LIVE TO EAT: The advent of La Catrina, Mirin and The Earl proves that investments in food and drink downtown are not abating.

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It may seem as if there is no connection between The Onion’s all-time classic “War Declared by All” and the restaurant/bar scene in downtown New Albany, but look closely at the arrows on the above map.

This is how it seems.

Last summer, Longboard’s and Pints&union opened. Dragon King’s Daughter moved to a new space, and now La Catrina’s will occupy DKD’s former address. Double Barrel began where Match used to be, and next to it, Roadrunner occupied the square footage formerly used by Urban Bread.

Now Roadrunner will shift to a nearby address, and a second location of Mirin will take its place. Meanwhile, seemingly out of nowhere, Big Four Burgers ceased and Cox’s Hot Chicken & Sports emerged. During all this, Floyd County Brewing Company expanded what amounts to an adjacent sister business, Grain Haus, by adding a wood-fired pizza oven.

No, I personally don’t know anything more about River City Winery’s operating issues than anyone else does. We need RCW back at full strength.

Finally  … across the street from Pints&union, where Comfy Cow once held court, there’ll be a new bar called The Earl … and the Gospel Bird floor plan remains up for grabs by a fresh, new contestant.

Before offering a few links to explain at least some of these arrows, just this point: For many onlookers, changes in the food and dining scene connote instability, but while there’ll always be an inherent fragility, there’s also an ebb and flow to any healthy business segment. It’s like an ecosystem.

The glass half full: Each night of the week, even Monday, there are hundreds more customers eating and drinking at downtown New Albany establishments than there were only a few years ago.

It’s probably 95% more than it was in the barren wasteland time of 2003, when we bought our house on the 1100 block of Spring. For some current purveyors, it won’t be enough. For others, it will. There’s always more we can do to promote and project, although often, everyone’s in the weeds.

Things will change … and change is good.

Three links follow. 

La Catrina restaurant in New Albany to offer authentic Mexican street food, by Brooke McAfee (Tome May Content Multiplier)

NEW ALBANY — Chef Roza Segoviano found some of her favorite food from street vendors while spending a few years in Mexico. In early 2019, she will bring an authentic taste of that culinary scene to downtown New Albany.

La Catrina Mexican Kitchen, located at 202 Elm St., will present a grand opening on Jan. 4. The building was previously home to Dragon King’s Daughter.

Griffin Paulin of Mirin previewed the New Albany location in a Facebook post, and then Insider Louisville analyzed these social media comments. Following is the text of Paulin’s post.

It’s true, we are opening a 2nd Mirin in downtown New Albany. Here’s some info:

We are setting a goal of February 1st for an opening date. This is ambitious and may not happen. Please don’t hold us to this date. There is much to be done, but we have hit the ground running.

We will be taking over the space currently occupied by Roadrunner Kitchen, who I believe will continue operating through December. They aren’t closing- just moving. Check them out in the meantime- really cool people who do Good Shit™️. 145 E. Main Street, New Albany.

Executive Chef at the new location will be Jon Kaelin. Y’all know Jon’s pedigree. Dudes a tank and way talented. Stoked to have him, obviously.

My guy Levi Crandall will be working in conjunction with Jon as his front of house counterpart. He brings necessary experience that Mirin needs to continue to grow and evolve. He is a New Albany resident. And he’s quite handsome.

Michael and David will maintain a role at both restaurants, though the specifics of those roles are gonna be free flowing- we’ll figure it out, man. David is taking an immediate “promotion” to Sous Chef, but he was basically already the Sous Chef, so it’s kind of whatever. Michael will continue to be my go to guy for all Mirin related things.

Cody Graudick will be getting an expanded role at the Mirin in Louisville, so, like, ayyy, TONY!!!

The menu will be similar to Mirin Louisville, but different. We haven’t finalized it yet. Just scrawled some shit on the back of a Fire Greens invoice. But we’ve gone through enough menus at Mirin…. the actual food is honestly the last of our worries.

Oh, and I am HIRING SO HARD RIGHT NOW PLEASE HELP.

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

Little is yet known about The Earl. I’m told the owners are veterans of Doc Crow’s and the short-lived (but wonderful) Red Herring, both in Louisville. At the moment, their ATC license is waiting in escrow, and interior work is underway.

Courtesy of Facebook, here’s the logo.

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