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    LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS: Culvers confirms purchase of former Ruby Tuesday, to start construction this spring – Dayton Daily News - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The new Vandalia restaurant will employ between 90 and 100 people. We are labor-intensive, Potts said earlier this year. Customers order at a counter, but our employees bring the food to your table. In the drive-through, we will often run food out to the cars.

    Mark Myers, the operating partner for the new restaurant, recently completed 12 weeks of training at the home office of Culvers franchising operations in Sauk City, Wisconsin, and will be assisting a new Culvers opening next month in Florida before returning to Ohio to launch the Vandalia restaurant, Potts said.

    We look forward to the challenges and rewards of opening this third Dayton-area location, Potts said.

    Culvers Dayton-area expansion may not stop with Vandalia. Potts said earlier this year that he has looked at sites in Kettering and near Wright State University for possible expansion and has talked with potential franchise partners to add more Dayton-area locations.

    Culvers was founded in 1984 in Sauk City, Wisconsin by co-founder Craig Culver and his family. All but six Culvers restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees.

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    LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS: Culvers confirms purchase of former Ruby Tuesday, to start construction this spring - Dayton Daily News

    Huntington marinas, beaches to get improvements in off-season – Newsday - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Beach and boating season is still far off, but Huntington Town is taking advantage of the quiet time to make improvements at its maritime facilities.

    Upgrades are planned at two of the towns three marinas Halesite and Mill Dam and new facilities and updated equipment are proposed at town beaches.

    Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said the ideas were generated by Maritime Services director Dom Spada, Senior Harbormaster Fred Uvena, the maritime community and beachgoers.

    "This year a lot more people were out at our beaches," Lupinacci said of 2020. "Theyve always been the center of attraction but more importantly now during the pandemic."

    Officials last year took delivery of new pump-out and response boats and installed a new playground at Fleets Cove Beach. Construction of new wood docks at Hobart Beach boat ramp has begun and is expected to be completed by the spring.

    Construction of transient docks, which provide parking for boats coming into Huntington for the day, are high on the list, Lupinacci said. Town officials said the Harbormasters Office takes calls all summer from boaters asking where they can dock.

    "Were looking into the possibility of installing a transient dock at the town dock by Prime [restaurant] and construction of a transient dock behind the Halesite fire department," he said.

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    New facilities are also being proposed at a park named for one of Long Islands favorite sons.

    "Were installing a pier and floating dock assembly at Billy Joel Park for transient boat dockage," Lupinacci said of the park in Cold Spring Harbor.

    The town's engineering department is currently working on design plans. Town officials said costs could be around $275,000, but will have a better idea after the project goes out to bid.

    The construction of the floating dock assemblies will be built in-house by town maritime employees at an estimated cost of $80,000.

    The boating community wont be the only ones to have something to look forward to.

    "Were replacing out-of-date playground equipment at Gold Star Battalion and Centerport beaches and adding apparatus to Crescent Beach," Lupinacci said.

    Here is what's on tap for town marinas:

    The Town Board recently approved a contract with D&B Engineers and Architects for a new steel bulkhead design and the reconstruction of Halesite Marina Park. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2021 with an estimated cost of $1.5 million to $2 million.

    This marina remains closed. The town in 2020 sued the contractors hired in 2011 to design and reconstruct the marina. The towns suit alleges the work done by the contractors was so shoddy that it created dangerous, unsafe and hazardous conditions, and has cost the town money. Town officials are citing breach of contract, negligence and misrepresentation of expertise, failures in calculations and design, among other deficiencies.

    Deborah Morris is a native Long Islander and covers the town of Huntington.

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    Huntington marinas, beaches to get improvements in off-season - Newsday

    Guy whose North End restaurant was cited for Covid-19 violations spent New Year’s Eve at a maskless, crowded dance party in Florida, where he screamed… - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Christian Silvestri, whose Rabia's on Salem Street got a warning from the Boston Licensing Board last week about unmasked servers and too many people at tables, celebrated New Year's Eve at a Naples, FL cigar bar - where he set aside some time to yell about Florida freedom:

    "You can't do this in Boston, baby!" he yelled. "Woo!"

    "Whadaya have to say about it?!? Woo! Today's toast, Charlie Baker, Marty Walsh, listen to DeSantis, this is what he's got going baby!" And then, referring either to Cuba or Massachusetts, it wasn't clear, he yelled, "Freedom! We're not in a communist country!"

