JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint and the Mississippi Department of Transportation are battling it out in Jackson County court, and it's all over how much a 100-foot area around the restaurant is worth.
MDOT wants to use the area for it's Hwy. 57 widening project, and it's willing to pay $175,000 for it. The Shed owners Brad Orrison and his sister, Brooke Lewis, aren't buying it.
They believe the section of the nationally recognized restaurant is worth more than $1 million. Maps used during the trial show the less than half an acre in question, which includes part of the parking lot and an outbuilding.
The fight over the value of this small portion of land is just a tiny piece of a much larger puzzle boiling down to allegations that The Shed didn't get the necessary permits to rebuild and reopen following a fire that destroyed the joint in 2012. MDOT is using that as its main defense.
MDOT said the $175,000 comes after taking into consideration the popular eatery doesn't have the proper permits nor a certificate of occupancy. The Shed's counsel disagrees.
One thing everyone does agree on is this case is complex. The trial continues Tuesday with the judge, lawyers, and jurors doing a walk through of The Shed's property.
The county is set to take The Shed to court in January over the code violations. If the county wins, The Shed might have to be torn down and rebuilt.