo Japanese Restaurant (5834 Ridgewood Road, Suite C, 601-899-8518, edojapaneserestaurantjackson.com) / Fusion Japanese & Thai Cuisine (1002 Treetops Blvd, Flowood; 601-664-7588; 1030A Highway 51, Madison; 601-790-7999; orderfusioncuisine.com) / Nagoya Japanese Restaurant (6351 Interstate 55 N., Suite 131; 601-977-8881; 111 Colony Crossing Way, Suite 380, Madison; 601-8565678; nagoyamadison.com) / Sushi Village (398 Highway 51, Suite 100, 601-898-9688, sushivillageridgeland.com) / Wasabi Sushi & Grill (1107 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 111, 601-898-8849, wasabitownship.com)

Best Veggie Burger: Cool Al’s (4654 McWillie Drive, 601-2911146, coolalsrestaurant.org)

In addition to its beef and turkey patties, Cool Al’s offers a completely vegan and vegetarian menu, all cooked-to-order. For owner and general manager Shelby Kitchen, this approach ensures that each order can be prepared to suit the customer’s taste, whether by allowing them to select a specific type of bun or to request a soy-free option. “I try to make sure everyone has what they need,” Kitchen says. “I think that’s what sets us apart—we really care about our customers.” Some customer favorites include the Caribbean curry burger, flavored with the eatery’s own Jamaican seasoning, and the west African burger, which comes with a serving of a spicy tomato ginger dipping sauce. “We took over the restaurant last year,” Kitchen recalls, but preparing these signature creations is a time-honored tradition for Kitchen and her crew, who take pride in Cool Al’s 20-year history in the Jackson business scene. —Taylor McKay Hathorn Finalists: Babalu (622 Duling Ave., 601-366-5757, eatbabalu.com) / Brent’s Drugs (655 Duling Ave., 601-3663427, brentsdrugs.com) / Local 463 (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 5002, 601-707-7684, local463. com) / The Village Kitchen (219 W. County Line Road, 769-524-4575, facebook.com/thevillagekitchen219)


Are you a finalist or winner? Need your certificate? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Place for Unique Gifts; Best Locally Owned Business: The Prickly Hippie

Those looking for a full day’s pampering need look no further than AQUA the Day Spa at the Renaissance shopping center in Ridgeland. “We offer the full experience,” owner Susan Barnette says. “From the time (customers) enter to the time they leave, we make sure that they have a good experience and that we fulfill their expectations while they’re there.” For AQUA, the “full experience” includes facials, massages, manicures and pedicures, body treatments, waxing and lash extensions, but Barnette believes that much of the relaxation occurs between services, noting that the day spa offers “relaxation rooms” complete with beverages and snacks in order to help clients maintain their trouble-free mindset throughout the day. The staff, too, is pivotal to their clients’ relaxation. “We have a lot of experience,” Barnette says of AQUA’s 24 years in the Jackson business scene. “We have great therapists who are well-trained.” A number of these well-trained employees are nail technicians, who offer a full range of treatments to care for customers’ hands and feet. “Sport” manicures and pedicures are aimed at the spa’s male clients, while anyone looking to enhance their standard nail-care can add hot stone or paraffin applications to their choice of French or shellac polishes. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Jenni Sivils says The Prickly Hippie café in Ridgeland is a reflection of her three passions under one roof: good coffee, perfectly imperfect baked treats and wacky plants in wacky pots. “I am a creative and a lover of people, so it made sense for me to have a business where I was able to create in a few different categories, and work with people every day,” she says. The 32-year-old from Eufaula, Ala., earned a degree in creative writing from the Mississippi University for Women in 2012, learning how to bake as a side-hustle. After three years on the road as a traveling baker, Sivils decided to open a catering business back home in Jackson in 2015. Three years later, she founded The Prickly Hippie at its current location. “The name Prickly Hippie came to me because I’m very much a hippie, and cacti are prickly, and hippies don’t always shave their legs,” she says with a laugh. The store is a full-service coffee shop, bakery and florist. Customers can choose their own cacti or succulent and plant it in a zany pot, order a homemade tie-dye donut or “peace tart,” browse the Build-A-Bouq wall, make a custom flower arrangement and much more. Although COVID-19 closed her storefront down for a while and cut her staff, Sivils is grateful for her customers and optimistic for the future. “I would not exist anymore without the Jackson community,” she says. —Kyle Hamrick

Best Day Spa Finalists Body Anew (1040 Gluckstadt Road, Suite B, Madison; 601-605-0452; bodyanewmedicalspa.com) / Drench Day Spa and Lash Lounge (118 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland, 601-7075656, drenchdayspa.com) / NomiSpa at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429, fairviewinn.com/spa) / Soul Synergy Center (5490 Castlewoods Court D, Flowood, 601992-7721, soulsynergycenter.com) Best Nail Salon Finalists Bellagio Nails & Salon (385 Ridge Way, Flowood, 601-397-6937, bellagionailsalon.com) / Fondren Nails (2906 N. State St., 601-316-9264, facebook.com/FondrenNails) / Organic Nail & Lash Bar (179 Grandview Blvd., Suite 970, Madison; 601-898-1339; facebook.com/ Organic-Nail-Lash-Bar) / The Nail Lounge (4500 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, Suite 103B, 601-398-4451, facebook.com/The-Nail-Lounge-HV) / Rouge Nails Lash Wax (5352 Lakeland Drive, Suite 1900, Flowood; 769-572-4747; facebook.com/rougenailsms) / ZaZa Nails and Spa (1053 Highway 49, Richland, 769-447-5959, facebook.com/zazanails49)

(960 N. Flag Chapel Road, 601922-7575, carams.org)

Receiving no government funding, Community Animal Rescue & Adoption, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit no-kill shelter, finds support exclusively through private donations from individuals, businesses and fundraising efforts. A team of volunteers and part-time employees run the operation. “We’re dedicated to saving dogs and cats in the Jackson area who need loving homes,” shelter manager Stevana

Williams says. “We also provide low cost spay/neuter options to reduce the population of unwanted animals and educate the community on responsible pet ownership.” CARA houses about 120 animals in the building and has a small foster network. “We have undergone many changes recently to improve the animals’ lives and increase adoptions,” Williams says. “We do behavioral testing and have large playgroups in our private dog park. This makes for healthier, happier dogs.” The shelter sets itself apart and boosts adoptions by having its veterinarian-trained staff perform heartworm

Best Unique Gifts Finalists Beacon (3030 N. State St., thebeaconsupply.com) / Bellaches (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 7004, Ridgeland; 601-605-2239; shopbellaches.com) / Herbal Blessings (614 N. Farish St., 769-216-3450, herbalblessings601.com) / Mockingbird Marketplace (2119 Highway 471, Brandon, 601-487-8802, facebook.com/Mockingbird-Marketplace) / OffBeat (151 Wesley Ave., 601-376-9404, offbeatjxn.com) / Soul Synergy Center (5490 Castlewoods Court D, Flowood, 601-992-7721, soulsynergycenter.com) Best Locally Owned Business Finalists 4th Avenue Lounge (209 S. Lamar St., 601-259-5825, 4thavenuejxn.com) / Enchanting Memories Entertainment (662-590-2748, facebook.com/enchantingmemoriesentertainment) / Josephine’s Kitchen (4638 Hanging Moss Road, 769-572-4276, josephineskitchenms.com) / Lakeland Glass and Tint (2665 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-946-1000) / Magically Perfect (504-502-2847, facebook.com/magicallyperfectentertainment) / OffBeat (151 Wesley Ave., 601-376-9404, offbeatjxn.com)

tests in-house, with animals receiving heartworm prevention or treatment afterward, as needed. “This is often costly, but ongoing generous donations of cash and items on our wishlist ensure we can provide the best care for our animals,” Williams concludes. —Michele D. Baker Finalists: ARF - Animal Rescue Fund (395 Mayes St., 769-216-3414, arfms.org) / Cheshire Abbey (cheshireabbey.com) / Mississippi Animal Rescue League (5221 Greenway Drive Extension, 601-969-1631, msarl.org) / Webster Animal Shelter (525 Post Oak Road, Madison, 601-605-4729, facebook.com/websteranimalshelter)

COURTESY CARA

Best Animal Shelter: CARA—Community Animal Rescue & Adoption

COURTESY THE PRICKLY HIPPIE

(500 Highway 51, Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-910-6730, pricklyhippie.com)

COURTESY AQUA THE DAY SPA

(1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 8001, Ridgeland; 601-898-9123, aquathedayspa.com)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Best Day Spa, Best Nail Salon: AQUA the Day Spa

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Barbershop: Noble Barber

Best Beauty Shop/Salon: UpTown Hair Studio

(1065 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-856-6665, noblebarber.com)

(1700 University Blvd., Suite 23, 601-352-9217, facebook.com/uptownhaircare)

