A boom to downtown

Published 10:41 am Monday, April 21, 2014

A vision of many years ago is coming to life. It’s Downtown Vicksburg.

First the people came, then some food, beverages and entertainment came and went, then more came. Along the way, some people moved in. Homes were made in former storage spaces above businesses that line the city’s main street.

Burgers, beer, steaks and all the fixings are headed to downtown Vicksburg this fall as a prime attraction atop a renovated First National Bank building.

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10SOUTH Rooftop Bar & Grill, to be completed by mid-September on a revamped top floor, will mix traditional sports bar fare with salads, desserts and a laid-back atmosphere, said Jay Parmegiani, the award-winning lead chef and owner of Roca Restaurant & Bar, who will run both businesses.

“This place will be casual and moderately priced,” Parmegiani said. “Ideally, someone could walk in there after work wearing a T-shirt and shorts, order a cold draft beer or a craft beer and have the best burger in town.”

Panoramic views of downtown and the surrounding cityscape will be a key attraction, Parmegiani said.

“We’ll have an outdoor terrace where you can see Lake Centennial, the Mississippi River, Yazoo Canal, everything,” Parmegiani said.

10SOUTH’s beverage menu is evolving, but will offer a few craft beers and a wine list. A sample features barbecue shrimp and grits, pulled pork sandwiches, barbecue bacon burgers and flat-iron steak.

Fifty-five apartments between Trustmark Bank, which occupies the bottom two floors, and the restaurant should also be ready to rent by this fall. Renovations began last June.

For downtown to flourish there must be a variety of places to eat, shop and socialize to meet the needs of additional residents who will live downtown when this building and others are completed.

Built in 1905, the building housed First National Bank and, later, Trustmark, which merged with First National, and once was the tallest building in Mississippi.

The news is good for Vicksburg and all those who are ready to help the downtown area return to the vibrant days of yesteryear.

The restaurant and the loft apartments are expected to be ready soon, but for the view, the experience, we feel the wait will be well worth the end result.

It’s a vision coming to life.