Snag them while you can: A few tickets remain to our Summer Symposium in Jackson, MS.
This week, we offer you another sneak peek of a brand new oral history project: Iconic Restaurants of Jackson, Mississippi.
We have 3 people on this project, collecting more than 15 interviews, all in advance of our Summer Symposium, June 20-21.
Today, meet Brad Reeves of Brent’s Drugs. His story speaks to the culinary renaissance happening in Mississippi’s capital city and tells us how he breathed new life into this 68-year-old business. One word: cocktails.
Dr. Alvin Brent opened his pharmacy in late 1946 in the Fondren neighborhood just outside the Jackson city limits. Originally, medicinal prescriptions that didn’t taste very well could be compounded with a bit of soda water and simple syrup to be made palatable. Within years, with the rise of the teenager, these compounds evolved into milkshakes; a menu with burgers and other diner fare was added; the pharmacy became the soda fountain hang-out.
Sixty-three years later, with Brent’s Drugs under threat of closing, Fondren resident Brad Reeves stepped in to purchase the neighborhood institution. Brad has updated the menu, while keeping the favorites: burgers, shakes, and the egg and olive sandwich (a brilliantly weird and wonderful combination). More recently, Brad and his business partners opened a cocktail speakeasy — The Apothecary — in the old drug storeroom behind the kitchen. With dinner service imminent, Brent’s Drugs continues to evolve well into its seventh decade.
I’ve had people tell me, “The one thing I like about Brent’s is I feel like when I come in I always leave in a better mood. — Brad Reeves
Look for more highlights from our Jackson oral history project every day this week, and expect the full project online soon.