    In another video from the dance floor, he yelled: "You can't do this back in the Northeast, you can't do this in Boston! You can't do this in Boston! Remember back in the day when you used to be able to do this in Boston? Get the fuck outta heah!"

    Still, for Silvestri, those were pretty tame comments. For months now, Silvestri has been posting obscenity-packed video diatribes about Baker and, to a lesser extent Walsh, on his Facebook page, sometimes enough to earn him Facebook timeouts. Simply, he doesn't believe all the Covid-19 numbers and thinks Massachusetts politicians are intentionally out to destroy small businesses and the families who run them through their Covid-19 restrictions.

    After Baker announced some Covid-19 rollbacks on Dec. 22, as numbers and hospitalizations surged, Silvestri complained about what he sees as the unfairness of squeezing gyms and restaurants while letting Home Depot, Target and other large stores stay open.

    Well, well, well, here we are another week another rollback down to fuckin' stage 2 fuckin' step 2 go stick em up your sister's ass 2, 3, 4, who gives a fuck about stages nowadays?

    He told Baker and Walsh, or as he called them, "pieces of shit," to go on unemployment to see what it's like and warned them they won't always be "Superman" and one day they'll be walking down the street and the people they forced to close their businesses and lose their homes would spot them and, well, he didn't say what would happen.

    On Dec. 8, he complained about "the pussies" running Massachusetts and other blue states:

    We all know that these governors in these fuckin' blue states are outta their minds! They got no fuckin' brain cells because the red states are wide open, baby, and they're havin' the time of their life enjoying life being normal while we're sitting here in a fucking cage listening to these fuckin' idiotic fuckin' pieces of shit Democrat trying to ram their [unclear] shit down our throats.

    And after again complaining about how Baker was ruining people's businesses and lives, he added,

    You better find some money to help these fuckin' businesses because God forbid, one day, you're going down motherfuckers.

    Silvestri did not appear at the licensing-board hearing on Rabia's violations, instead sending his manager and lawyer, who, after being yelled at by board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce about the "extreme case," meekly apologized and vowed to never do it again.

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    Guy whose North End restaurant was cited for Covid-19 violations spent New Year's Eve at a maskless, crowded dance party in Florida, where he screamed...

    The 2021 Restaurant Openings That D.C. Dining Experts Cant Wait to Try – Eater DC - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Following an Eater tradition, we asked a group of restaurant critics, journalists, bloggers, and as a new twist this year a couple industry pros to weigh in on the year in food. Their answers to an annual Year in Eater survey will be revealed in several posts this week. Next up, the dining experts share what 2021 restaurant openings excite them the most.

    Tom Sietsema, Washington Post food critic: Im a big fan of Peruvian cooking, so I cant wait to take a bite out of Chelita in Blagden Alley, where chef Carlos Delgado will be featuring ceviche and skewered meats, fish, and vegetables the first of multiple ideas under one roof.

    Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian food editor: It feels weird to be excited for a new restaurant, doesnt it? But Im very intrigued by Love, Makoto, the Japanese food hall coming to Capitol Crossing Development on Mass Ave. Maybe things will be semi-normal by the time its slated to open later next year?

    Lenore Adkins, freelance food writer: Imperfecto, the latest from Venezuelan chef Enrique Limardo and co-owner Ezequiel Vzquez-Ger thatll bring a Latin-Mediterranean mix to West End. Theyre the same duo behind Immigrant Food and the wildly popular Seven Reasons and I honestly dont know how they get any sleep!

    Ann Limpert, Washingtonian food editor and critic: Im excited to see what lawyer-turned-pizzaiolo Joey Barber does with the Capitol Hill brick and mortar space for Della Barba, which is currently carryout only. Hes getting into the bread game, too. And I cant wait to see what the Dabneys Jeremiah Langhorne has up his sleeve for later in the year.

    Raman Santra, Barred in DC blogger: A tie between Daru (Indian food/cocktail spot) and Little Grand (long awaited pizza spot from All Souls folks).

    Takera Gholson, Flights and Foods blogger: I am a chocolate lover so Im looking forward to Swiss chocolate chain Lderach coming to Union Station.

