Bethany Clough

This downtown corner keeps sprouting new restaurants. Here’s the latest on where you can eat

Renoir Corner is fast becoming restaurant corner in downtown Fresno

With the upcoming arrival of La Boulangerie de France, the corner of Fulton and Mariposa streets has seen a jump in restaurants opening since Fulton Street was opened up to traffic last year.
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With the upcoming arrival of La Boulangerie de France, the corner of Fulton and Mariposa streets has seen a jump in restaurants opening since Fulton Street was opened up to traffic last year.

Call it Renoir Corner. Or the corner of Fulton and Mariposa streets.

But lately, plenty of people are calling it a place to eat lunch.

The corner is fast becoming a little hub of restaurants since Fulton Street reopened to cars.

Although some people have bemoaned what they view as the slow pace of redevelopment on Fulton Street since its grand reopening nearly a year ago, much of the change that’s happened so far has happened here.

Fulton and Mariposa is the corner that the Pacific Southwest Building towers over. Across Fulton is Mariposa Plaza, with the clock tower and a free speech stage. On the other corner is the statue of Renoir’s washer woman, and the former Payless ShoeSource, which has been remodeled to add two new restaurants and famous artwork on its roof.

Two new restaurants have opened in that building in recent months — the most recent a ramen and sushi restaurant that opened Wednesday — but others have been operating for years on the other side of the building. Also this week, La Boulangerie de France announced its plans to bring a small version of its cafe at the Pacific Southwest building.

Here’s where can you eat now on that corner and what’s coming next.

Toshiko Japanese Cuisine opened Wednesday at 1112 Fulton St. It’s a ramen and sushi restaurant where you can watch the sushi chefs work. The restaurant already has a location in Hanford.

The Fresno location is open for lunch and dinner most days, serving raw and cooked sushi, sashimi (raw fish not part of a roll), noodle soups and salads.

It just opened and it’s a little place, so don’t be surprised if it’s mobbed. Go early or late if you don’t want to wait.

The Chicken Shack is next door at 1108 Fulton St. and specializes in all things chicken: wings, fingers, sandwiches, salads and lots of fried and cheesy things. There are more than 30 sauces to choose from. It also serves beer.

Like its neighbor, The Chicken Shack also has a Hanford restaurant, and also a food truck.

Chicken Shack has two outdoor patios and is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

La Boulangerie de France, which still has its main location in Fig Garden Village, is planning to open a second location on the main floor of the Pacific Southwest Building. It’s not there yet. Plans and drawings of tables with red umbrellas were announced this week and the owner hopes to open in November or later this year.

This version of La Bou will have 75 outdoor tables, most of them on Mariposa’s extra-wide sidewalks. There won’t be any indoor seating. Customers can order pastries and sandwiches from a walk-up window on the corner of the building, with the food made at the Fig Garden location.

Donut Downtown at 2013 Mariposa St. sells a lot more than doughnuts. The menu has Chinese food, hamburgers, french fries, sandwiches and several types of ice cream.

The restaurant has been there for 30 years and has nothing on the menu over $5.99.

It’s open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

La Cocina de Mamá at 2015 Mariposa St. serves Mexican food favorites, like tacos, tortas, tostadas and fajitas. Their carne asada burritos and tacos are favorites of customers.

It also serves breakfast burritos and is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Just the Tip at 2017 Mariposa St. smokes its meats on site and serves its tri-tip, pulled pork, pastrami and other meats on sandwiches and salads. Its sandwiches are named after downtown streets, like the The Van Ness, a tri-tip sandwich served French-dip style with melted Swiss cheese.

The restaurant is open 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and noon to 7 p.m. Saturdays.

Kids Cafe 2019 at 2019 Mariposa St. specializes in coffee, breakfast and lunch.

It serves sandwiches, salads, and soups made from local produce. In the mornings, there are breakfast quesadilla wraps, pastries and more.

Coffee, smoothies, lattes and other espresso-based drinks are also available.

Kids Cafe employs 18- to 22-year-olds in the Fresno County Office of Education’s adult transition program.

It’s open from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays.

La Chiquita is a food cart at Mariposa Plaza that serves mostly aguas frescas and snacks.

CArthop is a gathering of food trucks also at Mariposa Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Thursday. Trucks and mobile vendors can change, but you’ll often find the Tako Bbq Truck, Meltdown Bistro, Sierra Mountain Grill, E’s Sol Food, Rude Boys Acai, Sno Cafe.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough
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