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Finger Lickin' Wings Closes, 10th Ward Buck Talks
Bounce artist 10th Ward Buck has taken on a political campaign, an autobiography, and even a theatre production at the Joy. However, the entrepreneur met his match when he opened Finger Lickin’ Wings (739 Jackson Avenue) in his native neighborhood. Buck recently closed up shop at the corner of Jackson and Annunciation, and he cites his lack of liquor license as the primary factor in his decision.
Buck’s birth name is Marlon Horton, which District B residents might recognize from the restaurateur’s City Council Campaign. Part of Horton’s motivation for running was to secure a liquor license, but politics proved hostile to his cause.
“One thing leads to another with [members of the City Council]. A bunch of people that’s not even near my restaurant, don’t even stay around there, they made that decision,” said Horton.
When Horton opened his restaurant in 2010, he threw a block party to celebrate his transition from bounce to business. According to Horton, the outdoor event was permitted and totally legal. However, he said he received backlash from the neighbors that set the tone for his stay at 739 Jackson Street.
“I gave one block party and they’re all going crazy over it,” said Horton.
Horton believes the politics of permitting played a role in him losing his battle. “The day I applied for my alcohol license it was the day I just started losing business. Period,” said Horton.
When he took his fight to Council President Stacy Head, Horton said he began to lose customers.
“The majority, maybe 75 percent of my business was white. When I started fighting against Stacy Head, that window got smaller,” said Horton.
Ultimately, Horton said, people want beer with their chicken, especially on game days. “There are people coming who want to watch the football game,” said Horton. “Unfortunately for me I didn’t have that alcohol.”
Horton said many of his regulars would head to Juan’s Flying Burrito and other nearby businesses on Magazine for game days. “Those were my customers on a regular day,” said Horton. “On a game day they’d come in and say ‘when you going to get that alcohol license,’” Horton explained.
Nothing is definite, but Horton hopes to draw from his experiences on Jackson and use his new wisdom to open another restaurant one day. “I took a loss, a big dive,” said Horton. “I want to thank everybody for the support,” he said.
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