    Simone Jacobson, co-owner of Thamee: St. Vincent Wine and De Rhum Spot on Georgia and Sherman Avenue NW, respectively, will bring a lot of great new energy to the neighborhood. I got a sneak peek at St. Vincent when construction was still being finished and I am fantasizing about very long afternoons in that humongous back garden and reading a book alone on the overlooking patio with lots and lots of great wine.

    Anela Malik, Feed the Malik blogger: El Cielo. Though its already opened, Im truly excited for a time in 2021 (hopefully) where I feel comfortable sitting inside to try the tasting experience.

    Tim Carman, Washington Post food columnist: You know what? I just want the bars and restaurants that closed down temporarily to return next year. That would be gift enough.

    Paola Velez, executive pastry chef for Maydan, Compass Rose, and La Bodega: I havent experienced most of the new 2020 restaurants yet. Ill be trying to make my way through that list first.

    Gabe Hiatt, Eater D.C. editor: Daru on H Street NE, with Dante Datta folding Indian flavors into cocktails and Suresh Sundas creating bar snacks like Desi guacamole papdi chaat or pickle-spiced achari chicken wings. The Peruvian multiplex coming to Blagden Alley from former China Chilcano chef Carlos Delgado and the Service Bar squad. Philotimo, Masseria chef-owner Nick Stefanellis long-delayed downtown restaurant that will take a high-end look at regional Greek cuisines. Maiz 64 on the 14th Street NW strip, because Im interested to see how chef Alam Mndez Florian rebounds after leaving Urbano 116, which got a lot better after ironing out some kinks. Jos Andrss Spanish Diner in Bethesda. Federalist Pig chef Rob Sondermans fried chicken place, Honeymoon Chicken, coming to Petworth. Carusos Grocery, a red sauce joint attached to the Roost in Capitol Hill. It will be fun to see what chef Autumn Cline does with her new executive chef job at Evening Star Cafe in Del Ray.

    More from the Year in Eater

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    The 2021 Restaurant Openings That D.C. Dining Experts Cant Wait to Try - Eater DC

    Downtown Austin business news: New restaurants, a cookie service from an alum of The French Laundry and a second location for Bandit Coffee -… - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Cookie Rich is a new cookie pickup and delivery service from Lorin Peters, a former chef de partie at The French Laundry. (Courtesy Todd White)

    1. Bandit Coffee opened a second Austin location at 2902 Medical Arts St., Austin, in mid-November. The coffee shop originally opened in New York City before moving its operations to Austin. It opened its first Austin location in October on North Lamar Boulevard. Customers order coffee at the store through a mobile app.

    2. Cookie Rich, a new cookie pickup and delivery service, is taking orders in Austin as of Dec. 10. The new company comes from Lorin Peters, a native Austinite whose career as a chef includes a stint as chef de partie at three-Michelin star restaurant The French Laundry in California. Customers can order Cookie Rich for delivery through DoorDash or pick up at the company's kitchen at 2201 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin.

    3. An unnamed, 41-story condominium tower at 84 East Avenue that developers are calling The East Tower for permitting purposes is set to break ground in the middle of 2021, with construction completion scheduled for the of 2023. The tower will include 284 residential homes averaging 975 square feet, according to a press release from Austin-based developer Pearlstone Partners, which is partnering with New York development company ATCO Properties and Management on the project. Austin's Design Commission approved the project by a 6-0 vote Nov. 23. 512-835-4890.

    4. Fabi + Rosi, a West Austin neighborhood restaurant located at 509 Hearn St., Austin, closed its doors for good Dec. 10. In a note to the community, husband-wife owners Wolfgang Murber and Cassie Williamson wrote that the time has come for them to say goodbye. "Because of you, not only did this little dream of ours come true, it expanded into much much more than the two of us could have imagined 12 years ago," they wrote.

    5. La Piscina opened Dec. 2 on the fifth floor of the Austin Proper Hotel & Residences at 600 W. Second St., Austin. The Mexican restaurant includes ceviche, seafood and fajitas. The restaurant comes from local restaurant group McGuire Moorman Hospitality, which also operates another restaurant, The Peacock, and a bar, Goldie's, within Austin Proper. 512-628-1415.