Finalists: The Barbershop at Great Scott (4400 Old Canton Road, 601-984-3500, greatscott. net/the-barber-shop) / The Chop Shop Barber and Salon (904 Municipal Drive, Brandon, 769-241-5598, facebook.com/thechopshopbarberandsalon) / Custom Cuts & Styles (2445 Terry Road, 601-321-9292, facebook.com/customcutsandstyles) / Fondren Barber Shop (2939 Old Canton Road, 601-826-0707, facebook.com/Fondren-Barber-Shop) / The Men’s Room (418 Pearl Drive, Pearl, 601-939-8261, facebook.com/barbershopmensroom) / Uptown Hair Studio (1700 University Blvd., Suite 23, 601-352-9217, facebook.com/uptownhaircare)

(110 Homestead Drive, Madison, 601-853-4508, msmetroballet.com) COURTESY PATTY PECK HONDA

Patty Peck Honda has been around since 1984, but in the last year, the dealership has improved its already great service to make it even easier for customers to find a great car during the pandemic. “Part of what we do is make the shopping process very easy,” digital Marketing Manager Donna Ransdell says. “Many customers start on our website by gathering information and asking questions via chat.” Recent upgrades have made it even easier to get answers on financing, availability or payment options. Helpful staff work to make each transaction as easy and transparent as possible. “We can help you find a car to fit your budget or compare several cars to find which one best suits your needs,” Ransdell says. Social distancing has spurred the dealership to be even more creative. “We can even do a live walk around video, if the customer wants it,” Ransdell says. What’s more, Patty Peck Honda will deliver your car and offers a “love it or leave it” three-day money-back guarantee: “We just want our customers to be happy.” —Michele D. Baker Finalists: Acura of Jackson (828 Adcock St., Ridgeland, 769-235-2469, acuraofjackson.com) / Bob Boyte Honda (2188 Highway 18, Brandon, 601-591-5000, bobboytehonda.com) / CIA Autoplex (380 Distribution Drive, Madison, 601-499-0173, ciaautoplex.com) / Mazda of Jackson (5397 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, 601-991-2222, mazdaofjackson.com) / Motorcars of Jackson (6105 Interstate 55, 769-243-8568, motorcarsofjackson.com) / Paul Moak Automotive (740 Larson St., 802 Harding St., 601-360-8300, paulmoak.com)

Originally beginning as the Madison Civic Ballet 28 years ago, the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet boasts outreach programs, a dance studio, dance academy and general performances throughout the year at the Madison Cultural Center. Primarily serving the county upon inception, the name change occurred in 1997 to reflect the wider geographic area it more accurately serviced and from which the studio attracted dancers. Through the years, the company has featured a U.S. I.B.C. Bronze medalist, Louisville Ballet Principal Dancers and the San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer to name a few. In addition, the dance academy counts as students award winners in competitions from New York City to Greenville. With support from the Mississippi Arts Commission, the company travels to underserved areas, introducing ballet to 15,000-plus children over a 20-year time frame. The studio plans to offer a scholarship program for children who have the talent and desire for dance yet lack financial agency. Find class schedules, school policies and a tuition brochure on the company’s website. —Mike McDonald

COURTESY MISSISSIPPI METROPOLITAN BALLET

(555 Sunnybrook Road, Ridgeland, 601-957-3400, pattypeckhonda.com)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Finalists: Barnette’s Salon (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 201; 601-362-9550; 1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 8000, Ridgeland; 601-898-4646; barnettessalon.com) / The Glossary Salon (109 E. Main St., Florence, 601-845-1111, glossaryhairsalon.com) / Molly Gee & Company (219 Garden Park Drive, Suite 200A, Madison; 601-853-0054; mollygeeandco. com) / Smoak Salon 9 (622 Duling Ave., 601-982-5313, smoaksalon.com) / Watercolor Salon (1220 E. Northside Drive, Suite 300; 601-366-9343; 114 W. Jackson St., Suite 1H, Ridgeland; 601-605-4448; watercolorsalon.com) / Wave Lengths Salon (20 Northtown Drive, 601-956-6224, wavelengthsms.com)

Best Dance Studio: Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet

Best Car Dealer (New or Used): Patty Peck Honda

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For 20 years, UpTown Hair Studio has provided a welcoming environment for customers to handle their hair-care needs, and owner and hairdresser Pamela Jones believes that her faith makes this possible. “We are set apart by the fact that we are a God-fearing salon,” Jones says. “Everybody is welcome.” One of the salon’s most recognizable customers Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba, who frequents the shop for his own haircuts, but the salon has served multiple generations of Jacksonians, with Jones noting that many of their clients are families. For this reason, Jones and her eight stylists prefer not to specialize, instead focusing on being able to do “all types of hair.” This inclusive mindset has allowed Uptown Hair Studio to focus on its primary goal: meeting the needs of its customers. “Interacting with the great people of Jackson is the best part of our job,” Jones says. Jones, however, does not want the Jackson community to merely take her at her word, instead inviting locals in need of everything from a trim to a new style to visit her shop and judge for themselves. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

COURTESY UPTOWN HAIR STUDIO

COURTESY NOBLE BARBER

Lanis Noble channeled his previous experience working with hair to open the Wild Westthemed barbershop in late 2016 as a place where guys can come for a shave or cut from him or someone else from his “Noble Group.” Afterward, customers can belly up from the salon to the saloon to purchase from a selection of 30 craft brews. Root beer and other sodas are also available. In addition, Noble Barber offers “Groomsday” parties, where patrons of all ages can get together for a drink and a trim at the Ridgelandbased barbershop. Alternatively, Noble Barber will cater these event services to customers’ locations. Products for sale include Victory Beard Oil, Claymore Strong Hold Styling Clay and a number of other grooming products primarily catered to men. Customers can make appointments through the company’s website or through its mobile app available on Android and iOS devices. Follow Noble Barber on Facebook for regular updates on the business’ goings-on. —Julian Mills

Finalists: Central Mississippi Dance (1450 Highway 471, Brandon, 601-951-6618, centralmsdance.com) / Judah School of Performing Arts (731 S. Pear Orchard Road, Suite 30, Ridgeland; 769-257-0330; judahschool.com) / Rhonda Whitehead’s Studio (111 Grants Ferry Road, Brandon, 601-992-0490, rhondasdanceand gym.com) / Salsa Mississippi Club & Studio (605 Duling Ave., 601-213-6355, salsamississippi.com) / Studio K (900 E. County Line Road, Suite 220A, Ridgeland; 769-251-1506; facebook.com/StudioK601) / XPress Dance Company (2160 Main St., Suite D, Madison; 601-853-0826; xdance.net)


Are you a finalist or winner? Need your certificate? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Local Jeweler: Carter Jewelers

Best Flower Shop: Greenbrook Flowers

Flowers make a statement, and this year’s winner of the Best Florist category makes sure that your statement speaks louder than the rest. Greenbrook Flowers has been a staple in Jackson since 1917, and it’s not by chance. When you enter the shop on State Street, you are met with the sweet smell of flowers and the sight of handcrafted arrangements. The shop offers florals for all occasions as well as gifts and baskets available for sameday delivery to Jackson and the surrounding areas. Orders and consultations can be handled in-person, online, or via phone. Greenbrook is well known for its annual “Good Neighbor Day” which began in 1994. Each September, people line up outside the state street store to receive a dozen free roses. There is one stipulation: each person who receives a bouquet is to keep only one rose and distribute the others to friends, family, neighbors and strangers. —Torsheta Jackson

Carter Jewelers, the oldest jewelry store in the state and one of the oldest in the nation, has seen many changes since it first opened in 1849. Owner and President Jerry Lake claims that the original owners, the von Seutters, helped the store survive the unrest of the Civil War by “burying the jewelry in suitcases until things normalized.” Fate seemed to favor the store again in 1997 during one of Lake’s visits to the storefront prior to purchasing the business. “I noticed that the first six digits of the store’s FedEx number were the same six digits as my birthday, so I thought it couldn’t have been a coincidence,” Lake recalls. For Lake, the stars’ seeming alignment isn’t the end of the story, as his staff remains committed to offering diamonds that are, in his view, “second-to-none in quality and workmanship.” Their sales reflect this belief, as Lake declares that Carter’s “sells more diamond jewelry than anyone else around this part of the world.” —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Finalists: A Daisy A Day (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 194, 601-982-4438, adaisyadayjackson. com) / Chapman’s Florist (5647 Highway 80, Suite 6, Pearl; 601-936-0391, chapmansflowershop.com) / Fresh Cut Catering & Floral ((108 Cypress Cove, Flowood, 601-939-4518, freshcutcateringandfloral.com) / Green Oak Florist & Garden Center (5009 Old Canton Road, 601-956-5017, greenoakms.com) / Mostly Martha’s Floral Designs (353 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-956-1474, mostlymarthasflorist.com) / The Prickly Hippie (500 Highway 51, Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-910-6730, pricklyhippie.com)

