After an eight-year hiatus, a chance occurrence has returned an Augusta restaurateur to the riverwalk.
The fortuitous event was made possible when local restaurateur Brad Usry catered a gathering for the National Science Center, many of whose employees queried him about the possibility of opening an eatery at Fort Discovery.
"They asked if we were interested in looking at the space," said Mr. Usry, referring to the riverfront space formerly occupied by Gorin's Cafe.
Mr. Usry, who in 1998 sold his last riverfront venture, The Cotton Row Cafe and Meeting Place, soon signed a lease at the location for his new business, Discovery Deli on the Levee.
"We're looking forward to serving everybody downtown," said Mr. Usry, who is also co-owner of the Fat Man's Cafe and Fat Man's Forest on Laney-Walker Boulevard.
Scott MacGregor, the vice president of advocacy and membership services for the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, said Mr. Usry's new deli is an asset for the downtown entertainment and business district.
"Riverwalk is an area that has been underserved as far as restaurant options recently, and it's good to see somebody's moving in there to give people some new options," Mr. MacGregor said.
Fort Discovery, an interactive science museum, is a partnership among the National Science Center, the state of Georgia and the Army.
The Discovery Deli features a menu specially tailored for the myriad schoolchildren who visit to learn about the world of science and math.
It also offers wireless Internet access, television sets, after-hours door-to-door catering and a capacity of 200 for special events, Mr. Usry said.
"It's a real appealing space because you can sit out on a levee there and look out at the river and have a sandwich," he said. "You can't do that anywhere else in Augusta."
Discovery Deli on the Levee is inside Fort Discovery at Seventh Street and Riverwalk Augusta.
Its hours will be from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Reach Nathan Dickinson at (706) 828-3904 or firstname.lastname@example.org.