In 1953, Martin Lassiter had a vision. It started out small, on the corner of Silas Brown and State Street, in downtown Jackson. He opened a small grill with his wife Kathleen. They served breakfast and lunch, and appealed to all walks of life; judges to felons, and everyone in between. In approximately 1973, Martin moved his business into the old Anthony's Steak House, located on State Street, and within four months he opened his first bar, serving beer only and brown bagging the liquor. Four years later, he acquired a liquor license and became a full-service bar. In 1976, I became a Martin's "regular" and oh the stories I can tell. There was one more move for Martin's, and it came in 1984, when it relocated to its present location, which is 214 South State Street.
Martin became ill with cancer in 1987 and sold the business to me. To this very day, we still feed and serve libations to judges and felons, and everyone in between, although breakfast is no longer served.
The libations start about noon with a handful of retired or self-employed people, or road-sales people who never work after 2:00 p.m. anyway, and once again, this is a real melting pot of people. The afternoon crowd is known as the "matinee bunch." Between 4:00 and 5:00, the matinee bunch is usually just disbanding when the 5 o'clock crowd arrives, when Martin's becomes officially referred to as the "Adult Day Care." This, again, is probably the largest melting pot of people; lawyers, judges, nurses, law officers, plumbers, preachers, etc. We have even considered actually changing the bar's name to "Martin's Adult Day Care."
The "day care" portion of the day starts clearing out around 8:30 or 9:00 (except on Friday nights). We then move into the "late night crowd" and once again it's no different from the previously mentioned (except the age group, aspiring med students, young lawyers, other hospitality wait staff ... by now I'm sure you get the picture). Late night at Martin's offers live music of all genres, karaoke, and open mike night until closing time.
Martin's has the absolute best bar staff in Jackson and offers a huge selection of liquors and beer, both domestic and imports. You can get a PBR or Samuel Smith, or pick from one of the other hundred or so beers we have in stock. On the liquor scene, you also have a great selection, anything from Johnnie Walker Blue, Corazon Tequila, Woodford Reserve (my personal favorite) right down to Old Taylor whiskey and Cluny scotch, with the in between being filled with all other popular wines and spirits Mississippi has to offer. Martin's does not have a "happy hour." Every hour is happy at Martin's where a mean drink will always be poured at a fair price. Come out and try one and if you don't agree, see me, I'll pay for it.
So, what started out over 50 years ago on State Street as a small breakfast / lunch grill has really come into its own and is certainly a landmark on the food /entertainment scene in Jackson. The story could end there, but it doesn't. Martin's will soon be adding new entertainment, pool tables and games, and two new bars, along with a large dance floor.
Hope to see you soon!