    6. Rainey Street Burgers is set to open in January at 51 Rainey St., Unit 140A, Austin, on the ground floor of the SkyHouse apartments next to Salvation Pizza and Emmer & Rye. Owner Karen Robinson has been an Austin resident since 1976 and comes from a career in tech. 512-399-5711.

    7. Refine Aesthetics opened Nov. 16 at 713 W. 14th St., Austin. The new med spa is owned by Courtney Gill, a graduate of The University of Texas who has been practicing medical and cosmetic dermatology in Austin for close to 10 years. 281-793-5224.

    8. Electric moped company Revel announced it has discontinued service in Austin as of Dec. 18. "This decision was made after careful consideration, and it was not an easy one," read a statement on the company's website. Revel initially launched in Austin in 2019. The company is still operating in New York, where it was founded, as well as in Miami, Washington, D.C., and the Bay Area.

    9. Second Bar + Kitchen closed its downtown location at 200 Congress Ave., Austin, in mid-November after 10 years in operation. "We appreciate all our amazing patrons as well as the incredible group of professionals involved throughout the last decade," read a note on its website. The restaurant from James Beard Award-nominated chef David Bull remains open at the Domain Northside and the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

    10. Downtown LGBTQ+ bar Sellers Underground, located at 213 W. Fourth St., Austin, closed permanently as of Dec. 5. "COVID-19 capacity restrictions have made it impossible for us to continue," the owners wrote in an Instagram post.

    11. The W Austin and ACL Live at the Moody Theater, both located in the Block 21 property in downtown Austin. celebrated their 10th anniversaries in December. The building later added another, smaller music venue, 3Ten at ACL Live, which opened in 2016. W Austin: 200 Lavaca St., Austin. 512-542-3600. ACL Live: 310 Willie Nelson Blvd., Austin. 512-225-7999.

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    Downtown Austin business news: New restaurants, a cookie service from an alum of The French Laundry and a second location for Bandit Coffee -...

    Seattle bars, restaurants that closed in December – - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The last month of 2020 hit Seattle bars and restaurants hard as statewide COVID-19 restrictions that banned indoor dining stretched into a second month.

    While many had comfortably shifted to operating at a reduced capacity indoors early on in the fall, the new rules which Gov. Jay Inslee extended into January this week forced tired restaurateurs to once again pivot to takeout and outdoor seating, even as the days got rainier and temperatures dropped.

    But even as over 80 restaurants permanently closed in 2020, there were a few bright notes in the food scene: several restaurants that closed earlier in the year have since reopened, including the vegan-haven Georgetown Liquor Company.

    Other restaurants temporarily shut their doors amid the restrictions with plans to reopen sometime in 2021. Here's a list of closures and reopenings that occurred in December.

    Endolyne Joe's in West Seattle.

    This West Seattle spot for all manners of brunch fare and comfort food suspended service after the holidays with the hopes of reopening in the new year.

    "We tried to make a go of the curbside/delivery services that we have been offering for the last several months, but we are at a point that we need to preserve enough capital to re-open when this nightmare is at least close to over," wrote the owners in a Facebook post. "We will be opening our doors back up when we are able to seat our tables again."

    Alfi's Food and Deli in Denny Triangle.

    The small bodega on Minor Avenue might not have seemed like much, but this Denny Triangle spot had survived 22 years in the fast-changing neighborhood. Many construction workers stopped by Alfi's for a quick and affordable lunch.

    The owners closed the store and deli permanently on Dec. 13 after their lease renewal was denied.

    According to Vanishing Seattle, the space is set to become a 7-11.


    The after-work hub for beer and brats in South Lake Union closed on Dec. 23 after 14 years. With the neighborhood currently empty of tech workers as many continue to telecommute, the Bavarian brewpub decided not to renew their lease.

    "Thank you for the years of support and great memories," wrote owner Chris Navarra in a farewell message.

    Navarra's other German pubs, Prost, remain open in Phinney Ridge and West Seattle.

    Jalisco Restaurant

    South Park's family-owned Mexican restaurant quietly closed last month after 28 years in business.

    The colorful restaurant served hearty plates of steaming enchiladas, carne asada and camarones al la diabla at affordable prices despite rising rent in the neighborhood.


    After ten years of serving up seasonal, Pacific Northwest-inspired dishes from the Harbor Steps, popular happy-hour spot Lecosho permanently closed its doors at the end of December.

