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Sophomore Spanish Club Closes, Metro Jackson Passport and Holiday Inn "We Care" Program

Sophomore Spanish Club, a ‘90s-themed Latin restaurant that opened inside The District at Eastover in August 2019, recently closed its doors due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy Sophomore Spanish Club

Sophomore Spanish Club, a ‘90s-themed Latin restaurant that opened inside The District at Eastover in August 2019, recently closed its doors due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy Sophomore Spanish Club

Sophomore Spanish Club, a ‘90s-themed Latin restaurant that opened inside The District at Eastover in August 2019, recently closed its doors due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Owner Ray-Scott Miller said in an interview with WJTV that he plans to take the resources that he used at Sophomore Spanish Club to invest in its sister restaurant next-door, Fine & Dandy. The staff at Fine & Dandy plan to focus on pandemic-friendly outdoor dining accommodations that still work during the winter.

Miller posted a farewell message on the restaurant's Facebook page, which is reprinted below.

"My father always said, 'Son, the most expensive thing in life is an education.' For the past 13 months or so, I have received a top-shelf study. Sadly, Sophomore Spanish Club was the tuition. And for now, it must close.

COVID can provide cover for the shame of failures unresponsive to our efforts. Restaurant people might be a lot of things but slouches we are not. I could say, and you would oblige that COVID consumes capital necessary for over-staffing a new restaurant. We were undercapitalized for both feeding a pandemic and building consistency of service excellence in our first year. We were managing costs, not sales, which is a disease that spreads, too. A public distaste for SSC’s brand seemed fortuitous.

At the fork where decisions meet, futility dead ends many paths for restaurants these days. For some, no trail leads to survival regardless of the force with which restaurateurs beat their heads against an expo line. Our other restaurants are pestered by COVID’s imposition but staffed and established. SSC lacks antibodies of age to fight the pandemic.

COVID is dicey, but does not quarantine our potential. I am applying myself to prevent stubbornness and accept defeat in preparation for our future. Had we continued without vigor from all stakeholders, SSC would have lost everything. Perhaps, vigor's destruction is another of COVID's evils.

However, I am to blame. COVID is merely another obstacle. I admit the unprecedented but deny the excuses. I was not prepared for 2020's challenges and could have been. I own my missteps, even if unintentional. Deflecting blame will only squander this Year of the Dumpster Fire and overlook the education only a 2020 restaurant can teach. 2020 is now my advantage: a gift of sharpened knives. I am more sure of my tools than ever and do not fear what is next.

I wish all restaurants the fortune to outlast this temporary toxicity. Our lessons will instruct our industry's future. Mostly, I thank our guests and our staff, who exerted 2020 effort in hope and support for us. We have found a faint heartbeat remaining in SSC. We will lick our wounds, patch up holes, restock, refuel and rebuild."

Visit Jackson Launches Metro Jackson Passport

Visit Jackson recently partnered with the Metro Jackson Attractions Association to launch the Metro Jackson Passport, a free book the size of a traveler's passport that allows Jackson tourists to collect stamps from restaurants, attractions and landmarks around the city.

The passport contains descriptions, information and contact information for participating locations. Once a visitor collects six stamps in the passport, they can redeem it at the JXN Welcome Center (308 E. Pearl St.) in downtown Jackson Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a free City With Soul t-shirt.

The passport is available to pick up for free at the JXN Welcome Center and participating locations such as Eudora Welty House & Garden, the Arts Center of Mississippi, the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, the Mississippi Children's Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and more.

For more information, visit jxn.ms.

Holiday Inn Express Downtown-Coliseum "We Care" Program

The Holiday Inn Express Downtown-Coliseum hotel (310 Greymont Ave.) recently launched a new program called “We Care,” which offers a special hospital relief rate for any guests that need to travel due to a medical emergency, procedure or hospitalization at any hospital in the Jackson metro.

The hospital relief rate is also available to family and friends who require lodging due to another person's in-patient care. Guests that bring a hospital letterhead stating their lodging needs can receive a hospital rate of roughly $60 per night. Patients and guests who are receiving medical care from Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital will receive a $40 per night hospital rate. This rate does not apply to guests who are receiving medical care due to COVID-19, and the hotel is not accepting guests who need to quarantine.

“We Care" also includes Holiday community drives, a Heroes Crises rate for first responders, special hospital employee rates and a special evacuee relief rate.

The "We Care" hospital rate is available through Dec. 31, 2021. For more information, call 601-948-4466.

COVID-19 has closed down the main sources of the JFP's revenue -- concerts, festivals, fundraisers, restaurants and bars. If everyone reading this article gives $5 or more, we should be able to continue publishing through the crisis. Please pay what you can to keep us reporting and publishing.


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