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New restaurants, bars expand downtown Augusta offerings

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A taste of Britain and Greece and a bit of country music and whiskey have been added to the mix of restaurants and bars in downtown Augusta.

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Michael Brown, a co-owner of Eros Bistro, sits for a portrait with his fiancee, Dez Kikiris, at a booth in the soon-to-open restaurant on Broad Street. Kikiris, who is from northern Greece, is the chef.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Michael Brown, a co-owner of Eros Bistro, sits for a portrait with his fiancee, Dez Kikiris, at a booth in the soon-to-open restaurant on Broad Street. Kikiris, who is from northern Greece, is the chef.

Eros Bistro is one of several new businesses making use of vacant storefronts on Broad Street. The Greek and Italian restaurant is set to open Dec. 1 in the former New Moon Cafe at the corner of 10th and Broad streets, co-owner Michael Brown said.

The 65-seat restaurant will serve lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. It will also offer a late-night menu from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Brown’s fiancee, Dez Kikiris, who is from northern Greece, is the chef. The restaurant is hiring two kitchen staff, eight servers and at least one bartender, Brown said.

Traditional British foods and beer will be served a block away. Musa Anderson is preparing to open a British pub at 1135 Broad St., in the former White Elephant Cafe, which closed in 2009. Boar’s Head Public House is scheduled to open by the first week of December.

Anderson restored the 2,000-square-foot leased space. The pub will be open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner.

The menu will feature fish and chips, bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie. The bar will serve pints of beer, she said.

Anderson is still hiring bartenders, servers and dishwashers to complete a staff of 30 employees.

Across the street from Boar’s Head, the Downtown Saloon opened Nov. 2 at 1128 Broad St. The country music and dance bar is modeled after the Market Street Saloon in downtown Charleston, S.C., manager James Anderson said.

The bar is open Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Six employees staff the 1,600-square-foot space, Anderson said.

The owners of Metro A Coffee House and Pub, a downtown fixture for more than a decade, have started a second bar next door, this time with a full-service menu. Whiskey Bar Kitchen opened Oct. 27 at 1048 Broad St., said Bobby Morrison, a co-owner with brother Kenny Morrison.

Whiskey Bar Kitchen occupies the former Wicked Wasabi restaurant space. Executive chef Techan Inaba kept some menu items from Wicked Wasabi and added high-quality bar food items, Morrison said.

The bar offers 60 types of whiskey.

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Brad Owens
3675
Points
Brad Owens 11/14/12 - 06:38 pm
11
2

Time for a change...

We need to designate the Central Business District (CBD) as an Entertainment District and give major tax breaks to these small business owners. The food and beverage business employs over 500 people in the CBD, they deserve some relief.

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 11/14/12 - 06:55 pm
6
2

So do

Unpublished

Overtaxed South Augustans!!

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/14/12 - 06:57 pm
7
1

Brad - Yes and No

I see the advantages for Downtown, and would strongly support the idea, if.

Any business along Peach Orchard Rd, hiring and employing 5 or more new additional 32+ hour people, was to get same the tax breaks.

It would help The South Side regain some traction.

corgimom
19641
Points
corgimom 11/14/12 - 10:43 pm
1
3

Insanity is doing the same

Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting different results.

Augusta is oversaturated with restaurants. Because there is so little to do in Augusta, when a new restaurant opens, people flock to it for awhile, then it goes belly up.

You can't keep up with the restaurant closings/openings, it's been like that for years. Owning a restaurant is very hard work and it's hard to make money at it, but people still think that they can do it.

itsanotherday1
34929
Points
itsanotherday1 11/15/12 - 12:33 am
3
4

Corgimom

Particularly in the downtown CBD. Personally, I like downtown and have no real fear of criminals, but it just has an unappealing and shabby appearance that is a total put-off to a lot of people. Cracked and crumbling sidewalks, faded facades, abandoned storefronts, etc., etc. It has NO character or ambience, and until it does these places will continue to struggle. God bless them for giving it the old college try, but they need a lot more traffic for them all to flourish.

countyman
16914
Points
countyman 11/15/12 - 02:54 am
2
2

Two great ideas!

