Don’t mind the construction: Fondren After 5 returns tonight with a respectable slate of activities for this first event of 2018. We’re calling it the “Sidewalk Preview Party.” (“Hey! Look, new ADA accessible pathways!”)*

Jumping right in (with a dining pairing suggested for most activities)…

The Flamingo in association with The Roguish Gent podcast hosts ‘Sipp and Sauce’ beginning at 5 p.m. Entry is free for a live DJ set and Happy Hour pricing on PBR. VIPs, though, will opt for the ticketed portion of the evening where you can enjoy all you can eat chicken wings and all you can drink champagne. Buy tickets in advance here. Barrelhouse is next door when you’re ready for dinner or cocktails.

• A spring art show kicks off at 5 p.m. at Interiors Market. Featuring the works of nine Mississippi artists, look for paintings by Lisa Paris, Pryor Buford Lampton, Bob Tompkins, Linda Ishee, Susan Ingram, Lyn Isonhood, Beth Dean, Lorrie Drennan and Andrew Bucci. Brent’s should be open a bit later for a nostalgic bite along with Apothecary in the back.

• If you take a stroll north on Old Canton Road, artist Andy Young will welcome you into his Galloway Gallery and Gardens Open House. A wide assortment of artwork will be for sale – paintings, ceramics, icons and a few glass pieces too. It’s 5 p.m. until. Might as well make the block (it will be a nice evening for a walk) and circle back to The Pig & Pint.

• Welcome Sidney Creekmore Crews & Carol Cox Heidelberg and their Collage Studio, open tonight in Duling Hall across from Joan Hawkins Art & Interiors. They’re the newest kids on the block so we’re excited to stop in and see what they have to offer. Saltine is down the hall and CAET is a few steps further down the block (they’re offering some new desserts from their spring menu).

• At Fondren Corner, Bliss Gift & Home (they moved here late last year) will offer storewide savings, some items up to 50% off.  Rooster’s, Basil’s and LaBrioche are just down the hall.

• At Hops & Habanas, store favorite musician Betsy Berryhill will take the stage at 7 p.m. While enjoying the show in Hop’s back courtyard, grab a beer from their extensive draft selection. They also offer a menu of bar bites. If you crave more, you can always walk toward Aladdin, just east on Lakeland Drive. Or a coffee from Cups, maybe?

• Chandeleur is the featured beer tonight at Fondren Public. They have a great food menu, too. And bocce and cornhole!

• Stop by Rainbow Co-op for the first ever Metaphysical Fair beginning at 5 p.m. They will have candles, oils, tarot readers, crystals, etc. Swing by Fair Trade Green as well.

• Bring the kids: St. Luke’s United Methodist Church will have their bounce house inflated and ready (and free lemonade)! Then, step across the street for Saltine or Babalu, especially if you have little ones in tow. Or, walk them a few blocks down State Street (use the sidewalks on the west side of the road) for Sal & Mookie’s.

Sneaky Beans is the usual hang spot for many, but with construction right out front, the coffee shop will be a bit quieter tonight. Owner Byron Knight says no band, but, he may sneak in a special. Stop by and grab a beer to enjoy there or a coffee to walk about. Walker’s is two doors north if you want to do a nice dinner after.

• We’re told Duling Avenue activities are a go, too: Art for kids, The Josh Ward Band, food, beer, artists and The Jackson Zoo!

• Do you like cold beer, ping pong, and discounts at the best restaurants, bars, retail stores and workout studios? Mantle. City Club says they do, too. Stop by their Duling location – look for the navy tent out front – to get all three of these things.

• Last but not least, Ceasar Torres and his sister, Ana Torres, invite you to stop by the soon-to-be-open location of Green Ghost Tacos in the former Lenny’s Subs for al pastor street tacos. They’ll be selling them outside and may even let you take a peek inside if you ask!

This is what we know of at this moment. We’ll update you as we get additional info.

*By now, you know that the sidewalk enhancement grant work is in full swing. Two crews, sometimes working night shifts, are diligently toiling to add pedestrian-friendly upgrades to the area. They are uncovering years of decay and neglect and working to remedy these items, too, while the ground is open. Their current work zone is State Street from Fondren Corner to Duling Avenue. By tonight, they may have turned the corner on Duling and headed west toward Old Canton Road.

This is also a good time to remind you that speeding fines double in construction zones. Obey all instructions from workers and be patient as they work to make the area better.

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