Small Plates: Friday, 3/16

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Downtown St. Louis is about to get a new restaurant or seven.

Want to open a restaurant downtown? You might have to stand in line.

The Downtown St. Louis Partnership recently announced that seven new restaurants will open downtown in the coming months, the fruits of the group's joint effort with the City of St. Louis and the St. Louis Development Corporation to attract more retail and restaurant business to the downtown core.

The locations and opening dates that follow all come from the Downtown St. Louis Partnership press release. I add this caveat: Consider any restaurant's scheduled opening date — even a very broad time frame like spring, summer or fall — tentative.

Simply Fondue, a franchise of a small, Dallas-based chain, will open this spring at 1627 Locust Avenue. Opening this summer will be the Irish restaurant-pub Tigin (333 Washington Avenue); Jim Edmonds' restaurant-lounge fifteen on locust (1900 Locust Avenue); and a new outpost of J. Buck's Restaurant (1000 Clark Avenue).

Also slated to open this summer will be New York-style pizzeria Bridge & Tunnel Pizza (1235 Washington Avenue) and the restaurant Franco Latino (1511 Washington Avenue). Chef John Mortimer opened the original Franco Latino in Eagle, Idaho, near Boise. According to its Web site, Franco Latino offers "a unique culinary fusion of European techniques with Latin flavors." (Franco Latino is not connected to Franco in Soulard, Franco co-owner Tom Schmidt told me.)

Finally, Mizu Asian Sushi Restaurant will open this fall at 1015 Washington Avenue. I'll give you more information about each restaurant, including specific opening dates, as I learn it.

-Ian Froeb

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