    "What has really set us apart from most establishments in this city, is the genuine affection extant between our family and yours," wrote the owners in an Instagram post. "Without this, we would have been just one more restaurant bowing down under the weight of these impossibly difficult times."

    Populuxe Brewing

    Ballard's Populuxe Brewing closed before the holidays after eight years in the neighborhood, becoming one of the first breweries in Seattle to close as a result of the pandemic.

    "Weve pivoted from takeout to outdoor service to indoor service back to outdoor service all while trying to balance concerns for the health and safety of our staff and customers," wrote the owners in a social media post announcing the closure. "Weve advocated at a local and federal level for financial help for small business grabbing the ear of every lawmaker we could get reach. We asked our landlord to listen to reason and work with us to modify our rent so we could survive to no avail. We filled out every grant and loan application available to us. But it was not enough and unfortunately, we have run out of options and time."

    The nano-brewery grew a community in the neighborhood and even rose to critical acclaim among the state's beer lovers, winning Small Brewery of the Year at the 2018 Washington Beer Awards.

    Wandering Goose

    The Capitol Hill mainstay for southern brunch fare and pastries permanently closed after eight years in business. The bustling spot on 15th Avenue E. was sure to always have a line out the door on weekends.

    "After eight years in Seattle and over one million biscuits baked, we want to take this moment to thank all of our extended Goose family and our amazing supportive community," wrote the owners in a farewell Instagram post. "The precarious economics of running a restaurant are no match for a global pandemic. We hope you continue to take this challenging time to support your existing, local independent restaurants."

    But if you're really missing made-from-scratch biscuits and hospitality, their sister restaurant and hotel Tokeland remains operating for coastal retreats.

    Grilled herb and Gouda polenta topped with apricot chutney and served with grilled purple carrots, drizzled with housemade balsamic reduction at Georgetown Liquor Company.

    It wasn't all bad news in 2020: this longtime vegan-punk spot favorite actually reopened under new management of Highline's Alan Threewit, who was a longtime patron of the restaurant.

    The reinvention of GLC keeps many of the classic menu items along with offering vegan sandwiches like French dip and pulled pork as well as infused cocktails from their new sister bar.

    Mediterranean Chicken Sandwich at Pogacha Restaurant & Bar.

    This Eastern Mediterranean staple reopened at their new Mercer Island outpost last month much to the delight of residents.

    The Croatian-inspired restaurant is now serving up favorites like mushroom ravioli, lamb shank and fresh-baked flatbread pizza from their new home and are even offering delivery to island residents.

    Clam chowder bowl at Seatown Market & Fishfry.

    Downtown dwellers have something to cheer about in the new year: Tom Douglas's Seatown Market & Fishfry has officially reopened at Pike Place for all manners of salmon burgers and clam chowder.

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    Seattle bars, restaurants that closed in December -

    Looking back at Gaston County restaurants we gained, lost in 2020 – Gaston Gazette - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Gavin Stewart|The Gaston Gazette

    We can all agree this year has brought challenges like no other. Whether at work or home, COVID-19 has affected us all in some way.

    The year also changed the Gaston County restaurant scene. Some spots permanently closed their doors after serving the community for many years.

    And many new restaurants embraced the tough business climate and opened despite state and county stay-at-home orders and new, rigorous standards for cleaning and sanitization.

    In this story we look back at the restaurants that left us this year, and we celebrate the restaurateurs who brought their concepts to Gaston County in 2020.

    If we omitted a restaurant that should be included in this story, email

    2020 closures


    Most families probably recall the hot pizza, dessert buffet and arcade at Cicis in Franklin Square, which went by Cicis Pizza for most of its existence. In July, the franchise owner closed the Gastonia location after 22 years of business.

    Market Street Buffet & Bakery

    A longstanding buffet that served a variety of comfort foods also didnt escape the grip of COVID-19 restrictions. State COVID-19 restrictions especially hurt Market Street Buffett & Bakery and other local buffets, which relied mostly on dine-in customers rather than takeout.

    Market Street, which opened 24 years ago, thanked patrons for their longtime dedication in a Facebook statement in July.

    Franky Ts Pizzeria

    When one doorcloses, another opens, but it doesn't always stay open.

