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Friday, December 16, 2011

Restaurants Are Opening Up All Over Bowling Green, Kentucky. God Help Us, We'll ALL Die Of Obesity!

Mister B’s one of several new restaurants to open

Shannon Coughlin said he had to be even-handed when it came to choosing the paint scheme of his new Bowling Green restaurant, Mister B’s Pizza and Wings.

The restaurant officially opened to the public Wednesday, featuring Western Kentucky University and University of Kentucky themes. It is one of several new restaurants that have opened or are close to opening in Bowling Green.

Others include Sweet Temptations Bakery and Cafe, which opened Monday in Fairview Plaza; IHOP, which opened near Olive Garden on Scottsville Road; Tulum Mexican Restaurant, which is renovating the space formerly occupied by Peppers off Louisville Road; Peppers, which has moved and reopened on Campbell Lane near the Kroger Shopping Center; Taco Bell, which is in the final stages of paving its parking lot at its location near WKU; and a Five Guys burger joint that will go into the strip center in front of Walmart on Campbell Lane.

Coughlin said he had to be careful not to have the UK blue dominate WKU’s red, since Bowling Green is the hometown of the Hilltoppers but also home to many UK fans.

A friends and family night Tuesday went well.

“We didn’t even hand out our invitations until the day before, but we were still 100 percent full,” he said of the restaurant, which occupies the former Baker Bros. Deli space in Thoroughbred Square.

“It went really well,” he said. “We were trying to work out our kinks ... but still got lots of compliments on our food.”

Coughlin said he expects that the hand-breaded appetizers and pizzas will be the most popular items, with prices ranging from $2.99 for some appetizers to $7.49 for sandwiches and $5.99 to $18.49 for their pizzas.

The restaurant also has a full liquor license but no bar, to encourage families to come in and dine while the adults may be watching games on one of the multiple TVs or large projection screen.

Coughlin employees about 75 part- and full-time employees. The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Coughlin, who also has a Mister B’s in Henderson, said opening the restaurant here was a pleasurable experience because of how city government and health inspectors worked to make sure the business could open on time.

“They went out of their way,” he said.

For more information, call the restaurant at 270-904-4200.

Sweet Tempations owner Dafnel Fulcher is no stranger to the restaurant business, having operated one in Russellville for several years. While she was most recently selling cars at Mansfield Chevrolet in Russellville, Fulcher has been baking cakes and selling them for 39 years.

“I just decided that I had been living in Russellville for 59 years and if I was ever going to make a move, now was the time,” she said. “Plus 75 percent of my business was coming from Bowling Green.”

Now, some of her Russellville and Logan County customers have already followed her to Bowling Green, lunching at the Fairview Plaza restaurant this week.

Fulcher said she has numerous cookies, candies and sweets, including cinnamon rolls and homemade sourdough bread for sale each day. She also will have specialty cakes to order, chicken salad and pretzel salad by the pint and daily lunch specials in the restaurant, which is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We also are doing gift baskets – we did 41 of them on Monday – and we will be open after hours for special events,” she said.

A couple of doctors have already inquired about holding meetings in the space that will hold about 45 people. Fulcher also is now booking catering for weddings.

“So far, I’ve been shocked that we’ve been so busy,” she said. “Hopefully next week we will have our big sign up instead of just our banner.”

For more information, follow Sweet Tempations on Facebook or call 270-904-4210.

The Taco Bell next to campus should open late next week, according to district manager Allan Kingrey.

“We get all this rain during the week when people are working and then it’s sunny on the weekends when they aren’t,” Kingrey said of why work has been unpredictable lately.

Workers are trying to get the parking lot finished this week.

Kingrey said drivers from both directions on Russellville Road will be able to turn into the restaurant.

“We are going to have two entrances, one for those coming from campus and one for those going toward campus,” he said.

The restaurant will employ about 35 people. Applications are still being taken at the other two Taco Bell stores. Until employment is complete, workers from the other stores will be helping out.

The restaurant will be open at 10 a.m., with the lobby closing at 10 p.m. The drive through is open until 2 a.m. every day. Kingrey said the restaurant will seat 38 people.

Once this project is complete, the North Carolina franchise owner will have Kingrey overseeing two more construction projects in Bowling Green.

“We have already purchased the land on Nashville Road,” he said.

Two separate buildings will house another Taco Bell and a Pizza Hut on sites adjacent to the new strip center that houses Lost River Pizza, Home Place Cafe, Wino’s Depot, a nail salon and Lee’s Famous Recipe.

Realtor Alex Nottmeier of Neal Turner Realty said the sale for those two new restaurants, which Kingrey named, closed Tuesday. Nottmeier also helped close the deal for Coughlin’s restaurant and was at his friends and family night.

“I think it went really well,” he said.

The Pizza Hut on Nashville Road will mark a return for the restaurant to the street.

“I know there used to be one there years ago,” Kingrey said.

Actually, U.S. 31-W had two Pizza Huts at one time – one was near the lower end of the bypass and the other was in front of WKU’s South Campus.

Kingrey said construction on the two standalone restaurants should begin after the first of the year.

The lots already are properly zoned and likely will require only building permits, according to Josh Moore, construction and flood plain coordinator at the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County.

Moore said there is a potential for another new restaurant at Three Springs and Scottsville roads. A development plan filed a few years ago proposed a restaurant for the site. The gas station that stood there was torn down about a month ago, but so far no building permits have been issued for the site.

Across the street from there, IHOP opened Nov. 28 and is open 24 hours a day every day of the week, holidays included.

No information was available about the opening of Tulum. Owner Tony Aguirre said he expects that the restaurant will open after the first of the year. He still hasn’t settled on the hours for the Tex-Mex restaurant and is waiting on approval for his liquor license.

Nottmeier said a franchisee out of Charlottesville, Va., will put in the Five Guys in the strip center in front of Walmart. The 2,500 square-foot space will be at the end of the building so it can have patio seating.

“It’s going to be a pretty substantial build-out, so I’m not sure how long it’s going to take,” he said. “We have two other leases pending for that building and expect it to be fully leased by the year end. It will be another deli-style restaurant and another national retailer.”



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