After a relatively brief stint as Lily's Cafe, the once heralded location of the Blue Moon Restaurant on East Main Street is undergoing major renovation.
The new tenant will be 40 East Grill - the brainchild of local restaurateurs Heath Seymour and Jason Scarborough. The two recently opened New York City Pizzeria in the Market District on Brampton Avenue, and Scarborough is the renowned chef of Emma's in the Holiday Inn.
Seymour said more than $250,000 is being put into the renovation.
"The Development Authority has been talking to Jason and me for awhile about putting a restaurant in downtown," he said. "The city incentive package helps, and further we think this is a great location. We both think it is very important to support downtown. It needs to be vital and inviting."
From exposed brick walls, to hardwood flooring, and granite on the bar, Seymour said he is really trying to create a cozy, warm atmosphere that is very comfortable.
"I want people to know that this isn't intended to be a special occasion place," he said. "We want people to come all of the time, because we are going to be very affordable, and will be serving top quality food."
Scarborough is developing the menu for 40 East.
"One of the things that is key for us is a focus on using local ingredients," Scarborough said. "Anything we can get locally, we will. We intend to have the main dish, and then a number of different side dishes to choose from depending on what is in season. We have been talking with a number of farmers already to begin to set that up."
Even though it may not show yet, there are a lot of good things going on involving downtown development, and hopefully, 40 East will serve as a catalyst for more positive development.
For those of you who love Emma's, don't worry, Scarborough said he will remain involved with the restaurant. "I am not leaving Emma's," he said. "I will be working with both."
In interviewing both Seymour and Scarborough, there was one question I just had to ask, and I got the answer that I had hoped for.
"Yes, I promise, we will have tuna tartar," Scarborough said.
If you want to see the build out of 40 East, you can go to their Facebook page. Pictures of their progress are being uploaded on a consistent basis. It is actually pretty cool to watch. Seymour said the restaurant should open in mid September.
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
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