    In 2015, Franky Ts Pizzeria took the reins from Sal Rando, who ran Sals Pizzeria on North New Hope Road between Dallas in Gastonia. Franky Ts enjoyed business at the Food Lion shopping center until spring 2020, just as Gov. Roy Cooper ordered restaurants close their dining rooms.

    Rando brought his pizzeria to the shopping center in November.

    2020 openings

    Booja Korean Restaurant

    Gaston Countys first Korean barbecue restaurant opened this summer in the former Wassabi Japanese Restaurant location on South New Hope Road.

    Booja Korean Restaurant, headed by Yunhee Yu, serves traditional Korean dishes, sushi and cocktails, as well as Japanese dishes and sushi.

    In November, the restaurant unveiled tableside grills, which customers can use to cook their own Korean barbecue favorites similar to an experience at The Melting Pot.

    B&Js Smokehouse and BBQ

    Not far from Gastonia FUSE District sits Gaston Countys newest name in barbecue. B&Js Smokehouse and BBQ on West Franklin Boulevard, which opened before the pandemic, smokes much of its dishes, including the chicken, pork, cabbage and corn, and serves cocktails and beer to wash it all down.

    Sammys Neighborhood Pub of Dallas

    The second installment of Sammys Neighborhood Pub debuted inside a 150-year-old building on West Trade Street in Dallas in November. Customers can order most of the same offerings available at the Belmont location, including Sammys famous wings and fried pickles, sandwiches, craft beer and more.

    De Corias Bagel Shop

    Longing for authentic New York-style bagels? Look no further than De Corias Bagels in Franklin Square near Walmart. Patrons will find a good variety of bagels and cream cheeses, as well as signature sandwiches and Ruebens for lunch.

    Sals Pizza

    When Franky Ts Pizzeria shuttered in spring 2020, Sal Rando knew he should return to the kitchen along North New Hope Road near Dallas. In November, Rando reopened Sals Pizzeria, which closed in 2015, and was overwhelmed by support. The day after reopening, Rando said he had to turn the phones off to keep up with orders.

    Primal Brewery

    A brewery that opened in Huntersville in 2013 opened its second location in the former Rivermen Brewing Co. on Ervin Street in Belmont.

    Aside from its solid beer offerings, owners David Hoy and Ray Steimel brought in Chef Tim Schafer to whip up a diverse menu of beer-infused dishes. The brewery also plans to relocate the majority of its brewing operations to Belmont.

    JPs House

    After Sakura Japanese Restaurant had a 20-year run in Franklin Square, Patrick Yang and Jim Chen owners of JPs House on Robinwood Road in Gastonia -- saw an opportunity they couldnt pass up. Prior to pandemic shutdowns, the duo opened a second location in the former Sakura location, which now features an open-concept view of the hibachi chef, a full service bar and a menu full of Japanese favorites.

    Jekyll & Hyde Taphouse and Grill

    A former car dealership at 10 Catawba St. in Belmont joined the ranks of downtown dining destinations.

    Jekyll & Hyde Taphouse and Grill opened its second location the first in Matthews -- in May. An abundance of Irish entrees, burgers, steaks, appetizers, cocktails and more are available at this steampunk-themed grill. This location brews beer of its own, but also sells a number of regional craft beer.

    Eateries of Franklin Woods

    As crews wrapped up construction of the Franklin Woods retail corridor, it brought a handful of new restaurants for Gaston County residents to enjoy.

    Bojangles, Salsaritas Fresh Mexican Grill, Bubbas 33 and Back Yard Burgers all opened at some point during 2020.

    New locations

    Pita Wheel

    Gaston Countys epic, fast, fun center for wings, burgers and pita creations opened in downtown Gastonia in October after outgrowing its Dallas digs.

    Pita Wheel features a beer garden with long festival tables made in Germany, a full service bar, a craft beer market and dining tables throughout.

    Hillbillys BBQ & Steaks

    After serving some of the areas best pit-smoked barbecue for 30 years near Interstate 85 in Lowell, Hillbillys BBQ & Steaks opened in a new standalone building on South Main Street.

    While it was bittersweet, owner Gerald Duncan was happy to give his employees and patrons a new home so the restaurant could continue satisfying customers for decades to come.

    You can reach reporter Gavin Stewart at 704-869-1819 or on Twitter @GavinGazette.

