"Jody's food was tremendous, but there are some people who were really not that knowledgeable about food," Millette said. "We're still a meat and potatoes town."
Happy hours and price point dining are a theme in the reconstituted restaurant scene.
Down the road at Fireside Red, owners Michael Jasilewicz and Peter Keenan have reopened their popular restaurant and tapas bar, which closed temporarily earlier this winter. Jasilewicz said the restaurant used the downtime for a minor interior remodel and a complete menu overhaul from Chef Ryan Barnett. Like Merenda, Fireside plans to feature an extensive happy hour menu, while providing more options for diners at lower price points on the dinner menu.
The restaurant is also temporarily scaling back its hours, offering dinner five days (Tues.-Sat.) a week though Jasilewicz said they will likely ramp up to seven days a week and increase hours during the Memorial to Labor Day tourist season.
In other brief industry news, Zydeco owners Steve and Cherie Brown Helt confirmed that they are, in fact, moving their popular Third Street restaurant downtown into the former Volo space on Bond, near their other downtown restaurant, 28, sometime in April.