CS’s: A Neighborhood Tradition

CS’s Restaurant at 1359 ½ N. West Street has for years served and influenced the Belhaven and Midtown neighborhoods. It has a narrative and history reminiscent of an earlier and more tranquil Jackson, and like the kites flown at old Riverside Park, thereby hangs a tale. The life of this establishment has been the common denominator of being located on the southwest corner of North West and Adelle Streets with a street number varying from 1357-1361. It has been an eatery in one form or another for 77 years. It remembers when streetcars ran up and down West Street and the country was still in the grasp of the Great Depression. Millsaps boys would sometimes grease the car tracks so that the vehicle could not climb a nearby hill. Boys have always been boys.

The property shared tenancy with the Millsaps College chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity in 1937.The site was originally the home of this fraternity and was a residence for several families prior to that dating back to 1930. It was originally (and later) the College Grill, becoming Adelle Grill in 1939. It retained this name until 1959, when it again became the College Grill under new ownership. In 1969, it became Hollingsworth’s Fine Foods under the proprietorship of Lloyd W. Hollingsworth and remained such until 1976 when it became known as Everybody’s Restaurant. How it became CS’s remains a state secret.

Pat Boland, the current owner, bought Everybody’s in 1978. In visits with Pat, he spoke of how he used to eat at the restaurant while still in high school. One of eight children, he remembers how much his parents enjoyed dining at the old Rotisserie at Five Points, and “I wanted to be in the restaurant business even then. When Everybody’s became vacant I bought it. I wanted to do something new and different both with the menu and the atmosphere.” He started with naming menu items for employees and customers. Many associate the menu with the Inez Burger. Inez Birchfield came to work at CS’s in 1979, left temporarily in 1990 and returned in September 1997. The original Inez Burger was “stolen from the Jackson Municipal Airport”, where Pat once worked and put on CS’s menu in 1980. It consists of homemade chili, nacho cheese and Jalapeno peppers. Other “name” burgers include the Suzy (bacon, Swiss cheese & grilled onions) and the Joe B (bacon, mozzarella and Jalapenos). Mexican, Mushroom and Everyday burgers, which come in different sizes, round out the burger menu and of course, ‘you can have fries with that.’ Plate lunches and entrees are also available.

In 1986, the beer laws changed from 18 to 21 years old and CS’s became more of a true restaurant than a hangout. The atmosphere is unique. Gone are the college motifs, the booths, fraternity crests and at times – but not all the time, the jukebox. Today the front door and walls are adorned with bumper stickers, handbills, photos, posters and pennants spanning nearly half a century. An estimated 3,000 beer cans from the same time period cover wall shelves with some from as far away as Australia. The collections were the brain child of Pat and two partners who thought their walls should “say something.”

I have my own memories of the restaurant from when I was a teenager in old Jackson and the establishment was called the Adelle Grill. Regardless of the name or time this little cafe was a Mecca for Millsaps students who in the 1950’s shared Cokes, shakes and dreams in individual booths. There were several tables in the back for “fine dining.” There was the ubiquitous jukebox playing records by Stan Kenton, Dave Brubeck and the Four Freshmen (no rock’n roll or Hank in this culturally refined milieu), and that staple of the 50’s – the pinball machine in the corner near the front door. Should a member of the college crowd have occasioned a glance in that direction, he or she would have seen the adolescent Billy Harvey easing a ball toward the “special” hole where free games awaited. His bike on the sidewalk outside and his heart on the game, Billy wished desperately to grow up a little more so he could be a college man and sit in one of those curtained booths with a girl who looked like glory. Bert Case and his family lived directly across Adelle Street in a two-story brick home attached to Case’s Canteen, one of Jackson’s many “ma and pa” groceries and incidentally, near the site of the city’s very first Jitney Jungle store (at the corner of Adelle and Grayson – now North Lamar), back in 1912.

The prices, fashions, trends and dreams have indeed changed over the years – but we can still ‘have fries with that’ and enjoy our lunch among the memorabilia that forms the texture of our past. Bert moved on to prominence at WLBT-TV and subsequently WAPT; his old home now a parking lot. Hollingsworth’s is now CS’s where the burgers are bigger. The shakes, booths, jukebox and pinball machine are gone as is Billy’s bike and the years he rode it. The “glory” girls are grandmothers now and the music is – to put it positively – “different”. But CS’s has a history and Inez was not the first famous inventor of a good burger to add to Saturday afternoon memories of our youth.

Adelle Grill > College Grille > Hollingsworth’s > CS’s. I’ll drink to them all!