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    Looking back at Gaston County restaurants we gained, lost in 2020 - Gaston Gazette’s top-read stories of 2020 – MiBiz: West Michigan Business News - January 3, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    MiBiz readers showed a strong interest in our COVID-19 coverage this year, as well as news about free tuition, business layoffs, bankruptcies, restaurants, beer and marijuana.

    Readership of also grew even as we transitioned to a new paywall model for online stories. Its been a year like no other for all of us and we are grateful for your continued support and interest. (You can subscribe to MiBiz at this link.)

    In early 2020 before the pandemic hit, Grand Rapids Community College announced that students who attend high school in Grand Rapids could receive tuition at GRCC, starting with the class of 2020. The plan was approved by the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority board. News of the approval was MiBizs top-read story of 2020.

    According to web traffic data, six of MiBizs top 10 read stories in 2020 involved the pandemic, including the top-read COVID-19 story from March 23 about construction companies first assessing what a statewide stay-home order meant for them. That first week of the pandemic had top-read stories about Gov. Gretchen Whitmers first stay-home order, which was opposed by leading business groups but followed similar actions in Illinois and Ohio. Despite not knowing the extent of COVID-19 in mid March which would lead to nearly 500,000 cases and more than 12,000 deaths in nine months restaurants and bars at the time were concerned about a statewide stay-home order, which one brewery said would be a bloodbath for the industry. More top-read COVID-19 stories included the effects that the pandemic had on furniture manufacturers Herman Miller Inc. and Steelcase Inc.

    A recent year-end Q&A in the MiBiz Crystal Ball issue featured born-and-raised Muskegon resident Greg Maki, who discussed his local roots and early entry into the cannabis market. Maki, the owner of Agri-Med LLC, also discussed why he thinks some West Michigan cities will soon be oversaturated with dispensaries.

    The past year produced several stories of area companies that had been struggling financially heading into the pandemic and then pushed over the edge. That included Pace Industries LLC, which manufactures die-cast parts and was previously acquired by the former Port City Group operations in Muskegon, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April. Less than two months later, HopCat parent company BarFly Ventures LLC filed for Chapter 11, spurred by ongoing statewide restaurant and bar closures, which affected owner Mark Sellers, who filed for Chapter 11 personally, and later his Maxs South Seas Hideaway bar in Grand Rapids. Other notable bankruptcies in 2020 included Goodrich Quality Theaters Inc. and Grand Rapids-based alternative lifestyle company Purple East Plus Inc.

    MiBiz readers were apparently eager to learn about the Grand Rapids areas first drag-themed burger bar, Hamburger Marys in Cascade Township. MiBiz broke the news in early October about the national chains first Michigan location.

    Continue reading here:'s top-read stories of 2020 - MiBiz: West Michigan Business News

    Greenpoints Newest Restaurant, Fin Du Monde, Brings a Touch of France With Craft Beer – Eater NY - December 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A hometown bar. A living room. A non-French French restaurant. A place for long conversations. These are just some of the words that Mona Poor-Olschafskie and Christian Perkins use to talk about Fin Du Monde, their just-opened restaurant and bar at 38 Driggs Avenue, at Sutton Street, in Greenpoint. The duos vision for the restaurant is multifaceted, but their first priority is to create a place where residents in the neighborhood feel welcome.

    We wanted to open a place that we would want to go to ourselves, says Poor-Olschafskie, a hospitality industry veteran who lives a few blocks from Fin Du Monde. A place that was accessible, not a place with a huge super-expensive wine list or lots of ingredients nobody knows how to pronounce.

    To note, neither Poor-Olschafskie nor Perkins have much experience working in those types of restaurants, despite each having been in the hospitality industry for more than a decade. Before opening Fin Du Monde, Poor-Olschafskie worked at several of the citys leading breweries, including Threes Brewing in Gowanus and two spots in Carroll Gardens, Other Half Brewing and Folksbier Brauerei. Beers from her old haunts have made their way to the menu at Fin Du Monde, which in addition to a few bottles of wine serves a lager from Folksbier and an IPA from Threes on tap.

    The restaurants food menu is loosely French-American but strictly local, a pairing that Perkins picked up while working for restaurateur Andrew Tarlow at hit restaurants such as Diner, Marlow and Sons, and its offshoot butcher shop Marlow and Daughters. Most recently, he helped open Annicka, a brief but well-received Greenpoint restaurant that focused on seasonal food and local craft beer. Theres a similar ethos behind Fin Du Monde, according to Perkins, which aims to serve locally sourced produce and meat without charging more than $30 for an entree, which isnt uncommon at many upscale restaurants in the city.

