Fresno foodies have been in heaven these past few weeks with all the news about new restaurants opening.
Now I’ve got even more openings to share with you.
In case you missed it, my story about 25 planned new restaurants is online. And then there was the news that catering company The Painted Table was planning to open a restaurant in its space next to the Tower Theatre. It’s also moving its Brown Bag Burger Bar from Caruthers to Fresno.
In addition to all that, Clovis is slated to get a new restaurant called REV’S.
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REV’S is scheduled open in mid-April at 401 Clovis Ave., in the same block as Forestiere’s Place. It’s an upscale casual place, which means there’s escargot and lobster mac and cheese on the menu, but you won’t have to “get a home loan to pay for it,” say chef Brian Velasquez.
The restaurant will hand cut its own steaks and filets, feature locally grown ingredients and a menu that’s influenced by local ethnic groups.
Husband and wife Brian and Reneé Velasquez are opening the restaurant. REV’S is a reference to Renee’s initials. Brian Velasquez, originally from Visalia, was a Marine who was a radio operator in the first Gulf War. He became a chef after getting out of the military — something his Marine buddies still tease him about.
Shila Korean BBQ
A Korean barbecue restaurant where you cook your own food at the table is opening a Fresno location.
Shila Korean BBQ opened its first location at Clovis and Herndon avenues in late 2013. Fresno will get one at the northeast corner of Marks and Shaw avenues in the former Chuy’s spot.
The restaurant is many months away from opening. It will be bigger than the Clovis one, with a bar allowing customers to pick up their own side dishes.
Freebirds World Burrito used to be on that corner too, but it closed. It’s being turned into a T-Mobile store.
The company did not return calls about why the restaurant closed. The Freebirds on Herndon Avenue in Clovis is still open.
Longtime Reedley residents will remember The Pub, a restaurant and bar at 1041 G St. The landmark place was closed for several years, but a family bought it and reopened it last month.
There was so much excitement over this place that opening day was like “we just got ran over by a bus,” says owner Michael Boss.
Some things at The Pub are the same, like the menu. A cook who worked at the former place is now working at the new one and brought a lot of the recipes with him.
The menu is American food with French dip, clam chowder and tender chicken-fried steak with homemade gravy.
“You can eat that chicken-fried steak with a fork,” Bosse says.
The interior of The Pub is drastically different, however. Bosse and his family — who also run a towing business and a real estate business — spent a year overhauling the inside.
They’ve got all sorts of reclaimed wood used in the decor, including 100-year-old barnwood and lots of copper and brass. A beam that the liquor bottles sit on came from an old hospital at San Quentin prison that was torn down.
The Pub is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from 7 a.m. til about 11 p.m. and later on weekends. For details and lots of pictures of the interior, see The Pub’s Facebook page.
Another closed restaurant and bar may be getting new life, this time in Coarsegold. For years, the Broken Bit on Highway 41 has been a deteriorating empty building, more accurately dubbed “a bit broken,” as one colleague said.
But the first step to possibly bringing it back to the hopping place it was in the 1960s and 1970s has been taken. Developers have purchased the property and plan to fix it up. They’re looking for a restauranteur or other business owners to lease it.
Tanner Tweed and his father, of Fresno-based Pavilion Properties, were intrigued by the property after driving up and down to hill to a shopping center they had bought in Oakhurst.
“It had so much potential,” he said. “We’d heard so many stories of people getting proposed to there, anniversaries. There’s so many stories and history that we want to bring back.”
The 13,000-square-foot building needs a lot of work, but it’s got good bones, Tweed says. It actually looks worse on the outside than it is inside, he noted.
In case you missed it, the Pizza Hut on Blackstone near Clinton has moved to a former Quiznos spot at Ashlan and Blackstone avenues. The restaurant made the move to be closer to the increased foot traffic near the newly opened Walmart.
The new Pizza Hut is take out and delivery only, with no dining room. But it does the chain’s newest look, complete with a monitor that counts down the minutes until your pizza is ready.
The Village Trucks are back. That’s the food trucks that come to Friant Road and Fresno Street, near the northbound Highway 41 exit, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays.
The trucks had stopped coming for the winter, but decided to start up again (maybe since we’re not really having a winter). Tako BBQ and Dusty Buns will be serving lunch to start and more food trucks are expected to join them.
If you like gumbo, you can stuff yourself silly with it at the 8th annual Gumbo Throwdown at the Vineyard Farmers Market Saturday, Feb. 7.
Chefs from Café Via, Guri’s GrubHouse, Humphreys Station and Peeve’s Public House will be competing for the best gumbo trophy.
To participate in voting, get there between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. when the samples will be served. Tickets cost $8. If any gumbo is leftover, bowls will be sold after 11:30 for $8 each.