“It’s been a labor of love. But jeez, a baby only takes nine months. This has been 14 months. Even a child takes less time.”
Kim Owens is standing amid the construction of her Arts District restaurant, Main St. Provisions. It was in March that Owens revealed the name of the project and predicted a September opening in an interview with the Review-Journal. And even that was a delay from her original plans.
“I was going to try to open last July,” Owens says of her optimistic early goals. So she’s hesitant to promise too much. Yet, as she shows off the progress at 1214 Main St., she’s almost too excited to hold back.
“We’re looking at, most likely, a mid-February opening. And I know that sounds like it’s very aggressive. But it’s just a matter of closing up walls and ceilings.”
The south wall of the main dining room is complete, thanks to a mural by local artist Caitlyn Saville. Sculptor Randy Mendre’s Stardust hotel-inspired contribution to the interior, however, is still to come. So is the breeze block wall that will enclose the sidewalk patio. But with new sprinkler systems, electrical and skylights complete, Owens is cautiously optimistic about making her target date.
She’s also excited about the menu that chef Justin Kingsley Hall is creating for the restaurant.
“It’s a modern twist on comfort food,” she explains, adding, “and comfort food not being all driven from the South.” To illustrate that concept, she rattles off a handful of dishes: rabbit sausage in wild mushroom broth with potato dumplings; duck breast with popcorn rice supplied by Owens’ cousin’s farm; a smoked trout scotch egg.
“Sometimes it feels like you’re trudging through mud,” she says of the delays. “But right now, it feels just great.”
Once Main St. Provisions opens, a neighbor is expected to follow in short order. The space next door will be the new home of the popular Pawn Plaza pizzeria, Good Pie. And while it has has faced delays of its own, owner Vincent Rotolo reports that the main oven, capable of making up to 32 pizzas at a time, has been installed.
So when will Main Street visitors be able to get a slice of Good Pie?
“I think right now I can safely say spring,” Rotolo offers cautiously, before revealing that he would love to have things ready for a high-profile grand opening during this year’s Pizza Expo, which is in town from March 31 through April 2.
“I’m thinking soft opening, quietly, in early to mid-March, and then a grand opening maybe late March. My birthday is St. Patrick’s Day. And if I’m comfortable enough to serve you then, I’d be really happy. That would be the best birthday present ever.”