    Its a tightrope walk, but its possible, Perkins says. You have to create a very, very tight menu that isnt reliant upon luxury ingredients.

    All told, the food menu at Fin Du Monde is 10 items long, desserts included, and Perkins keeps things simple. The restaurant serves a big French salad topped with fried walnuts and funky Roquefort cheese ($13). Further down the menu, theres a roast chicken and pepper risotto ($22), along with a braised boeuf bourguignon that comes with buttery noodles ($24). These dishes are meant to invoke a French bistro or a Parisian natural wine bar but only sort of.

    Its a non-French French place, Perkins says. It has a French name, but we like the goofiness of it.

    Like countless other restaurant owners, Poor-Olschafskie and Perkins had been planning Fin Du Monde long before the start of the pandemic in March. In July 2019, the duo launched a GoFundMe campaign to help open the restaurant and assist with construction costs. More than a year and nearly $20,000 in donations later, Perkins likened Fin Du Monde to a train rolling down the tracks that couldnt be stopped. We had no choice but to keep going, and we wouldnt have wanted to stop anyway, he says.

    As for the name translated as end of the world in French Perkins says the restaurant is the kind of place you want to be at the end of the world, which he quickly adds is, thankfully, not right now.

    Fin Du Monde has roughly 20 seats for outdoor dining and six seats inside at the state-mandated 25 percent capacity. The restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. and closed Sunday through Monday.

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    Greenpoints Newest Restaurant, Fin Du Monde, Brings a Touch of France With Craft Beer - Eater NY

    Here’s what’s on the menu at new Brockton Caribbean soul food restaurant – Enterprise News - December 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Mina Corpuz|The Enterprise

    BROCKTON Rudy Alves is tapping into his artistic background and sharing Cape Verdean culture at his new restaurant Khalil's Kitchen.

    "When you come here you're going to get a good meal and enjoy the vibes," he said about the eatery, which opened about a month ago at 808 Main St.

    The restaurant serves up soul food with a Caribbean twist, Alves said.The menu includes burgers, fries topped with protein, wings, smoothies and more. Some of the dishes featurelobster, like the mac and cheese.

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, he closed his T-shirt business andbegan cooking at home to make money for his family. That turned into a business.

    While cooking at home, Alves has been able to see his three children more. They were able to be around, which was not possible in his other jobs, like T-shirt printing and tattooing.

    His middle child, Khalil, is the restaurant's namesake. At home, Khalil would come around the kitchen and Alves said he had the idea to call the kitchen his.

    Since the business opened, his 5-year-old daughterChloe, 2-year-old Khalil and 9-month old son London have visited the restaurant.

    Alves said he never imagined that he would open a restaurant. But everything happened so fast, starting out as a vision that he was able to manifest.

    "I wake up ready to come here," he said. "I doesn't feel like a job."

    Alves found the Main Street space for his restaurant in the summer and worked on it, drawing on his construction background and designing the inside.

    The pandemic has been a challenging time for businesses and restaurants. But Alves said that being able to open during this time was motivational.

    "If I can do all of this during this time, I can grow and more," he said.

    Alves learned to cook from his mother, who wished she had a daughter. She would ask him to cook rice after school so that it would be ready when she came home from work.

    Little by little, he would ask her more about cooking. She taught him Cape Verdean dishes that Alves has been able to put his own spin on and blend with other food styles.

    He said she she is proud to see him open the business and do something he loves.

    Now that Alves has a commercial kitchen, he said there are endless possibilities for what he can cook. He likes to create his own sauces and find his own flavors.

    "I'm always trying to create things and experiment," Alves said.

    Looking ahead, hewants to share his newfound love for the kitchen. Alves shares pictures on his Instagram @khalils_kitchen_ and plans to release videos that provide a behind the scenes look at the restaurant.

    Opening up a restaurant in Boston is a future goal, he said.

    Staff writer Mina Corpuz can be reached by email at You can follow her on Twitter @mlcorpuz.Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.

    Excerpt from:
    Here's what's on the menu at new Brockton Caribbean soul food restaurant - Enterprise News

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