Despite the economic downturn nationwide, Fondren continues to experience an upturn in relation to the establishment of new businesses. Over the past six months, no less than 20 businesses have either opened or are set to open within the next few weeks. If anyone has been overlooked, we apologize in advance and ask that if your business has been left out, you notify the Fondren Association of Businesses.

In Fondren Square at the intersection of Old Canton Road  and Fondren Place, the following new businesses are bringing new life: Zoubir Tabout Interiors (Zoubir/Tabout), Clapton Realty Company, Bellwether Church, and Circa. (Craig & Michele Escude). Down Mitchell Street: The Shoe Bar at Pieces and Salsa Mississippi have been joined by The Pink Lamborghini (Andrea Galloway-Thomas), Lipstick Lounge (Yolanda Minniefied), and Afrika Book Café (Tawanna and Rico Chapman). Fondren Corner has added Wier & Boerner Architecture, Ben Wise Attorney, Tony  Alonzo Attorney, and an expanded Mosaic (Courtney Peters). Also moving into the Corner has been Cultigraphic Creative (Kristen Ley).

Across the street in the Fondren House, we welcome Seabold Architectural Studio (Jeff Seabold). And, Duling School has become home to Just JOY Art (Joy McAllister), Henry Torrence Clothing (Henry Torrence) and Tulip — a floral shop (Leslie Frascogna).

Long time Fondren artist Richard McKay has opened Fondren Art Gallery on Duling at North State. And numerous crafts persons have heeded the call to display their wares at The Market in Fondren, the new open-air market on North State Street at Hartfield, operating monthly during warm weather.

The dining scene has expanded with the opening of Mimi’s and will grow again with the soon to be opening Babalu’s in the Duling School. There is even a newly opened Subway down Lakeland toward I-55.

But that’s not the end of the story. With the grand opening of Room by Room in the former Primos location on North State north of Meadowbrook the shopping and dining potential of North Fondren is being revived. The three Jamileh brothers have refurbished a large area of the old Primos as a venue for large receptions and parties. Additionally, Reaves Oriental Rugs & Antiques has recently expanded with the opening of the Designer Outlet Collection.

fab salutes these business owners who have invested themselves and their business in the future of Fondren.

Originally written for Fondren Renaissance Foundation's Winter News