Founder of Overton Square passes in New Orleans
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) noted the passing in New Orleans of James D. “Jimmy” Robinson Jr., one of the founders of the Overton Square entertainment district, and made the following statement:
“I mourn the passing of my good friend Jimmy Robinson, a son of Memphis who brought a joyous spirit to the corner of Madison and North Cooper with the creation of Overton Square.
“Robinson — along with Ben Woodson, Charlie Hull and Frank Doggrell and developer George Saig — led the effort in 1969 to allow restaurants to sell liquor by the drink. Their work paid off when the first T.G.I. Friday’sfranchise outside New York City received a liquor license. With Friday’s as an anchor, the Square took off, with 11 restaurants and 27 shops employing 800 people in the 1970s.
“Jimmy was a brilliant, knowledgeable, creative thinker and a loyal, good friend, and he taught me a lot. He was also charitable, giving to good causes throughout the United States, including Memphis. He made Memphis a better place.”