I agree with both Open Curtain and Brad. The city of Augusta only has one tax allocation district, and three Enterprise/Opportunity Zones. From Harrisburg to parts of Riverwatch pkwy going towards the urban core, Laney Walker, and Rocky Creek(Regency Mall area of South Augusta) are both Enterprise/Opportunity Zones. The only reason why Riverwatch got included is because it's underdeveloped.
http://www.augustaga.gov/Archive.aspx?AMID=114

http://www.augustaga.gov/Archive.aspx?AMID=114

The renovated Miller, upgraded Imperial, and performing arts center on the GGHF site will make a great entertainment district.

countyman
16914
Points
countyman 11/15/12 - 02:58 am
3
1

The city of Augusta is

The city of Augusta is similar to any other city in terms of restaurants. It's much better to have new restaurants compared to empty space. New Moon Cafe didn't close, and only moved to the Whites Building. The owners of Wicked Wasabi decided to retire, and sold the place.

The occupancy rate in the CBD is almost 100%, and the TEE Center opens next year.... The CBD is definitely one of the most desirable places in the metro right now.

JB Whites = 34 new condos(51 total)
Johnson building= 13 apts
901 Broad= 9 apts
1120 Jones street= 8 apts
920 Greene street= 6 apts
967 Broad street= 4 apts

74 new living spaces in the CBD(not including 834 Greene, 220-222 6th street)...

shrimp for breakfast
5025
Points
shrimp for breakfast 11/15/12 - 04:00 am
3
0

What this city needs

Is a good old fashioned Rock And Roll bar. One LOUD as heck venue. Some place that with the volume of a ZZ Top concert. If I was younger I'd go to it!!!

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 11/15/12 - 05:47 am
1
1

The Old Post Office and

The Old Post Office and Whipping Post are missed for live music, and the Georgia Moon for LOUD recorded music (I believe it was vintage tube McIntosh amps that supplied the power).

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 11/15/12 - 06:50 am
3
1

Techfan

I used to go to the Whipping Post and the Purple Onion. I don't remember Georgia Moon, where was that located? I sorta remember Post Office..but I can't remember where it was either.

Darn, that was a long time ago. I forgot all about those places. I kinda wish Augusta would have some places that would stay in business forever like some other cities. Other than fast food places that is :o)

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 11/15/12 - 07:01 am
3
2

Downtown

I walked the dogs up and down Broad street one morning.

I agree with itsanotherday, there are too many empty buildings, some look like they need to be condemed. There is an air of sadness about the place. There is a couple of areas that look "hip" but they are separated by stretches of neglected looking store fronts.

Then you have some stores that look like they are still open from 1960..kinda weird.

I think what I am trying to say is there is no cohesive look or theme to downtown now. It still needs so much work to bring people down there where they would feel comfortable like they used to in the old days.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 11/15/12 - 07:15 am
2
1

If my memory serves me, of

If my memory serves me, of course that was back in "the day", it wqas on Walton Way somewhere around where Walton rehab and the Chinese Restaurant (looks dumpy but one of the best places in town. Forgot the name of the dish, but it's eggplant something. Freakin' awesome!) is located. The Moon had a bar, the next room over had a light show, and then had a patio outside. The music was LOUD! That's where the tube McIntosh's came in. Don't remember what kind of speakers they had but would love to have one of the tube Macs to hook up to my JBL's.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 11/15/12 - 07:25 am
2
0

Post Office was on Wash Rd on

Post Office was on Wash Rd on hill that was next to Wendy'across from the "Chinese Hardees" (another place with good eats) . Saw some great shows there. Arlo Guthrie, , America, Doc Watson (who vowed to never come back because people were loud and weren't listening), Jerry Jeff Walker, the Dregs, and the list goes on... Then I think they moved towards the back of National Hills. Wasn't quite the same there.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 11/15/12 - 07:29 am
3
1

Maybe the British Pubs would

Maybe the British Pubs would stay in business if they just wouldn't serve food. Great Britain - Great beers and ales, lousy cuisine.

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 11/15/12 - 08:18 am
2
1

All those nice things downtown...

Unpublished

Financed off the backs of South Augusta. All for an Industrial Road and a Basketball court. WOW SIGN ME UP!!!

Little Lamb
40303
Points
Little Lamb 11/15/12 - 09:26 am
1
1

Subsidies

Giving tax breaks to some businesses while denying breaks for others is a form of fascism. It has the government picking winners and losers in what is supposed to be free enterprise. The best tax system is level and consistent. I oppose Brad Owens' idea to create an "entertainment district" where restaurant owners in one part of the county get a lower tax rate than restaurant owners in another part of the county get.

soapy_725
43306
Points
soapy_725 11/15/12 - 09:52 am
0
1

All that is left for the CBD is a riveboat casino

Unpublished

Several. Alcohol, gambling, women, T&A bars and wall to wall fun. Who can deny the right to life. ARC Entertainment Productions, LLC. Put that on Fred's budget. Buckhead Revisited is the answer. Here we come. Coming together in the Renaissance that is Augusta 2012 on the Savannah. A good slogan? All of the tax base issues will be resolved with the massive revenues from government entertainment.. Buckhead downtown and Branson II on the southside.

