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Rooftop dining downtown, a bar and grill run by the owners of the El Paso Mexican restaurants, a café on Chadwick Avenue and a soup and sandwich shop in Saluda are all getting ready to open.
All four restaurants are still in the building and furnishing stages. Three are expected to open this year.
The rooftop restaurant at 202 N. Main St. has been under construction for more than two years. The owner, Robert Rogers, applied for a building permit in May 2011, listing construction value of $575,000 for a commercial upfit for a restaurant. It's a complicated job, he said.
"It's a historical remodel and it's a commercial construction on top of a historic remodel," he said.
He said he was not yet ready to publicize details of the restaurant, which has a rooftop bar. Contractors have stripped old siding from the 1920s building, installed new windows and gutted the inside for the new restaurant.
Here's a roundup of three other new restaurants:
Tequilla's Bar & Grill
The owner of the El Paso restaurants on South Main Street and inside the Best Western is adding a third Mexican restaurant, Tequilla's Bar & Grill, in the former Cabana Beach restaurant at 300 Freeman Street overlooking Blue Ridge Mall. Tequilla's will be more upscale, said Mauricio Montana, with later hours than the existing El Pasos. He plans a Dec. 1 opening after renovations of the building, which has a south-facing deck with a mountain view.
Crust & Kettle
Doris Coggins LeFever says she remembers her grandfather, Elbert Pace, teaching her about restaurant work when she was little. Pace ran the old Saluda Café, now the home of Green River Barbecue.
"That's where I learned to wash dishes," she said. "If I was real good he'd let me work the counter."
She went on to a 48-year career in food service, from McDonald's to Subway to the Atlanta Bread Co., which closed after 14 years.
LeFever and her partner, Margaret Byers Woods, another Saluda native, plan to open Crust & Kettle on Ozone Drive at the I-26 interchange in Saluda. The mountain-style house with a wrap-around porch is home now to Maggie's home décor, garden and gift shop.
LeFever and Woods plan to add seating inside and outside for the soup and sandwich shop. It will feature homemade soups from family recipes, coffee, espresso, beer and wine and free wi-fi. It will also have a pet friendly area, where visitors could be greeted by Woods' new bloodhound, six-month-old George.
The business partners say they're hoping to grab hungry folks coming into Saluda from the Gorge zipline and from Green River kayaking.
"And we'll be glad to pack them lunch" for picnics, LeFever said.
"We will have three soups a day, no hamburgers or hot dogs," she said. "We're using as many local suppliers as possible."
A Shady Place
Towering leafy hardwoods suggested the name for a new restaurant on Chadwick Avenue in Hendersonville. A Shady Place, in a renovated 3,000-square-foot house, will serve fresh-baked muffins, sandwiches, cakes and cupcakes.
Suzanne Jackson, a real estate agent, is opening up the café, gift shop and garden center, said her husband, Carey Miller, who owns the European Auto Werks next door. Contractors were finishing up work on the restaurant this week. A Shady Place has an outdoor deck plus a screened porch. Projected opening is Oct. 15.