Dear Eddie: I hear we’re getting several new restaurants downtown. How soon can we expect them to open?
EB: We are delighted to have three confirmed restaurants opening in 2008. Most likely the first to open will be Clementine in early February, located on South Main Street in the former Main Street Bar & Grill. The restaurant will offer everything from salads and sandwiches to gourmet dinner entrees. The chic, cosmopolitan atmostphere will be a great venue for live entertainment, with meeting space on the lower level. Expected to open shortly after Clementine is Blue Nile Ethiopian Cuisine. Located in the renovated Walton Hotel building on North Main Street, the restaurant will have a lower level lounge with live music. Finally, renovations should begin soon for Pennybackers on East Water Street (the former location of Laughing Dog). The restaurant hopes to open in Summer 2008, complete with rooftop dining. Those who miss the old Spanky’s will enjoy Pennybacker’s menu with a broad selection of sandwiches in a family-friendly atmosphere. (Update: Clementine and Blue Nile Ethiopian Cuisine are now open for business. Delays have pushed back renovations on Pennybackers, but check back soon for the latest news.)