Saturday, March 18, 2006

Volunteer Hoosier on downtown commitment; meanwhile, fresh hope for Bistro New Albany.

After time away for tending to business, Volunteer Hoosier is back:

Seeking a Second Source

I, for one, am not prepared to accept the proposition put forward in today's Tribune that New Albany's downtown will "never again be the commercial center of Floyd County."

However, revitalization awaits and the renaissance sputters in fits and starts. It is time for local government to put down its marker. With elections looming in the county this year, and the city next, voters should know where each relevant official and candidate stands on the issue of restoring downtown.

Unfortunately, it’s all not good news. VH briefly charts the current status of three downtown businesses, with one (perhaps) closing, another moving and a third, the dormant Bistro New Albany, still waiting to open after an unexpected illness knocked its owner out of the box prior to the anticipated February inaugural.

But wait -- BNA’s fortunes may have taken a positive turn with news that a local restaurant professional (Sullivan culinary; Fourth Street Live managerial) is negotiating to buy into the restaurant, and plans to partner in a yet undiclosed way with original chef David Clancy. Word is they hope to open the doors in mid-April.

Admittedly, firm information is lacking, and yet NAC’s sources are credible, so our fingers are crossed.


Brandon W. Smith said...

Good potential news on the Bistro.

The closing of the Main Street Grind could be a blessing in disguise, since it makes it a little easier for someone to come in and do a cafe "right." By right I mean open normal (late) cafe hours with high-quality coffee. I had never been to Main Street Grind for precisely that reason. If we can get another restaurant or two, a nice cafe would make a lot of sense.

Think I'll go to Federal Hill tonight...yummm.

The New Albanian said...

Good point, Brandon.

It's been said here many times before: Main Street Grind isn't/wasn't Heine Brothers. Not that it's a bad thing, just different, and yet there comes a time when the model must be grown or discarded, and it seems they might opt for the latter.

The Tribune writer mentioned Heine Brothers as a good candidate, but as of a year or so ago, they weren't interested (I asked).

If Gary or Mike are reading ...

All4Word said...
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All4Word said...
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All4Word said...

Booming success can be a mixed blessing, too. Be sure to see the e-mail petition being circulated to support La Rosita's application to serve its broad and growing customer-base in the same manner that Federal Hill and Ermin's do.

Yum, the missus and I partook(?) from a smorgasbord of Mexicano autentico delights this noon, including a taco chorizo, a gordita pastor(wow!), a quesadilla Vera Cruz, and my first La Rosita tamale.

I need to persuade Israel to come up with a black bean chile to put the tamale in, to simulate what we Tennessee boys call a "Full House."

We could call it Tamale sin Parangon, or Frijoles Negros con Cuerpo. Or just Casa Completo. Or Morada Lleno.

jon faith said...

Stop the Hagiography, i want to walk --

I was caught unaware by the Grind closing; I had mused to Roger over the years about my initial visit during the '94 blizzard, i imagined the patrons would be discussing Holderin and Wilde: they were bitching about snowplows.

Stepping aside from posterity's sigh, why is it good that Fourth Street Live assumes the reins of the Bistro in lieu of an untimely "illness," why the euphenism?
Shoptalk continues. . .

Brandon W. Smith said...

It has come to my attention from someone I consider a potential friend that my comments about the Grind were read as harsh.

Let me clarify:

I've heard many good things about the Main Street Grind - especially people raving about the food (including my mother, who works downtown). My point was not to insult the owners of the Grind, but to try and put a silver lining on its closing - namely that there is a larger market for a different kind of that appeals to a broader demographic by being open late and serving different kinds of drinks. That's what I meant by doing it "right."

The Grind was obviously doing something right when it was open during the day...and with that something gone, the market is open for someone else to come in. That was the point. I have the utmost respect for people, like the former Grind owners, who put their time and energy into running a successful business, especially in the restaurant/cafe arena.