A popular nightclub and restaurant in northeast Jackson marked by recent gun violence plan to expand their footprint later this year with a multi-million dollar development.
Plans for the M-Bar Sports Grill include an amphitheater and stage for live music, beer garden, fire pits, playground, fountains and waterfalls, owner Richard Bradley said Thursday. .
Bradley has said he wants to transform the area into what he calls a northern metropolitan district where people can enjoy live music and have a cold beer in an outdoor environment due to the coronavirus concerns.
“We wanted to invest in this area and make it more of an entertainment district,” Bradley said. “It used to be a great destination and we want to come back to it.
He said plans to develop the property have been in the works for a few years, but the pandemic has slowed progress.
The expansion will take place in two phases, with the first starting in September and ending in August of next year. The second phase is still being planned, according to the press release, but is expected to be completed in 2023.
The total cost is between $ 8 million and $ 10 million.
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Safety remains a concern. The noise now a new one.
Concerns remain about the safety of the club, especially in light of an expected increase in foot traffic on the site. And with an amphitheater and a live stage outside, some residents say their quality of life will be affected by noise.
The club has recently been the scene of deadly violence.
In March, a brawl inside the club spilled outside and into the parking lot, resulting in a shootout between two groups in the wee hours of the morning. Christopher Moncure, 30, an innocent passerby, was killed.
The Jackson Police Department has linked another homicide on Way Drive to an argument in January over a parking spot at M-Bar.
A shooting inside the club on July 4 last summer resulted in the death of Cortez Shelby, 41. Three others were sent to hospital with gunshot wounds.
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Concerns rise over the noise
Recent events have put the club in the sights of Jackson City Council, particularly Ward 1 Councilor Ashby Foote, whose district encompasses the club.
Foote said Thursday he was particularly concerned with plans for the amphitheater and live stage. The club, located on Ridgewood Court just off Ridgewood Road, is adjacent to several commercial properties, but Foote said it was too close to residential areas.
“You don’t put an amphitheater next to a residential area,” Foote said. “You risk degrading the value of adjacent properties. I mean, who wants to buy a house where you play loud music next door? “
Larry Little, founder of the Ridgewood Park Homeowners Association, said nearby association members – including himself – were “shocked” to hear about the development.
“I’m excited about this,” Little said. “You can do whatever you want with your business. Just do it somewhere, it will not destroy the quality of life of the citizens. Can’t believe it’s even entertained.
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Bradley said the expansion is good news for residents of Jackson and the city.
He said the amphitheater portion of the development will be located along the facade of his facility, away from the residential area to the south of the site. The club will adhere to all city zoning regulations and ordinances, including those relating to noise, he said.
Bradley has already touched on security measures. He said he made several changes to his club in an effort to prevent further violence. He offered to shorten the hours of operation and contacted Jackson Police to set up cameras near the club. He also asked the city to consider providing additional lighting around the club.
Bradley said he paid about $ 22,000 a month in security to a private company and to Hinds County MPs on leave.