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Five Metro Retail Stores You DO Want To Visit

You’ve seen (some) of the ugly in our Metro area thus far in the BAMSouth.com countdown of retail outlets and stores you need to avoid recently. But once again—in keeping with our pro-business philosophy—we’re presenting the next up of the “Five Metro Retail Stores You DO Want To Visit.” Without further ado..

In continuing with our more positive spin on stores, outlets, restaurants and businesses you really should patronize in the Metro Jackson we now turn our attention to number two on the list—

2. The Tire Depot

1191 Old Fannin Rd.
Brandon, MS
5758 Terry Rd.
Byram, MS

tiredepotStarted in 2004, the name of this outstanding automotive repair shop may throw you: there’s a lot more than “tires” at Tire Depot. If you have an issue with, or a need for, just about anything having to do with your car, the chances are good that the staff at Tire Depot can handle it.

While tires are indeed their specialty, Tire Depot offers a full range of auto repair services and maintenance assistance and here’s the great part for you the consumer: they’re affordable and they tell the truth. Even if it’s news you don’t want to hear, Jeff, Kelly, Russ and the other staff members at the two locations are upfront about the prognosis, the price and the predicted time of repair.

We’ve actually seen customers leave in a huff when told news they didn’t want to hear about their vehicle only to come back an hour or so later. And why? Well, they usually discover that the best deal was indeed the first one they were offered.

Pricing and honesty are crucial when it comes to auto repair, obviously. But so is just plain friendliness. Sure, thattiredepot2 sounds quaint—but it’s true. The customer is treated with respect and made to feel comfortable at Tire Depot unlike a lot of repair shops. You can describe your weird noises and “domahickeys” to the people at Tire Depot and not get laughed out of the parking lot.

Bottom line: Tire Depot IS a business in the Metro you want to go to when you need their services. Highly recommended.

You’ve seen (some) of the ugly in our Metro area thus far in the BAMSouth.com countdown of retail outlets and stores you need to avoid.

3. Fratesi’s
910 Lake Harbour Road
Ridgeland, MS
Hours: 5-9:30 or later

IMG_8557Okay, it may sound like that here at BAMSouth.com we eat out a lot. We really don’t do as much of the local dining scene as we should be when we do it’s at a quality, locally-owned restaurant. Like Fratesi’s in Ridgeland.

Owned and operated by Pam Fratesi since October 1993, this little Italian gem is nestled away on Lake Harbour Road and has to qualify as one of the most intimate places to eat in our area.

Pam serves a “true taste of Italy” via the Mississippi Delta and that fact is evident in every item on the menu. Where to start? Probably the best pizza you’ll ever eat in your life can be found at Fratesi’s. Plus the usual array of pasta, seafood, steak and appetizers that—trust us—you’ll love.

But what makes the food even better is the atmosphere: Dark and intimate with candlelit seating—coupled with classic music by some of the legendary crooners of a better musical era—make dining at Fratesi’s a special experience. You’re not rushed as you enjoy your meal; you’re encouraged to savor it.

And just last year, Pam opened a deck for patrons to dine outside weather permitting. A wonderful option on those pleasant Spring evenings.

It’s local, it’s great, it’s classy—it’s Fratesi’s. You definitely DO want to go there!

155 W. Jackson Street
Ridgeland, MS 3915

elys Owned by Richard and Katie Shapley and named after Richard’s grandfather, Ely, this upscale, upstairs restaurant located in Olde Towne Ridgeland would be considered a hidden jewel if it wasn’t already so popular.

From the dark, romantic decor to the highly skilled and courteous waitstaff, Ely’s Restaurant is truly one of Metro Jackson’s finest eating establishments. We can’t say we’ve ever had a bad meal or experience at Richard’s place since he opened in 2008.

You have to go for the crawfish bisque and crab claws to start off your dining experience.Then go ahead and enjoy some of the best in steak and seafood offered in our area which, again, is served with attentiveness and courteousness and not constant hovering.

We like the fact that Ely’s is upstairs and the view below is nice and relaxing in the dining room. The bar, which features a widescreen television, is also simultaneously comfortable enough for important business meetings or intimate romantic occasions. elys_bar

Yes, we really enjoy and appreciate Ely’s. A lot. And we’re not getting paid to heap these accolades either, although maybe a couple of free cocktails after this article is published will be offered to us. Hey—that’s the way media people work!

In all seriousness, go try Ely’s for dinner soon. You’ll be extremely glad you did. Ask for Richard, tell him BAMSouth.com and Jack Criss sent you, and be ready to be treated like royalty while dining like the same. Enjoy!


5. Arby’s Restaurant
804 Lake Harbour Drive
Ridgeland, MS

arbys_storeYes, it’s a national chain. But this local Arby’s is simply great—primarily because of the wonderful lady who has been manager of this particular location near the Reservoir for 11 years, Ms. Zanita Williams or, as she is known, “Z.”

“When I started working here at Arby’s, my manager had a hard time pronouncing my name,” “Z” told her biggest fan, BAMSouth.com Publisher Jack Criss, recently. “So, ‘Z” just kind of stuck,” she laughs.

“Z” and her staff are consummate professionals. In an industry that has (deservedly) been given a black eye, the people at Arby’s on Lake Harbour are kind, patient, friendly and attentive—and, surprisingly, a little older than the average fast food worker.


Ms. Zanita Williams

Not only are many of the patrons at this Arby’s known, called and acknowledge by the first names—obvious regulars—all guests are treated with the utmost respect. And, hey: the food is really, really good.

Besides all of these great qualities, this particular Arby’s plays 60s and 70s soul music throughout the restaurant. How great is that? At Jack Criss’ last visit, he heard Al Green and Chaka Khan which, as he reported, made those tasty curly fries even better!

Go by this particular Arby’s and ask to see and meet “Z”—we promise you won’t regret it. Be sure to go hungry, too. And tell her that Jack Criss sent you!



Contributing Writer
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