Finalists: Albriton’s Jewelry (4460 Old Canton Road, 601-982-4020, albritons.com) / Beckham Custom Jewelry Co. (120 District Blvd. E., Suite D110, 601-665-4642, beckhamcustomjewelry.com) / Crossgates Jewelers (401 Cross Park Drive, Suite A, Pearl; 601-939-9313) / Jackson Jewelers (253 Ridge Way, Flowood, 601-992-1700, jacksonjewelersinc.com) / Juniker Jewelry Co. (1485 Highland Colony Parkway, Madison, 601-366-3754, junikerjewelry. com) / Kris Jewelers (1200 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland, 601-974-5790, krisjewelers. com)

(717 Manship St.; 601-968-1766; 102 Clinton Parkway, Clinton; 601-925-7900; 501 Baptist Drive, Madison; 601-856-7757; baptistonline.org)

A returning Best of Jackson winner, the Baptist Healthplex has been serving downtown Jackson since 1989. Baptist offers a variety of services and fitness equipment including an indoor track, an aerobics floor, a heated pool, a Cybex fitness system, exercise bikes, treadmills, rowers, weights and cardio equipment. The healthplex’s classes include group activities with titles such as Hatha Yoga, Ballet Fitness, Cardio Kick and Dance Aerobics. Those who enjoy aquatic exercise can find a number of water-based classes as well. “We always appreciate the Jackson Free Press noticing businesses around town getting nominated, so we’re always excited to be advertised in the community,” Baptist Healthplex Director Tony James says about receiving the facility’s second nomination in a row. —Julian Mills Finalists: The Club (340 Township Ave., Ridgeland, 601-8560668; 970 Lakeland Drive, 601-200-4925; 100 Professional Drive, Brandon, 601-591-2582; theclubms.com) / Crossfit 601 (210 Industrial Cove, Ridgeland, 601-941-8904, crossfit601.com) / Fondren Fitness (2807 Old Canton Road, 601-540-0338, fondrenfitness.com) / The Gym at Byram (136 Byram Parkway, 601-372-2229, thegymatbyram.com) / Xplicit J3 Fitness (1625 E. County Line Road, 601-8503425, xplicitj3fitness.com)

Best Local Bank: BankPlus (multiple locations, bankplus.net)

Best Local Clothing Store: Material Girls

(100 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite7005, Ridgeland; 601-6051605, shopmaterial girls.com)

While many financial institutions have established themselves in the Jackson metro, residents have voted BankPlus—which offers checking and savings accounts; personal, auto and home loans; and a number of other services—as this year’s Best Local Bank. BankPlus believes that its mission extends beyond the customer financial products expected of a bank. The bank involves itself in the community through partnerships with local organizations such as the American Heart Association, Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital and the Mississippi Museum of Art, among others. It also supports education through an Adopt-a-School program and provides financial literacy programs such as “Get Smart About Credit” and “Teach Children to Save.” Community development remains a large focus of the bank, as BankPlus also has a hand in programs that strengthen neighborhoods, boost small businesses and assist in affordable housing. —Torsheta Jackson

The staff members of Material Girls do their homework when it comes to staying on top of the latest trends. “We go to market a good bit,” Director of Operations Laura Brown says. “We’re always looking for the next best thing.” Brown believes that the customers often have the best ideas about what constitutes the “next best thing,” so the staff takes care to ask customers which items are missing from their closet and then attempts to stock such items. Customers who choose Material Girls are treated to a wide range of women’s apparel, from satiny one-shoulder blouses to oversized flannels to snake-print dresses. Fashionistas can complete their ensembles by browsing the shop’s shoe selection or by selecting accessories such as clutches, necklaces and tote bags. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Finalists: BancorpSouth (multiple locations, bancorpsouth. com) / Community Bank (multiple locations, communitybank.net) / First Commercial Bank (1300 Meadowbrook Road; 601-709-7777; 1076 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 150, Ridgeland; 601-790-2770; firstcommericalbk. com) / Regions (multiple locations, regions.com) / Renasant (Multiple locations, renasantbank.com) / Trustmark (multiple locations, trustmark.com)

Finalists: Altar’d State (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 5009, 601-790-1009, altardstate.com) / Kinkade’s Fine Clothing (120 West Jackson St., Ridgeland, 601898-0513, kinkades.com) / Libby Story (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 5003, Ridgeland; 601-717-3300, libbystory.com) / N.U.T.S. (114 Millsaps Ave., 601-3557458, facebook.com/nutsjackson) / Swell-O-Phonic (2906 N. State St., Suite 103, 601-981-3547, chane.com)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Best Fitness Center/Gym: Baptist Healthplex

COURTESY CARTER JEWELERS

(711 High St., 601-354-3549, carterdiamonds.com) COURTESY GREENBROOK FLOWERS

(705 N. State St., 601-957-1951, greenbrookflowers.com)

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need more information about the virtual awards ceremony? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Place to Book a Party/Shower: Old Capitol Inn

Best Place to Buy Antiques: Flowood Antique Flea Market

The graceful Old Capitol Inn opened in 1996. Owners transformed the former YWCA gym/basketball court by adding a mezzanine into a grand ballroom opening onto a walled garden courtyard. “We rent the Vieux Carre for rehearsal dinners, bridal brunches, birthday parties and other events,” owner Mende (Malouf) Alford says. “The sunroom and garden are also available, and the rooftop, weather permitting.” No matter the event, chef Bruce Cain can cater it. Specialties of the house include shrimp and grits and artichoke dip, but the real magic happens when guests make requests. “We customize every detail,” Alford says. “We don’t really have options A, B and C. The menus are just for guidance. Have your grandma’s recipe? We’re happy to make it. Prefer traditional Lebanese food? We can handle it.” Beverages can be created to taste, too. “We offer beer, wine and we can mix signature drinks,” Alford says. Decorations and entertainment options are also as individual as the guest. “We’ve had the ballroom swathed in beautiful Indian fabrics for Diwali, and another group projected old-school black and white movies on the brick wall outside,” Alford adds. “We just want your event to be fun and fabulous.” —Michele D. Baker

With over 65,000 square feet of retail space under one roof, the Flowood Antique Flea Market boasts a vast variety of vendors selling everything from antique collectibles to the latest items. David Murrell took ownership of the combination antique mall and flea market together 10 years ago, opening it after the flea market at the Mississippi State Fair Grounds closed in 2005. Jack Cameron bought into the building in 2019 to become a co-owner. The Flowood Antique Flea Market harbors both a traditional flea market and an antique mall in one place, Cameron says. In the flea-market section, vendors rent their retail space and sell their own items; and in the antique-mall area, the vendors sell through the mall. Cameron and Murrell take pride in the fact that they’ve never raised the rent in the past decade, and that the antique-mall section is at full capacity with a waiting list. Cameron estimates about 800 people pass through the market when it’s open on the weekends. “We literally have everything from A to Z,” Cameron says. Many of the vendors have been in business for more than 20 years, and he describes the group of vendors as a “big family.” —Kyle Hamrick

Finalists: 4th Avenue Lounge (209 S. Lamar St., 601-259-5825, 4thavenuejxn.com) / Banner Hall (4465 Interstate 55 N., 601-842-2297, facebook.com/BannerHall) / The Briar Patch (1150 Old Cedars Lane, Flora, 601-559-8565) / The Cedars (4145 Old Canton Road, 601366-5552) / Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429, fairviewinn.com) / The Strawberry Cafe (107 Depot Drive, Madison, 601-856-3822, strawberrycafemadison.com)

Finalists: Antique Aly (294 Commerce Park Drive, Ridgeland, 769-300-0262) / Antique Mall of the South (367 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-853-4000, antiquemallofthesouth.com) / Beacon (3030 N. State St., thebeaconsupply.com) / N.U.T.S. (114 Millsaps Ave., 601-3557458) / Old House Depot (639 Monroe St., 601-592-6200, oldhousedepot.com) / Repeat Street (242 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-605-9123, repeatstreet.net)

Best Local Credit Union: Hope Credit Union

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

(multiple locations, hopecu.org)

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The members of Anderson United Methodist Church founded Hope Credit Union in 1995 with the mission of decreasing the wealth gap by reducing the effects spurred by issues such as race, gender and physical location. Hope offers common financial services such as checking and savings accounts as well as personal and home loans. The credit union also has a loan fund that provides commercial, mortgage and community-facility loans in economically distressed areas. In June 2020, Hope announced a $10-million deposit by Netflix that will be used to provide financing to more than 2,500 entrepreneurs, homebuyers and consumers of color over the next two years. The primary branch of Hope is in Jackson; however, the credit union spreads further, with 12 branches across Mississippi and 28 in the South as a whole. —Torsheta Jackson. Finalists: Jackson Area Federal Credit Union (5675 Highway 18 W.; 7375 Siwell Road, Byram; 601-922-7055; jacksonareafcu.com) / Keesler Federal Credit Union (multiple locations, kfcu.org) / Mississippi Federal Credit Union (100 Alumni Drive; 500 Clinton Center Drive, Clinton; 601-351-9200; msfcu.us) / Mississippi National Guard Federal Credit Union (142 Military Drive, 601-932-5194, msng.org)

