Godfather of Atlanta’s nightclub business, James Mason, dies

James Mason (Facebook)
James Mason (Facebook)

James H. Mason’s name was an Atlanta household name in the late 1980’s. He owned popular and trendy Black nightclubs The Warehouse, in downtown Atlanta, and Diamonds and Pearls, located on Cheshire Bridge Road. He was also a road and tour manager for the Bar-Kays when he lived in Memphis. He also co-owned Dominique’s nightclub [Dominique Wilkins] on Windy Hill Road, which later was renamed Deion’s Club 21 [Deion Sanders], VIP, Traxx, the Parrot, and Zazu’s, as well as the Park Place Beauty Salon.

While Mason’s good character and legacy were clouded by his affiliation with Fred Tokars, the attorney accused of murdering his wife, Sara Tokars, because she allegedly uncovered evidence of money laundering, he was admired and respected by many for his mentorship and professionalism. On August 25, 1993, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Tokars and Mason with various racketeering, drug, and money laundering violations.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Mason, 58, passed away on Tuesday, Sep. 22, 2015 at Ohio State University Medical Center. He died of Stage IV cancer.

He is survived by his mother, Mary (Leslie) McCallop of Dayton, Ohio. and step-mother, Dorothy Mason.

His funeral will be held on Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2015 at the Tabernacle Baptist Church located at 2188 Woodward Ave. and will be officiated by Rev. Verlin F. Samples, Jr. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until time of service, which is noon.

Services are being provided by C.D. White & Son Funeral Home located at 1217 Mount Vernon Avenue in Columbus, Ohio.

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