Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Monday, April 30, 2012

Coming Soon to Mound Bayou: Magic City Italian and Seafood Restaurant

 Saturday was our monthly Youth Day in Mound Bayou.  They had asked for activities related to Arts and Crafts and Team Building Adventure Based projects.  Because part of the focus is in youth-led community development, and ties in with the City's goal of historic preservation and community development, we introduced a new twist.  Using the photographs from our first historic preservation workshop last October, the photos from the January Wintersession class, and some of the photos I have taken over my trips there, we created a paper database of parts of buildings in Mound Bayou.

I also threw in a few photos from other places around the state.  It was in keeping with the theme of the 125th anniversary coming up in July: preserving and building on the past, and motivating for the future.  The task of each group was to use the parts of buildings--doors, walls, windows, roofs, steps, etc., to create a building that did not currently exist in Mound Bayou, but which they would like to have in Mound Bayou.  They were to "build" their building, say why they wanted it, and identify 3 things they thought they/the community would need to do to achieve the plan for the building.
This group decided on Magic City Italian and Seafood Restaurant.  These parts of Italianate buildings were scattered throughout the pages of building parts, yet this group selected them, placed them together, and then called it an Italian restaurant, all the while never having heard of Italianate.  I have to ask, "How awesome is that?"  Good eye for design is my take on it.

Why do you want this business in Mound Bayou?  "Because we need to be able to go out and eat a nice meal without having to leave town."  "I like Italian food and seafood, and there is no place to get that here."

What do you need to do to have this business in Mound Bayou?  "Someone who knows how to be a chef."  "Investment money."  "Someone to work in the restaurant."

We asked if they might want to join us during our May Intersession class one night to prepare Italian food and seafood during one of our communal meals.  Absolutely.  Would they like to take some type of cooking class if we could offer it?  Yes.  If we could create some type of training program for this type of work, and have a small-scale cottage industry, would they be interested in helping to run it?  Yes.  Examples of this type of entrepreneurship/training are Cafe Reconciliation in New Orleans and the new Cafe Climb on the Gulf Coast.

Who knows, we might see Magic City Italian and Seafood Restaurant in Mound Bayou in a few years. Tomorrow, we will take a look another new building in the plans for Mound Bayou.  What's your guess as to what kind of business these youth planned next?

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