COURTESY FLOWOOD ANTIQUE FLEA MARKET

(1325 Flowood Drive, Flowood, 601-953-5914, flowoodantiquefleamarket.com) COURTESY OLD CAPITOL INN

(226 N. State St., 601-359-9000, oldcapitolinn.com)

Best Place to Buy Kids’ Clothes/Toys: Play Pen

(4754 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, 601362-7256, babysupermarket.com)

Since 1954, Cullen’s Play Pen, a family-owned and operated store, has been providing families in and around Jackson with baby furniture, bedding, car seats, strollers, toys, collectible dolls and play dolls. The brick-and-mortar store features toys for children of all ages, from building blocks and soft toys to scooters, pogo sticks, bicycles and everything in-between. During the pandemic, Play Pen delivers orders curbside to help keep families safe, and people can visit Babysupermarket—Play Pen’s online “sister” store—for the same quality service to families in the 48 contiguous states. Babysupermarket is a member of the National Independent Nursery Furniture Retailers Association, ensuring that customers always receive quality products. —Michele D. Baker Finalists: Leap Frog (104 Village Blvd., Madison, 601-8980727, leapfrogmadison.com) / Rhea Lana’s Children’s Consignment (662-588-8178, facebook.com/MadisonRidgelandRheaLanas) / Row 10 (1107 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 105, 601-707-5846, row10baby.com) / Southern Raised (151 W. Government St., Suite A, Brandon; 601-591-7313; shopsouthernraised.com) / WEE the People (119 Colony Crossing Way, Suite 640, Madison; 769-231-7496; weethepeoplems.com) / Willow & Grace (4237 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-939-1191, facebook. com/shopwillowandgrace)

Best Place to Get Your Car Fixed: Capitol Body Shop

(multiple locations, capitolbodyshop.com)

Longtime Best of Jackson winner Capitol Body Shop first opened its doors in 1963 under the ownership of Chad White, who leased the downtown Jackson building at a time when he only had two other employees. In the decades since, Capitol Body Shop has expanded across the Jackson metro, with locations in Flowood, Byram, Ridgeland and Gluckstadt. Chad White’s son, Doug White, took over the business from his father in the mid 1990s. “We’re grateful to all the residents of the Jackson metro who have been our faithful customers for many years,” Leon Hemphill, sales and marketing manager for Capitol Body Shop, says. Capitol Body Shop provides 24-hour towing, body and collision repair, painting, oil changes, full-service mechanical repair, windshield glass repair and more. The shop also gives a written warranty on all repairs and offers a complimentary shuttle service for customers. —Dustin Cardon Finalists: Acey’s (827 W. McDowell Road, 601-373-4623) / Barnett’s Body Shop (Multiple locations, barnettsbodyshohp. com) / Freeman Auto Repair (847 State St., 601-948-3358, freemanautorepair.com) / Greene’s Tire Auto Service (715 Ridgewood Road, Ridgeland, 601-957-0201; 1405 E. Northside Drive, Clinton, 601-924-3800; greenestire.com) / Tony’s Tire & Automotive (5138 N. State St., 601-981-2414)


Thank you Jackson and Thank you JFP readers! Fischer Galleries and our incredible artists are so grateful for your unending support. WE LOVE YOU!

Opinion research on Saturday, Feb. 20 will pay $250 cash. COVID precautions will be taken.

Dickies Warehouse | 736 S. President St. | Downtown Jackson 601-291-9115 | www.fischergalleries.com

Voted the Best Gumbo by the Jackson Free Press Readers Thank you. We could not have done it without you.

gumbogirl.com

900 E County Line Rd Suite 107, Ridgeland (601) 790-0486

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Call 318-294-6098.

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Are you a finalist or winner? Need your certificate? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11. 19 th annual

Best Place to Work: Baptist Medical Center

Best Yoga Studio: Soul Synergy Center

(1225 N. State St., 601-968-1000, baptistonline.org)

Finalists: Barnette’s Salon (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 201, 601-362-9550; 1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 8000, Ridgeland, 601-898-4646, barnettessalon.com) / Bob Boyte Honda (2188 Highway 18, Brandon, 601-591-5000, bobboytehonda.com) / Jackson Academy (4908 Ridgewood Road, 601-362-9676, jacksonacademy.org) / Lakeland Glass & Tint (2665 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-946-1000, facebook.com/lgandtint) / Merit Health Central (1850 Chadwick Drive, 601-376-1000, merithealthcentral.com) / Tougaloo College (500 W. County Line Road, Tougaloo, 601-977-7700, tougaloo.edu)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Best Tattoo/Piercing Parlor: The Electric Dagger

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A one-stop-shop for everything yoga, Soul Synergy Center offers classes ranging from beginner and intermediate, to advanced, to pregnancy yoga and to chair yoga for elders. The center can accommodate any skill level or health challenge. “All our yoga instructors are trained in multiple modalities like Iyengar, vinyasa, ashtanga, and more,” Center Director Tamnisha Dortch says. “We offer classes based on a person’s needs and have many different dates and times to accommodate all schedules.” Customers can participate in a drop-in class for $15 or purchase a 10-pack of classes for $100. “We offer gentle stretching poses; warm flow yoga that gets you sweating for a nice workout; candlelight relaxation yoga; and kundalini yoga, which focuses on breath, postures, meditation and chanting or singing,” Jennifer Malik, Soul Synergy’s yoga director, says. “Our motto is celebrating mind, body and spirit.” Soul Synergy Center is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and also offers a wide range of massage, Reiki, foot reflexology, a salt cave and a gift shop, as well as virtual services. —Michele D. Baker

COURTESY SOUL SYNERGY CENTER

COURTESY BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER

With a staff of nearly 3,000, Baptist Medical Center is one of the 10 largest employers in Jackson. The hospital prioritizes its employees’ satisfaction, conducting a survey each spring to inquire about experiences and expectations in the workplace. “This year, the survey (was given) after COVID, and we saw a big increase in employee engagement,” COO Brad Beattie says. Beattie hopes that this practice fosters a company culture of transparency, as meetings are then initiated at the departmental level in order to solicit feedback from staff members. “We ask for ideas on how to improve,” Beattie says of the process. “Then we tell them what we’re going to do to improve, so they can see that we’re using their feedback to make improvements.” —Taylor McKay Hathorn

(5490 Castlewoods Court, Suite D, Flowood; 601992-7721; soulsynergycenter.com)

Finalists: M Theory Yoga (118 W. Jackson St., Suite C, Ridgeland; 601-790-7402, mtheoryyoga.com) / Namaste at the Bar (namastejxn.com) / Tara Yoga (200 Park Circle Drive, Suite 4, Flowood; 601-720-2337; tara-yoga.net) / Yoga by Jean (717 Rice Road, Ridgeland, 769-798-7355, yogabyjean.com)

(2906 N. State St., Suite B6, 601982-9437, electricdagger.com)

Best Thrift/Consignment Shop: Repeat Street

(242 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601605-9123, repeatstreet.net)

Best Veterinarian/Pet Clinic: Mannsdale Animal Clinic

Established in 2013, The Electric Dagger initiated a number of protocols to help keep its customers safe and to ensure that the storefront continues to thrive during the pandemic. Although the shop has discontinued walkins as part of these protective measures, the company website encourages those looking to add new body art to book an appointment online with one of its three on-site artists. Jason Thomas, the owner and founder of The Electric Dagger, specializes in “skulls, snakes and daggers,” while artist Mike Richardson calls his own style “illustrative and traditional,” with much of his art featuring shades of black and gray. The lone female artist, Mallory Kay Palmertree, has a folksy eye for detail, often creating colorful pieces for the patrons of the studio. —Taylor McKay Hathorn

Repeat Street, in its ninth year as the winner of the Best Thrift/Consignment Shop category, houses 17,000 square feet of constantly changing inventory. Customers can find clothing for men, women and children, as well as furniture and antiques, while the outdoor area showcases lawn, garden and lawn decor. The business now includes several retail arms, such as The Pawlor at Repeat Street. The room, a partnership with Community Animal Rescue and Adoption, features furniture home décor, seasonal clothing and other items for sale. Fifty percent of these profits benefit the no-kill animal shelter. The storehouse at Repeat Street, a vendor mall located next door, contains more than 40 merchants offering gifts, clothing, food and other items for customers. —Torsheta Jackson

Dale Wilson, owner of Mannsdale Animal Clinic in Madison, opened his small animal-exclusive veterinary clinic in 2014 with the goal of “redefining the veterinary experience.” “We want people to feel important from the time they arrive to the time they leave and make sure that not only are our clients’ pets getting the best possible care, the clients are as well,” Wilson says. Wilson grew up in Greenville, Miss., and practiced at Oakdale Animal Hospital in Brandon from 2005 to 2014, after he moved to the Jackson metro. He owns a brindle Great Dane named Willow. The clinic offers vaccinations, sick pet visits, digital xrays, ultrasounds, heartworm and disease treatment, pet medications, surgery, chemotherapy, preventative care, spay and neutering services, boarding and more. —Dustin Cardon

