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OCSHPC commissioner questions logo choice for new Rowdy Rebs

The owners of the new Rowdy Rebs restaurant and club appeared before the Oxford Courthouse Square Historic Preservation Commission Monday to gain approval for some new windows, a door, lighting and a new sign.

The commission approved the Certificate of Appropriateness for a folding window wall and the painted door; however, they tabled the discussion on the outside lighting — five round bulbs attached to gargoyles heads — and the hanging sign, saying they needed more details on those items.

Owner Jordan Nicaud told the commission he just put the lights up to have something there since there were open wires when he took over the building that most recently housed Fins restaurant.

Commissioner Tom Howorth also offered Nicaud some advice on the restaurant’s logo which is two Rs on top of each other with a circle around it and a red hat on top that resembles the type of hat worn by the former University of Mississippi mascot, Colonel Reb.

“I can’t tell you what to use as your logo, but the university has been trying to get away from that image for almost a decade,” Howorth said. “I’m just not sure why you would want to embrace that.”

Nicaud made no comment in reply to Howorth.

The restaurant opened last week but will close again for a week or so while installing the new folding windows and door, according Nicaud.

COA for salon

Also on Monday, the commission tabled a request to renew the COA to relocate the La Rousse Salon building to make way for a parking lot to a boutique hotel planned across the street on Jefferson Avenue.

Plans for the three-story boutique hotel were originally approved in 2010; however Jeff Williams, with Williams Engineering, told the commission Monday that the owner, Stephano Capomazza, had run into some funding problems but that plans are moving forward quickly presently. The commission renewed the COA in May 2015. COAs are good for 12 months.

The current building will be donated to the Habitat for Humanity to be used in Lafayette County. La Rousse will move inside the new hotel.

The parking lot is across the street from the hotel due to the lack of space for enough parking on the hotel site. Williams said the owner planned on putting in a simple arm gate to keep people who were not guests of the hotel from parking on the lot.

The commission members agreed they needed to see details about the gate and more details of the landscaping plan before voting to renew the COA.

Williams will come back before the commission during a special meeting on May 16.