If you feel like we’re heading into the New Year in survival mode, you’re not alone. These are wicked times, dear readers, and it’s hard to keep yourself from worrying about whether you ought to stockpile canned goods or raise chickens in the backyard. I’ve thought about both. The chicken idea got nixed when I saw a possum the size of a Smart car strolling along the top of my fence one night. As long as possums don’t have opposable thumbs, the canned goods strategy seems safer.
But optimism isn’t dead! There are entrepreneurs out there beyond the backyard fence, ready to brave the possums of hard times and go toe to toe with the future.
Two of these coming attractions will open in Northside in 2012. First is The Listing Loon Craft Beer & Wine Store. They’re hoping for a mid-February opening, according to co-owner Beth Harris, but they won’t be disappointed if it’s early March. They’ll be starting with a retail operation, “basically a beer and wine boutique,” Harris says.
“We’ll have craft beers, nothing you can buy at Kroger, and locally packaged snacks. We’ll add tastings and wines by the glass as soon as we can, but we’d rather start small and have big dreams.”
Josh Campbell has had big dreams in a tiny space for the last few years. He’s moving his Mayberry eatery from 915 Vine St.
to 1211 Main St. on Feb. 1. The Vine Street location has its charms, but as Campbell has always said, “It’s a 20-seat hole in the wall. It has limits. Now I’m ready to be serious and showcase what I do.” He’s found a great location at the site of the former Courtyard Café.
“We’ll still have fun,” Campbell says. “We’ll still have grassroots American cuisine with our tasting menu, and it’ll be affordable and approachable.”
But the larger space and the addition of a liquor license will allow Mayberry to take reservations, which they’ve never been able to do on Vine, and offer full service dining with cocktails, which is important to a viable business plan.
“We’ll be right across the street from Japp’s, and I’ve talked to Molly [Wellman]. Her trained bartenders can pick up hours at Mayberry and it’ll be great for all of us. We’ll be able to pair cocktails with food.”
To allay the concerns of customers who’ve enjoyed the BYOB policy on Vine, Mayberry on Main will offer 10 wines on the menu for $20 or less — five reds and five whites.
As Mayberry makes its move, Vine Street is expecting two new additions. Bakersfield is coming to 1213 Vine, bringing Mexican street food to the Gateway district. With a menu of tacos and burritos and a full bar, Bakersfield is aiming for a lower price point than the Gateway currently offers.
Next door, the eponymous 1215 will feature coffee by day and wine by night. Owner Bob Bonder, the man behind the Tazza Mia coffee shops downtown and in Covington, and also a partner in Japp’s, is opening his new venture across the street from Senate and Abigail Street. Menu plans include desserts from Cooking by Caitlin, and wine’s favorite partner — cheese.
Northside anticipates another opening later in 2012 in the space formerly occupied by Slims. Django Western Taco — what a name! — is in the works, with the team from La Poste driving the wagon train. Expect the menu to lean more towards the Wild West saloon “bowl of red” chili than a Mexican taqueria. Of course, we’ll keep you posted as developments occur.
Happy dining in 2012, and watch out for the possum!
CONTACT ANNE MITCHELL: firstname.lastname@example.org