Finalists: Ink Addicts Studio (500 E. Woodrow Wilson Ave., Suite B, 769-230-4960, inkaddictsstudio. com) / Inkk Culture Tattoo (840 E. River Place, Suite 607, 601-966-5472, instagram.com/inkkculturetattoo) / Inkk Junkies Tattoo (182 Raymond Road, 769-251-5823, instagram.com/inkk_junkies_tattoos) / Squench’s Tattoos (3780 Interstate 55 S. Frontage Road, 601-372-2800, squenchstattoos.com)

Finalists: Leap Frog Children’s Consignment & More (104 Village Blvd., Madison, 601-898-0727, leapfrogmadison.com) / N.U.T.S. (114 Millsaps Ave., 601-3557458, facebook.com/nutsjackson) / Orange Peel (closed) (422 Mitchell Ave., 601-364-9977, facebook.com/orangepeelfondren) / Palladian Consign & Design (637 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-790-9678, facebook.com/ PalladianConsign) / The Real McCoy Thrift Store and Boutique (5482 N. State St., 769-572-5709, themccoyhouse.com) / Rhea Lana’s Children’s Consignment (662-588-8178)

(488 Mannsdale Road, Madison, 601499-5200, themac.vet)

Finalists: Animal Hospital of Clinton (497 Springridge Road, Clinton, 601-924-4169, animalhospitalclinton.com) / Animal Medical Center (995 Interstate 20 S. Frontage Road, 601-354-3622, animalmedicalcenterofjackson.com) / Hometown Veterinary Hospital (2001 Creek Cove, Brandon, 601-825-1697, hometownvethospital.com) / Luckney Animal Hospital (280 Belle Meade Point, Flowood, 601-992-3299, luckneyanimal.com) / North State Animal & Bird Hospital (5208 N. State St., 601-982-8261, northstateanimalhospital.com) / URGIVET Emergency Vets of Madison (15 Olympic Way, Madison, 601-790-1918, urgivet.com)


you

THANK VOTED BEST OPTOMETRIST 2018 • 2019 • 2020

Dr. Tonyatta T. Hairston

Best Museum Best Community Garden/Nature Attraction Best Arts Organization Best Place to Get Married

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Gucci Tom Ford Ray Ban Jimmy Choo Kate Spade L.A.M.B. Prada Ernest Hemmingway Michael Kors Tory Burch Esquire Victoria's Secret Dolce & Gabbana & more!

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

We are honored to be a finalist for

Superior Service • Stylish Atmosphere State of the Art Equipment • Luxury Eyewear 20 Years of Experience

39


D

uring this time where we have all become more health-conscious than in years past, reviewing the winners of our Best of Jackson: Medical 2021 ballot may be particularly pertinent.

19 th annual

Best Dentist; Best Pediatric Dentist: LaMonica Davis Taylor (Smiles on Broadway Dental Care for Kids, 5442 Watkins Drive, 601-665-4996, smilesonbroadwaydental.com)

Best Women’s Health Clinic: Lakeland Premier Women’s Clinic (2506 Lakeland Drive, Suite 600, Flowood, 601-939-1600, lakelandpremierwc.com)

Best Dentist Finalists April Watson-Stringfellow (Watson Family Dentistry, 2181 Henry Hill Drive, 601-9221171, watsonfamilydental.com) / Diedra Snell (Ridgewood Smiles Dentistry, 5800 Ridgewood Road, Suite 105, 601-398-2934, ridgewoodsmilesdenistry.com) / John Patterson (Patterson John DDS, 4793 McWillie Drive, 601-366-4891) / Kimberly Wade (3502 W. Northside Drive, 601-362-5321) / Patrice Griffith (Mississippi Smiles Dental, 1189 E. County Line Road, Suite 1010, 601308-2022, mississippismilesdentistry.com)

Finalists: Fulton Center for Women’s Health (1963 W. McDowell Road, 601-372-3632, lorijfultonmd.com) / Jackson Healthcare for Women (291 E. Layfair Drive, Flowood, 601936-9190, jhcfw.com) / Southern Women’s Health (Merit Health River Oaks, 1020 River Oaks Drive, Suite 310, Flowood, 601-9325006, swhealth.net) / The Women’s Clinic (501 Marshall St., Suite 400, 601-354-0869; 401 Baptist Drive, Suite 402, Madison, 601354-0869) / Women’s Health Associates (1050 River Oaks Drive, Flowood, 601-4200134)

Best Pediatric Dentist Finalists Jerrick Rose (The Pediatric Dental Studio, 201 Riverwind E. Drive, Pearl, 601-965-9549) / Patrice Griffith (Mississippi Smiles Dental, 1189 E. County Line Road, Suite 1010, 601308-2022, mississippismilesdentistry.com) / Susan Fortenberry (Pediatric Dentistry, 5315 Highway 18 W., 601-922-0066) / Tiffany P. Green (Southern Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, 101 Luckney Station, Flowood, 601-9928000)

Best Specialty Clinic: GI Associates & Endoscopy Center (multiple locations, gi.md)

Best Physical Therapist: Jasmine Smith (Healing Hands Rehabilitation Services, 105 Lexington Drive, Suite H, 601-910-7300, hhrehab.com)

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Finalists: Brittany Flaggs (Healing Hands Rehabilitation Services, 105 Lexington Drive, Suite H, Madison, 601-910-7300, hhrehab. com) / Charles Benford (Capitol Physical Therapy, 5888 Ridgewood Road, 601-9781798, capitolpt.org) / Kathy McColumn (McColumn Physical Therapy, 5225 Highway 18 W., 601-487-8456, mccolumnpt.com) / Lisa Bryant (Christian Preparatory Nursery, 363 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, 601-991-0057)

40

Best Cosmetic Surgeon: Scott Runnels (Runnels Center, 1055 River Oaks Blvd., 601-9399778, runnelscenter.com) Finalists: Adair Backledge (Blackledge Face Center, 1659 Lelia Drive, 601-981-3033, blackledgefacecenter.com) / Emile Picarella (UMMC, 2500 N. State St., 601-984-1000, umc.edu) / Kenneth Barraza (The Face & Body Center of Plastic and Hand Surgery Associates, 2550 Flowood Drive, 601-202-4294, faceandbodycenter.com) / Shelby K. Brantley Jr. (Face & Body Center of Plastic and Hand Surgery Associates, 2550 Flowood Drive, 601202-4294, faceandbodycenter.com)

Finalists: Batson Specialty Clinic (UMMC, 421 S. Stadium Drive, 601-984-5210, umc. edu) / Enhanced Wellness Living (115 W. Jackson St., Suite 1E, Ridgeland, 601-2025978) / Mississippi Sports Medicine (multiple locations, mississippisportsmedicine. com) / Right Weigh Clinic (309 Airport Road S., Pearl; 105 Span Drive, Brandon, 888656-7348, rightweighclinic.com) / TrustCare Heart Clinic (multiple locations, trustcarehealth.com) / MEA Primary Care Plus (5606 Old Canton Road, 601-957-3333; 1777 Ellis Ave., 601-371-0400, meamedicalclinics.com)

Best Cosmetic Dentist: Deidra Snell (Ridgewood Smiles Dentistry, 5800 Ridgewood Road, Suite 105, 601-398-2934, ridgewoodsmilesdentistry.com) Finalists: Preston L. Cobbins (Smilebuilders, 1863 Highway 43, Canton, 601-859-7050) / Terrance Ware (5800 Ridgewood Road, Suite 104, 769-251-5909, twaredds.com)

Best Optometrist/Ophthalmologist: Tonyatta Hairston (Envision Eye Care & Optical Boutique, 1316 N. State St., 601-987-3937, 987eyes.com) Finalists: Arthur Dampier (Ridgeland Eyecare Center Inc., 8 Professional Parkway, Ridgeland, 601-957-8444) / Christopher Bullin (Mississippi EyeCare Associates, 350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave., 601-366-9020) / Marjorie McLin Lenoir (Reflections Vision Center, 101-C, Lexington Drive, Madison, 601-6054423; 2129 Grand Ave., Yazoo City, 662716-8161) / Taylor Smith (UMMC, 2500 N. State St., 601-984-1000, umc.edu) / Tina Sorrey (Eyecare Professionals, 1501 Lakeland Drive, 601-366-1085, eyecare4ms.com)

To see past winners, visit bestofjackson.com.