Bill Harvey
September 2014

Bill Harvey is a native Jacksonian, living most of his life in Belhaven. An MSU Bulldog, he has had careers in journalism, education and as development director of the Andrew Jackson Council, Boy Scouts of America. Bill enjoys photography, music, writing articles for neighborhood sources and sharing experiences with friends at a local coffee shop. (Text copyright Bill Harvey, used by permission.)

18 Replies to “CS’s: A Neighborhood Tradition”

  1. I was at Millsaps before legalized liquor in MS, so the strongest drinks served were iced tea and coffee. It served burgers and fries, but the most popular items were the plate lunches. The main patrons were frat boys with the extra cash to sometimes eat off-campus instead of taking every meal on their meal plan in the ‘Saps cafeteria. The frat boys creatively supplied their own nick-name for the establishment to match its initials, “C**k S**ker’s.” Considering their homophobia, it was a strange name, but was somehow meant as a term of endearment toward the man supplying their comfort food, but also a term of mild contempt to show their recognition of the fact it was a greasy spoon with low culinary ambitions. It’s interesting that through all the subsequent transformations it has kept those initials, which apparently have now become cryptic.

    1. Let me be the first to assure you that in local lore, CS’s name stands for “cocksucker’s”. It’s not cryptic as in secret by any means, it’s just sort of one of those word-of-mouth things that are never written down, for whatever reason. I think it’s a great story.

  2. It should be possible to find out the name of the owner who gave it his initials, C.S., in the ’60s. The main patrons were in the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, which was located directly across West St. on the Millsaps campus. There was no perimeter fence in those days at that part of the campus, and KAs packed the place for lunch every day. C.S. manned the cash register and oversaw the whole operation. The KAs knew him by name. He had a casual business manner, but was not overly friendly. I’m sure any KA from the mid-’60s would remember his name.

    1. Kappa Sigs gave the name CS’s to Hollingsworths. They were referring to Mr. Hollingworth (as that ole CS-er) when he corrected them unpleasantly for being noisy in the rent house where he lived and the 2 Kappa Sigs also lived. That is how the name came about.

  3. Typical clueless KA. 🙂 In the 1961-1962 time frame, when I was a freshman and a Kappa Sig, there was a fairly hostile encounter between Mr. Hollingsworth and a couple of my fraternity brothers. The epithet “cocksucker” was forcefully applied to Mr. H. Given his unfortunately dour personality, the epithet stuck and got shortened. The owners right after Mr. H knew that the restaurant was commonly known as CS’s, and made up a story that “CS” stood for “Central Station.” My fellow Kappa Sig Gerald Jacks went by CS’s during Homecoming Weekend a few years back, and for the first time Pat Boland got the correct story from a reliable source. For the avoidance of doubt, Gerald was not involved in the eponymous altercation.

    1. I had some good Kappa Sig friends. But I left the Pikes during my Sophomore year, but they said it didn’t matter, that I’ll always be a member. I haven’t been to their reunion. But every Spring since 2012 there is an Occupy CS’s by some “Major Radicals” who marched around the Governor’s Mansion after the Jackson State murders of 1970. Maybe I’ll get to that next Spring.

      1. Of course: Occupy CS’s. My wife and I were in the protest march following the killings at JSU in 1970, and these are all veterans of the march, including a good many Pikes. By then I was on the Millsaps faculty. Now I must thank you for refreshing MY memory.

  4. In this week’s Northside Sun (May 12, 2016) Jill Conner Browne has a letter-to-the-editor that gives a slightly different version of the story from that of Dan Hise in the above comments. She suggests that the “CS” was an unpopular owner after Mr. Hollingsworth and not Mr. Hollingsworth. She says that is the story the Hollingsworth family tells. Either way, a great story and enjoyed reading this post again.

  5. Loves me some Inez burger! I knew both Joe Bennett and Suzy (forget her last name) from the late 1970s when burgers got named after them. And Inez – who looks the same after all these years – is still THE coolest (on par with “Coach Jimmy” at the now-defunct Cherokee.

  6. I was a KA ’64-’67 at Millsaps and spent to much time across the street at Hollingsworth’s establishment, which by that time was affectionately know as CS’s. Yes, the name implied is correct, but I cannot attest to the accuracy of the Kappa Sig version, but have not heard a more reliable version. If Jerald Jacks said it was so, I believe him.

    My memory has nothing to do with food. It was at the same time a low point and a high point in my young life. I was a new freshman with a freshly shaved head (yes, we did that back then) wearing my purple beanie standing just inside the door playing the pinball machine. Suddenly my beanie was snatched from my head and the chase was on. My assailant (an MC student) piled into the open door of the waiting car. I followed close behind and after two blocks was ejected from the car with beanie in hand. Lows and highs.

    Pat Boland has been a wonderful owner for all these many years and I still enjoy lunch with friends at CS’s.

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