The Food Biz: Gulch lures more attractions

Also: Shoney's rolls out new prototype
[From our print edition featured in Monday's City Paper]

With the recent addition of Cantina Laredo, the still-growing popularity of fellow neighborhood newbie Urban Flats, the promise of oenological bliss soon to be offered by the Wine Loft and the continued work by veteran eateries such as Watermark, Sambuca and Ru San's, word is that several other local restaurants also are looking to migrate to The Gulch, or at least get near it.

Local brewery Yazoo, currently housed in the old Marathon Motor Works north of downtown, is in the process of creating a new home on Division Street near The Gulch-proper.

The brewing company, founded in 2003 by Mississippi natives Linus and Lila Hall, has built a strong following not only for its beer, but also for the cozy tap room featured as part of the Marathon location.

Other culinary establishments apparently eying the area south of Broadway include Whiskey Kitchen, which is looking to occupy the former home of tequila bar Agave (which closed in January) and midtown fusion cuisine eatery Virago, which is reportedly looking at the space just across McGavock Street.

Shoney's returns with different look

Those in the Thompson Lane area can once again belly up to the Shoney's breakfast bar, and this time, it's new and improved.

The locally-based chain has completely revamped the location, which was damaged by fire last year, as a new restaurant prototype. New features include: a "contemporary restaurant dining environment with updated color palette and richer finishes for booths, tables and floors," along with more detail touches, such as "inviting new ‘S' shaped door handles."

The company already spent more than $1 million renovating the location that originally opened in 1970. The restaurant chain said that it hopes the new store will be used as a model for future Shoney's.