Best Hospital: Baptist Medical Center (1225 N. State St., 601-968-1000, mbhs.org) Finalists: Merit Health Central (1850 Chadwick Drive, 601-376-1000, merithealthcentral.com) / Merit Health River Oaks (1030 River Oaks Drive, Flowood, 601-932-1030, merithealthriveroaks.com) / St. Dominic Hospital (969 Lakeland Drive, 601-2002000, stdom.com) / UMMC (2500 N. State St., 601-984-1000, umc.edu)

Best Chiropractor: Stanley J. Sims (Sims Chiropractic Clinic, 500 E, Woodrow Wilson Ave, Suite F, 601-982-0988) Finalists: Addie Standford (575 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-605-4993) / Clayton Pitts (Norville Chiropractic Clinic, 1000 Lakeland Square, Suite 400, Flowood, 601-932-3855, flowoodchiropracticcare.com) / Endre’ Matthews (Matthews Chiropractic Clinic, 108 E. Northside Drive, 601-366-9005, matthewschiroms.com) / Jeremy Coleman (Adjusted Life Chiropractic, 5295 Galaxie Drive, Suite C, 769-524-4735, adjustedlifejxn.com) / Laura Stubbs-Wright (Body in Balance Healthcare, 5472 Watkins Drive, Suite C, 601-376-5636)

Best Nurse Practitioner/Physician’s Assistant: Keila Brown-Jones (Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center, 601-3625321, jackson-hinds.com) Finalists: Alisha McArthur Wilkes (Quinn Healthcare, 768 Avery Blvd. N., Ridgeland, 601-487-6482, quinntotalhealth.com) / Ashleigh Twyner (UMMC, 2500 N. State St., 601-984-1000, umc.edu) / Bethany Edwards (TrustCare Express Medical Clinics, 4880 Interstate 55 N., 601-487-9199, trustcarehealth. com) / Kelly B. Engelmann (Enhanced Wellness Living, 115 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland, Suite 1E, 601-202-5978, enhancedwellness. com) / Racolesha Denson (St. Dominic Hospital, 969 Lakeland Drive, 601-200-2000, stdom.com) / Rochelle Sandifer (Family Health Care Clinic, 1307 Airport Road, Flowood, 601-936-3485, familyhealthcareclinic.com) / Skye Gray (Mississippi Medical Aesthetics, 111 Fountains Blvd., Madison, 601-790-9427, msnewyou.com) / Stacia Dunson (Harmony House Calls and Medical Services, 7 Lakeland Circle W., # 500, harmonyhousecallsllc.com) / Tamela Mathis (1051 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite E, Ridgeland, 601-707-3737) / Tracy Rhinewalt (TrustCare Express Medical Clinics, 4880 Interstate 55 N., 601-487-9199, trustcarehealth.com)

Best Doctor: Justin Turner (TurnerCare, 2135 Henry Hill Drive, 601-398-2335, turnercarems.com) Finalists: Channing Twyner (UMMC, 2500 N. State St., 601-984-1000, umc.edu) / John Vanderloo (Vanderloo Family Medicine, 3000 Old Canton Road, Suite 240, 601-228-5491) / Kimberly Smash (Prolific Health & Wellness, 2675 River Ridge Drive, 601-718-0308) / Rosie Walker-McNair (Merit Health River Oaks, 1030 River Oaks Drive, 601-932-1030, merithealthriveroaks.com) / Stanley Sims (Sims Chiropractic Clinic, 500 E, Woodrow Wilson Ave, Suite F, 601-982-0988) / Timothy Quinn (Quinn Healthcare, PLLC, 768 Avery Blvd. N., Ridgeland, 601-487-6482, quinntotalhealth.com)

Best Orthodontist: Chandra Minor (Smile Design Orthodontics, 201 Riverwind Drive E., Pearl, 601965-9561, smiledesignorthoms. com; Vicksburg Orthodontics, 1909 Mission 66, Vicksburg, 601-6610804, vicksburgorthodontics.com) Finalists: G. Dodd Brister Jr. (Brister Orthodontics, 3007 Greenfield Road, Pearl, 601-824-5878, bristerorthodontics.com) / Eugene C. Brown Jr. (Smiles by Design, 5800 Ridgewood Road, Suite 103, 601957-1711, dreugenebrown.com) / Jason Vassar (Bierdeman Vassar Orthodontics, 2680 River Ridge Drive, 601-981-3036; 525 Thomastown Lane, Suite A, Ridgeland, 601-856-3054; 749 Clinton Parkway, Clinton, 601-926-1772; bvortho.com) / Noel Reed (Reed Orthodontics, 451 Pebble Creek Drive, Madison, 601-898-8000, noelreed. com) / Priscilla Jolly (Jolly Orthodontics, 1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 7201, Ridgeland, 601-605-2400, jollyortho.com) / William P. Edgar (101 Avalon Court, Suite C, Brandon, 601-919-2990)

Best Urgent Care Clinic: MEA (multiple locations, meamedicalclinics.com) Finalists: Baptist Urgent and Primary Care Clinics (multiple locations, baptistmedicalclinic.org) / Fast Pace Urgent Care (multiple locations, fastpacehealth.com) / TrustCare Express Medical Clinics (multiple locations, trustcarehealth.com) / UMMC Quick Care (2500 N. State St., 601-9841000, umc.edu) Are you a finalist or winner? Need your certificate? Email kimberly@jacksonfreepress.com or call 601-362-6121 ext 11.


Looking for something great to do in Jackson? Visit JFPEVENTS.COM for more.

KIDS Events at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive) • For the Love of Science: STEM Workshop Feb. 6, 10 a.m.-noon. The museum offers the Valentine’s Day-themed event featuring handson STEM experiments for children ages 6-10 and an accompanying adult. Masks and reservations are required. $10 MMNSF members, $20 non-members (ticket price includes one child & one adult); call 601-576-6031; email denise.mason@mmns.ms.us; mdwfp.com. • My Grown Up & Me Valentine’s Paint Day Feb. 13, 10 a.m.-noon. The museum offers the children’s event featuring a Valentine’s Day story, snacks, and an art project. Children should wear clothes suitable for painting. Face masks are required, and social distancing protocols are observed. Reservations required. Space is limited. $5 members, $10 non-members; call 601-576-6031; email denise.mason@mmns. ms.gov; mdwfp.com. • Born to Be Wild - Session 5 Feb. 21, 1:30-4 p.m. The museum partners with the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities to offer the series of seven outdoor skills classes for ages 8-18. The program is free to members of MCCD. Non-members can join at tinyurl.com/joinccd. All classes are outdoors, weather permitting, and socially distanced. This month’s program focuses on Archery. Free to CCD members; call 601-576-6000; email andrea.falcetto@mmns.ms.gov; mdwfp.com. Look and Learn with Hoot | What We’ll Build: Plans for our Future Together by Oliver Jeffers Feb. 19, 10:30 a.m., Facebook Live. The art museum hosts the monthly virtual story time event for children. Participants listen to the month’s story selection as it is read by the group leader, then create an art project specially chosen to complement the story. Free online event; call 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org.

FOOD & DRINK Valentine’s Weekend Prix Fixe Dinners Feb. 13, Feb. 14, 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m., at 1908 Provisions at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview Street). The Jackson restaurant offers the four-course prix fixe meal prepared by their Executive Chef Connor Mize for Valentine’s Day celebrations. Reservations required. $69 per person; call 601-9483429 ext. 314; email marketing@fairviewinn. com; find it on Facebook.

SPORTS & WELLNESS KUKUWA African Dance Class Feb. 6, Feb. 13, Feb. 20, Feb. 27, 10-10:30 a.m., Zoom. Niketa Pechan, of Golden Aura Wellness Company, leads the dance fitness class that incorporates African rhythms and dance. All dance and fitness levels welcome. The class is also streamed via Zoom. Link is available at registration. Fondren Fitness Fun Run Feb. 18, 6-8 p.m., at Fondren Fitness (2807 Old Canton Road). Runners meet up every third Thursday outside

COMMUNITY Free Sundays at the Two Mississippi Museums Feb. 7, Feb. 14, Feb. 21, Feb. 28, noon-4 p.m., at Two Mississippi Museums (222 North St.). The Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights museum offer free admission every Sunday afternoon. Free admission; call 601576-6850; email Info@mdah.ms.gov; twomississippimuseums.com. Free HIV Testing Event Feb. 12, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at Hinds Behavioral Health Services (3450 Highway 80 W.). The outpatient mental health and substance use service hosts the event offering free HIV testing, comprehensive health screening, and information about HIV prevention. Free event; call 601-321-2400; hbhs9.com.

COURTESY TWO MISSISSIPPI MUSEUMS

Something Blue Soiree Bridal Show Feb. 18, 5-8 p.m., at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St.). The Jackson inn and wedding venue hosts the bridal event showcasing area wedding vendors. Due to Covid constraints, each bride is allowed one guest. Participants sign up for a one-hour time slot. The first 10 guests to arrive each hour receive a free “swag bag.” Masks and social distancing are required. Free admission, vendor prices vary; call 601-948-3429 ext. 314; email marketing@ fairviewinn.com; find it on Facebook.

of Fondren Fitness to run three miles around the neighborhood. The run ends at a different local business each month. Free admission; call 601540-0338; find it on Facebook.

