Cypress Cellar, the Southern Louisiana restaurant that has been serving jambalaya, crawfish etouffee and gumbo below Main Street for 18 years, is closing next week.
Renee Ellender, owner and chef, started the restaurant in 1996 featuring Cajun cuisine, a full bar and live music.
"It's been tough the last few years in the economy," she said, "but after 18 years I am starting a new life with my fiancé. The restaurant does require 24-7 attention and I'm ready for a change. I certainly will miss it. I love cooking and the whole idea of a restaurant. It's just a very very demanding business. I'm looking for a new venture."
She said she hopes to visit her parents in South Louisiana more often and plans to enjoy the summer before deciding her next step, although she has no plans to open another restaurant.
The restaurant space will be available for lease. Ellender said she's already had a couple of inquiries about it.
The Cypress Cellar is going out with the same bon vivant that has made it a fun place to dine for many years. Ellender and staff have posted a countdown to closing chalkboard on Main Street and are planning a farewell bash Friday night. Music starts at 8.
Jimmy John's, Burgerworx coming
While the Main Street stalwart is closing, two new chain restaurants are opening on Spartanburg Highway at the Harris Teeter shopping center.
A Jimmy John's Gourment Sandwich Shop and a Burgerworx are opening in the Harris Teeter shopping center on either end of the line of suites.
Burgerworx will feature "fresh All-American beef that's never been frozen," a grilled chicken breast, a veggie burger and a quarter-pound Nathan's all-beef hot dog.
"It's a build your own concept," said owner Jessica Bowers. "We'll have fresh-cut French fries. We don't do a lot. We do it well."
Burgerworx has prices that are competitive with fast food chains. A cheeseburger with no extra toppings is $4.94; a small order of fries is $2.49. The restaurant serves RC Cola products and milkshakes, Bowers said.
She is waiting for the landlord and Harris Teeter to approve construction plans. Hendersonville architect Tamara Peacock is designing the space.
"I would think July's a good guess but it's not a guarantee," Ballard said of an opening date.
Illinois-based Jimmy John's offers a variety of subs and club sandwiches. It delivers. The 31-year-old privately held chain has grown to more than 1,800 stores.
Burgerworx is a choose-your-own ingredients model offering a choice of buns, cheese and toppings including pepper relish, banana peppers and grilled onions. Diners can also get bacon, chili, a fried egg and grilled mushroom for $1 extra.
National Restaurant Designers of Raleigh filed plans with the Henderson County Inspections Department to remodel 1,460 square feet of space for a Jimmy John's. No other details were immediately available on the opening date for either Burgerworx or Jimmy Johns.