David Parker
7919
Points
David Parker 11/15/12 - 12:28 pm
1
0

The CBD is a great

The CBD is a great environment for alternative commercial/retail, start-up ventures, and hospitality. The surrounding areas in the county, have Walmarts-o-plenty, CostCo's, Grocery store chains, Walgreens, etc. to compete with. There's not much upside to opening a bangers-and-mash pub or an art studio right between Publix and Papa John's Pizza. But downtown that type of niche works. But there is a big element of risk that goes along with downtown business also. Downtown is a destination. It's not "along the way" as you are driving Washington road. To exist as a business downtown, you have to draw people downtown. Up along Washington road, Robert C. Daniel, and Peach Orchard, the density of residential development paired with corporate-friendly businesses make it great for a particular type of operation.

Since the Starbucks and Costcos get tax-incentives, free land, etc. that are not extended to all businesses in the county, I don't see anything other than business as usual.

I am with Brad though, entertainment district is going to be a good focus and the backdrop is as good as anything out there, AThens included.

countyman
16914
Points
countyman 11/15/12 - 01:27 pm
1
1

None of developments

None of developments mentioned in the article received any tax payer money. The comments bringing up South Augusta are hilarious when Summervillle, Forest Hills, and West Augusta are much richer.

The city can definitely improve the situation for smaller businesses looking to move into Augusta. Especially in South Augusta, Laney Walker, Harrisburg, etc.

I do think developments such as Starbucks/Costco must get extra attention. Starbucks equals $172 million, 140 jobs, $200k to the collboration center, and purchase 100 acres in order to expand in the future. Costco represents a $17-$22 million investment, and will help attract things not currently in metro Augusta.

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 11/15/12 - 01:45 pm
0
0

Thanks Techfan

Seems like I remember going somewhere on Walton Way back then. But, I don't remember the name. I am pretty sure I didn't go to the Post Office. Washington Road was on the "other side of town."

Peacefuleasyfeeling
30
Points
Peacefuleasyfeeling 11/15/12 - 02:03 pm
0
0

Cant wait for the new

Cant wait for the new restaurants to come downtown ! I have been to The Market Street Saloon in Charleston many times. The place that I went in on Broad was nothing like it. People standing on the bar that my drink is served from does not appeal to be. Wanna be hooter girls maybe ?

Brad Owens
3675
Points
Brad Owens 11/15/12 - 04:27 pm
0
0

Fascist? Hardly...

Good Lord people, entertainment districts are used to help develop areas for the tourist industry.

F&B folks already have the most expensive annual licence issued, plus extra taxes on top of regular taxes. They also are one of our county's largest employers, and THE largest in the CBD.

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 11/15/12 - 05:28 pm
0
0

Peacefuleasyfeeling said:

The place that I went in on Broad was nothing like it. People standing on the bar that my drink is served from does not appeal to be. Wanna be hooter girls maybe ?

Haha..standing room only? Sounds like a real classy joint.

David Parker
7919
Points
David Parker 11/15/12 - 05:28 pm
0
0

Like countyman stated, there

Like countyman stated, there is a reciprocation from giving the breaks. For downtown, giving incentives in tax breaks or allocating federal money for startup, fills up the empty storefronts and builds an environment for other businesses to follow suit and prosper.

Look at it downtown. You either huddle up close to one of the 2-3 areas that are seeing consistent foot traffic, or you have to create your own buzz and get folks to expand out into other parts. There is only so much available in the existing hot spots.

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 11/15/12 - 06:58 pm
1
1

You are wrong...

Unpublished

South Augustans pay high taxes and where do you think that money goes? It sure isn't going to South Auigusta!!! I bet you when you figure the industrial and residential taxes paid in South Augusta it far out weighs west augusta!!

itsanotherday1
34929
Points
itsanotherday1 11/16/12 - 12:08 am
1
1

So, how do you fix the

So, how do you fix the shabbiness of downtown? I was down there tonight eating a couple of tacos and noted the run down appearance again. Some of the people just hanging out surely contribute to that appearance.

David Parker
7919
Points
David Parker 11/16/12 - 09:03 am
0
0

When more options exist,

When more options exist, people's perception changes. Instead of concentrating on going to Bee's Knee's or Nacho Mama's, they think in terms of just going downtown. Limited venues equates to a smaller vision for downtown progress.

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