CONCERTS & FESTIVALS Events at Martin’s Downtown (214 S. State St.) • Tab Benoit Feb. 6, 8-11 p.m. The Louisiana Cajun-Blues guitarist performs live at the Jackson bar and music venue. Doors open 7 p.m. Social distancing protocols observed. $25 admission; call 601-354-9712; Facebook. • The Band Esther Feb. 12, 8 p.m. The Mississippi-based alt rock band performs at the Jackson bar and music venue. $10 admission, food and drink prices vary; call 601-354-9712. • Cypress & DJ Ang Feb. 20, 8 p.m. The musicians perform live at the Jackson bar and music venue. $10 admission, food and drink prices vary; call 601-354-9712; find it on Facebook. Valentine’s Dinner and Show Feb. 14, 7 p.m.-11 p.m., at Trisha’s Sports Bar (2460 Terry Road). The Jackson sports bar offers the Valentine’s evening event featuring a live blues concert hosted by DJ Repo. Meal orders may be placed before the show at additional cost. Couples and singles welcome. Doors open at 7 p.m. $10 admission, food and drink prices vary; call 662-607-5375; email Alishanewell@yahoo.com; find it on Facebook.

LITERARY “Ida B the Queen” Book Discussion Feb. 9, noon, Facebook Live. Author Michelle Duster discusses her new book with Jackson’s first lady, Ebony Lumumba via Facebook Live. Free discussion, $27 signed hardback book; call 601-3667619; lemuriabooks.com. “The Four Winds” Book Discussion Feb. 16, noon, Zoom. Author Kristin Hannah discusses her new book with fellow author Paula McLain via Zoom. Book purchase is required to attend.

CREATIVE CLASSES Seasonal Vintage Trucks Feb. 9, 10 a.m.-noon, at Twin Oaks Crafts (745 Highway 49 S., Richland). Lawna Ainsworth leads a class teaching participants to make a beginner’s level seasonal home décor piece. Reservations required. $25 class fee, $20 kit fee; call 769-572-5253; email twinoakscrafts20@gmail.com; find it on Facebook.

Email address is taken at purchase, and event link sent on the day of the event. $28.99 signed hardback book; call 601-366-7619. Midday Book Signing with Patrick Murphy Feb. 25, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). The author and photographer signs copies of his book, “Reserved Mr. Memory.” Free event, book price TBA; call 601-965-9939; email aburnett@msmuseumart. org; find it on Facebook.

ARTS & EXHIBITS Piercing the Inner Wall: The Art of Dusti Bongé Feb. 20, Feb. 25-27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Feb. 25, Feb. 28, noon-5 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). The exhibit features works by the artist considered to be the first Mississippi artist to work consistently in a Modernist style. Masks are required and social distancing protocols are observed. Students get in free on Thursdays. Free admission for first responders and frontline workers. $15 adults, $13 seniors, $10 students, free to members; call 601-9601515; msmuseumart.org. Curator Tour | Piercing the Inner Wall with Bradley Sumrall Feb. 20, 6 p.m., Zoom. The museum celebrates the opening of the exhibit “Piercing the Inner Wall: The Art of Dusti Bongé” with a virtual gallery tour led by special guest Bradley Sumrall, the curator of the exhibition. Registration required. Free online event, reservation required; call 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org. AT&T presents Makers in Their Spaces | Stephen Phillips Feb. 27, 10 a.m., Instagram Live. The art museum and AT&T present the virtual event that invites participants into the creative space of an artist or maker, offering insight into the artist’s process and inspiration. The featured artist for this event is Stephen Phillips, a ceramicist based in Crawford, Miss. Free virtual event; call 601-960-1515; msmuseumart.org.

PROFESSIONAL & BIZ The Bean Path Tech Office Hours | It Goes Down in the DMs: Dating Apps Explained Feb. 13, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Virtual. The organization promoting technical education offers the workshop focusing on the tech behind dating apps and how to deal with privacy concerns. Individual appointments may be reserved fol-

lowing the presentation, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Free admission; email angelyn@thebeanpath.org; thebeanpath.org.

BE THE CHANGE Theta Women Go Red Virtual Open House Feb. 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at Facebook (P.O. Box 75518). The Alpha Alpha Chapter of Alpha Omega Theta Sorority hosts a virtual Open House in honor of Women Go Red to educate about heart disease among women; call 601-5890676; email alpha2aot@gmail.com; fb.me. Clean Up Day Feb. 6, 8 a.m.-noon, at Buddy Butts Park (6180 N. McRaven Road, Clinton). Members of the Friends of Mississippi River Basin Model organization gather monthly at the site of the full-scale model of the Mississippi River to clean up the area and keep the model from falling into further disrepair. FMRBM provides gloves and water. Free to volunteer; email friendsofmrbm@gmail.com; find it on Facebook. SOUPer Bowl XXIV Feb. 7, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at The Salvation Army Community Center (570 East Beasley Road). The Christian charitable organization hosts their annual Super Bowl Sunday event featuring soups and desserts donated by local restaurants and served by volunteer local celebrity servers. Due to COVID regulations, this year the food is available in pre-packaged, single serving containers, which participants may choose to take to-go or eat in designated dining areas, at socially distanced tables. Silent auction items are available for in-person viewing, but all bidding takes place online to allow participation for guests not wishing to stay in person. Included with each adult ticket purchased is a handmade, collectible bowl from The Mustard Seed. Supply is limited. $25 adult ticket; call 601-982-4881; email michelle.hartfield@uss.salvationarmy.org; salvationarmyalm.org. 35th Annual Children’s Benefit Gala Feb. 20, 6-11 p.m., at Brandon Civic Center (1000 Municipal Drive, Brandon). The Rankin County service organization announces its 35th annual gala benefiting its projects supporting children and families throughout the county. This year’s theme is The Mad Hatter’s Ball. $50 single admission (early bird), $80 couple admission(early bird); call 601-706-9727; email email@rankinja.org; find it on Facebook. Ignite the Night 2021: Celebrating the Years Feb. 20, at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Museum Blvd). The museum adapts its annual fundraiser for the current circumstances by providing participants with a “party in a box.” Each box contains party games and favors, food, and a curated playlist chosen to go with the event’s theme. The following ticket packages are available: $350 host ticket including a party box for two, $500 host ticket including a party box for two and Water Tower Level Partners membership, $1000 host ticket including a party box for six. Sponsorships are available at $1500, $2500, $5000 and $10,000 levels. $350 party box for two, other pricing options see above; call 601981-5469; mschildrensmuseum.org.

Check jfpevents.com for updates and more listings, or to add your own events online. You can also email event details to events@ jacksonfreepress.com to be added to the calendar. Each month’s worth of events need to be submitted one week prior to the start of the month.

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

EVENTS

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49 Portuguese colony in India 51 Archer’s necessity 52 Nomadic group 53 2004 movie with a screenplay by Tina Fey 56 Sch. whose initials actually refer to “Green Mountains” 57 “Brave New World” happiness drug 59 Substance with a pH value under 7 60 Beyond Burgers, for instance, or what the theme answers contain? 65 Sap source 66 “Casino ___” 67 Reverential feeling 68 Luxury ___ (Monopoly space) 69 Firecracker flashes 70 Alkali used in soapmaking

BY MATT JONES

31 “Principia Mathematica” author 33 In ___ (feeling bad) 35 Blackberry, back in the day 38 Exit, to P.T. Barnum 39 Korbut the gymnast 40 “Get bent” 41 Sister, in Seville 44 Word before status or bliss 45 In need of cleaning, for some bathrooms 46 Early times, casually 47 Check for ripeness, as a cantaloupe 48 1997 Hanson chart-topper 50 Playing marbles

Last Week’s Answers

54 2010 comedy inspired by “The Scarlet Letter” 55 Post-op area 58 Mine alternative? 61 Animator Avery 62 Road or roof stuff 63 Genre 64 Catch the drift For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-2262800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800 655-6548. Reference puzzle #951

Down

“Choice Menu” --another option out there. Across

1 Initials on a toothpaste tube 4 Where the TV show “Letterkenny” comes from 10 Watch readout, briefly 13 Accelerate 14 “Juno and the Paycock” playwright Sean 15 Clinton and Bush, e.g. 17 Waiting room welcome 20 School credit 21 ___ track 22 Gp. that publishes a scholarly style

manual 23 Fortifies the castle, perhaps 26 Taiga feature 28 Put in service 29 Cup edge 30 Margin size, maybe 32 Juno’s Greek counterpart 34 Cup edge 36 “Lunar Asparagus” sculptor Max 37 Results of excessive stress 40 Japanese game sorta like chess 42 Key under Z and X 43 Stone who starred in 54-Down 47 Proposition to be proved

1 Unesco Building muralist 2 Dom who voiced Pizza the Hutt in “Spaceballs” 3 Iron Man or Thor 4 Marquee partner 5 Get 100% on 6 “I’m gonna pass” 7 Adjective on taco truck menus 8 Danny who plays Frank Reynolds 9 Voice votes 10 “___ Miserables” 11 Twain, really 12 Scouse, Texas Southern, or Australian, for English 16 Squirrel (away) 18 Start of the first Kinsey Millhone title 19 Away from a bow 23 Word that punctuates Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” 24 “Stranger Things” actress ___ Bobby Brown 25 Leave out 27 Washing machine cycle

