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VOL. 114 | NO. 55 | Tuesday, March 21, 2000

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By SUZANNE THOMPSON New Downtown eateries cater to lunchtime crowds By SUZANNE THOMPSON The Daily News Downtown employees now have more of a selection from which to choose when searching for that mid-day meal. At least three new restaurants catering to lunchtime diners have opened recently, and their owners believe there is more than enough business to go around. The newest is Somewhere Pizza Café at 317 Madison Ave., east of the YMCA between Fourth Street and Danny Thomas Boulevard. The restaurant opened Monday, and will be open only for lunch every Monday through Sunday until April, said owner Cathy Thibodeaux. Once the Redbirds Stadium opens, the restaurant will be open for dinner, as well. Thibodeaux said she and her husband, Greg, already owned the building the restaurant is housed in. She said they invested about $75,000 to renovate the 3,000 square feet of space to be occupied by Somewhere Pizza. Prices at Somewhere Pizza are comparable to those of popular pizza chains. Pizza prices range from $3.50 for a personal pan pizza to $17.75 for a large 16-inch pizza. Somewhere Pizza also offers sandwiches and salads. Thibodeaux said she hoped her restaurant would become a regular stop for Downtown residents and workers. "Everyone loves pizza, so we figured, Hey lets go that route," she said. Duke Young, owner of Louisiana Joes at 111 North Main St., is relying on his hot wings to draw in customers. Offering six different hot wing sauces, including "Nuclear," "Cajun Fire" and "Louisiana Swamp Fire," Louisiana Joes sauces are not for the timid, Young said. Young, who also owns Entertainment Foods, the company that provides food services for Mud Island, said he always wanted to own a restaurant Downtown, and the 1,800-square-foot space Main Street location gave him the opportunity to make that happen. Louisiana Joes opened March 16, and its open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Young said the business will start selling beer April 5, and its operating hours also will be extended at that time. Young said he estimated about 40 percent of his business comes from takeout orders. Another Downtown newcomer, The Circuit, has opened in the former Barristers nightclub location in the alley behind 147 Jefferson Avenue. Circuit owner Dylan Birkenstock has signed a three-year lease on the 2,600-square-foot facility, which in the 1960s housed a club owned by Jerry Lee Lewis. Birkenstock said he wanted to provide good food at a fair price for Downtown workers. "Im hoping the Downtown crowd will go for Italian once a week," he said. The Circuit opens daily at 10:30, and serves pasta, sandwiches and salads. The club serves both lunch and dinner. With seating for nearly 100, The Circuit has plenty of room for lunch hour crowds, Birkenstock said. "If youve gone to eat lunch anywhere Downtown, you have to wait," he said. Since the location has been so closely associated with the local music scene, Birkenstock said he was determined to keep music at the center of The Circuits operation. The restaurant will feature live music five nights a week, he said. Birkenstock is not new to the entertainment business, having formerly owned The Daily Planet. "Its music for everyone. I wanted a better place for people to play in," he said.
PROPERTY SALES 32 252 16,449
MORTGAGES 35 120 10,207
BUILDING PERMITS 215 1,041 39,585
BANKRUPTCIES 52 188 7,785