Sharon Miles in

Let It Shine:

A Visit with Fannie Lou Hamer By Frank Kuhn

February 3 - March 2, 2021 • jfp.ms

Conceived by Frank Kuhn & Sharon Miles Directed by Frank Kuhn

42

February 18-March 7, 2021 $25 per household on demand video rental

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Visit newstagetheatre.com/educate/classes to learn more To reserve a spot in one of the theatre’s exciting acting classes, please contact Resident Teaching Artist

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Geographic and service restrictions apply to AT&T Internet services. Not all speeds available in all areas. Call to see if you qualify. $40 INTERNET OFFER: Price for Internet (768k - 100) for new residential customers when bundled with another qualifying AT&T service (DIRECTV, U-verse TV, AT&T TV or AT&T Phone or postpaid AT&T wireless). Prorated ETF ($180) applies if Internet is disconnected before end of 12 months. Must maintain all bundled services to receive advertised pricing. Additional Fees & Taxes: Excludes cost-recovery charges, where applicable and $10/mo equipment fee. Activ/Installation: $35 activation fee (self-install) or $99 installation (full tech install) may apply. Credit restrictions apply. Pricing subject to change. Subj. to Internet Terms of Service at att.com/internet-terms. †Unlimited data allowance may also be purchased separately for an add’l $30/mo., or maintain a bundle of TV & Internet on a combined bill and receive unlimited internet data at no add’l charge. For more info, go to att.com/internet-usage.‡ Internet speed claims represent maximum network service capability speeds. Actual customer speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on several factors. For more information, go to att.com/speed101. 1AT&T Smart Home Manager is available to AT&T Internet service customers with a compatible AT&T Wi-Fi Gateway. Features limited to home Wi-Fi network. 2Parental Controls and Data Usage features available with BGW210, 5268AC and NVG599 Wi-Fi Gateways. 3AT&T Smart Wi-Fi requires installation of a BGW210, 5268AC, or NVG599 Wi-Fi Gateway. Standard with Internet plans (12M or higher). Whole-home Wi-Fi connectivity may require AT&T Smart Wi-Fi Extender(s) sold separately. Offers may not be combined with other promotional offers on the same services and may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Other conditions apply to all offers. ©2020 AT&T Intellectual Property. All Rights Reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other AT&T marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

Aquarian author Alice Walker writes, “In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.� In the coming weeks, I hope you’ll adopt that way of thinking and apply it to every aspect of your perfectly imperfect body and mind and soul. I hope you’ll give the same generous blessing to the rest of the world, as well. This attitude is always wise to cultivate, of course, but it will be especially transformative for you in the coming weeks. It’s time to celebrate your gorgeous idiosyncrasies and eccentricities.

“Though the bamboo forest is dense, water flows through it freely.� I offer that Zen saying just in time for you to adopt it as your metaphor of power. No matter how thick and complicated and impassable the terrain might appear to be in he coming weeks, I swear you’ll have a flair for finding a graceful path through it. All you have to do is imitate the consistency and flow of water.

ARIES (March 21-April 19):

Herman Hesse’s novel Siddartha is a story about a spiritual seeker who goes in search of illumination. Near the end of the quest, when Siddartha is purified and enlightened, he tells his friend, “I greatly needed sin, lust, vanity, the striving for goods, and the most shameful despair, to learn how to love the world, to stop comparing the world with any world that I wish for, with any perfection that I think up; I learned to let the world be as it is, and to love it and to belong to it gladly.� While I trust you won’t overdo the sinful stuff in the coming months, Aries, I hope you will reach a conclusion like Siddartha’s. The astrological omens suggest that 2021 is the best year ever for you to learn how to love your life and the world just as they are.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):

Taurus physicist Richard Feynman said, “If we want to solve a problem we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar.� That’s always good advice, but it’s especially apropos for you in the coming weeks. You are being given the interesting and fun opportunity to solve a problem you have never solved before! Be sure to leave the door to the unknown ajar. Clues and answers may come from unexpected sources.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

When we want to get a distinct look at a faint star, we must avert our eyes away from it just a little. If we look at it directly, it fades into invisibility. (There’s a scientific explanation for this phenomenon, which I won’t go into.) I propose that we make this your metaphor of power for the coming weeks. Proceed on the hypothesis that if you want to get glimpses of what’s in the distance or in the future, don’t gaze at it directly. Use the psychological version of your peripheral vision. And yes, now is a favorable time to seek those glimpses.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

If the apocalypse happens and you’re the last human left on earth, don’t worry about getting enough to eat. Just find an intact grocery store and make your new home there. It’s stocked with enough non-perishable food to feed you for 55 years—or 63 years if you’re willing to dine on pet food. I’M JOKING! JUST KIDDING! In fact, the apocalypse won’t happen for another 503 million years. My purpose in imagining such a loopy scenario is to nudge you to dissolve your scarcity thinking. Here’s the ironic fact of the matter for us Cancerians: If we indulge in fearful fantasies about running out of stuff—money, resources, love, or time—we undermine our efforts to have enough of what we need. The time is now right for you to stop worrying and instead take robust action to ensure you’re well-supplied for a long time.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):

“Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle,� writes Coleman Barks in his rendering of a poem by Rumi. In accordance with astrological omens, I am invoking that thought as a useful metaphor for your life right now. How lovely and noble are the goals you’re pursuing? How exalted and bighearted are the dreams you’re focused on? If you find there are any less-than-beautiful aspects to your motivating symbols and ideals, now is a good time to make adjustments.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

I invite you to try the following experiment. Select two situations in your world that really need to be reinvented, and let every other glitch and annoyance just slide for now. Then meditate with tender ferocity on how best to get the transformations done. Summoning intense focus will generate what amounts to magic! PS: Maybe the desired reinventions would require other people to alter their behavior. But it’s also possible that your own behavior may need altering.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

Author Marguerite Duras wrote these words: “That she had so completely recovered her sanity was a source of sadness to her. One should never be cured of one’s passion.� I am spiritually allergic to that idea. It implies that our deepest passions are unavailable unless we’re insane, or at least disturbed. But in the world I aspire to live in, the opposite is true: Our passions thrive if we’re mentally healthy. We are best able to harness our most inspiring motivations if we’re feeing poised and stable. So I’m here to urge you to reject Duras’s perspective and embrace mine. The time has arrived for you to explore the mysteries of relaxing passion.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Author Karen Barad writes, “The past is never finished. It cannot be wrapped up like a package, or a scrapbook; we never leave it and it never leaves us behind.� I agree. That’s why I can’t understand New Age teachers who advise us to “live in the now.� That’s impossible! We are always embedded in our histories. Everything we do is conditioned by our life story. I acknowledge that there’s value in trying to see the world afresh in each new moment. I’m a hearty advocate of adopting a “beginner’s mind.� But to pretend we can completely shut off or escape the past is delusional and foolish. Thank you for listening to my rant, Scorpio. Now please spend quality time upgrading your love and appreciation for your own past. It’s time to celebrate where you have come from—and meditate on how your history affects who you are now.

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Storage..........30 days @ $30.00/day Total: $2100.00 This vehicle will be sold on 03/05/21 @ 10 a.m. at 3760 Forest Hill Rd. Jackson, Ms. 39212 CAN NOT EXCEED 71 DAYS OF STORAGE HIRING

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SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Luisah Teish is a writer and priestess in the Yoruban Lucumi tradition. She wrote a book called Jump Up: Seasonal Celebrations from the World’s Deep Traditions. “Jump up� is a Caribbean phrase that refers to festive rituals and parties that feature “joyous music, laughter, food, and dancing.� According to my reading of the astrological omens, you’re due for a phase infused with the “jump up� spirit. As Teish would say, it’s a time for “jumping, jamming, swinging, hopping, and kicking it.� I realize that in order to do this, you will have to work around the very necessary limitations imposed on us all by the pandemic. Do the best you can. Maybe make it a virtual or fantasy jump up. Maybe dance alone in the dark.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

“Perhaps we should know better,� wrote poet Tony Hoagland, “but we keep on looking, thinking, and listening, hunting that singular book, theory, perception, or tonality that will unlock and liberate us.� It’s my duty to report, Capricorn, that there will most likely be no such singular magnificence for you in 2021. However, I’m happy to tell you that an accumulation of smaller treasures could ultimately lead to a substantial unlocking and liberation. For that to happen, you must be alert for and appreciate the small treasures, and patiently gather them in. (PS: Author Rebecca Solnit says, “We devour heaven in bites too small to be measured.� I say: The small bites of heaven you devour in the coming months will ultimately add up to being dramatically measurable.)

Homework: What’s the important thing you forgot about that you really do need to remember sometime soon? FreeWillAstrology.com

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