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Ask Matt ... about rooftop restaurant downtown

The old Sinclair Office Supply space on Main Street at SEcond Avenue is being renovated as a restaurant. The old Sinclair Office Supply space on Main Street at SEcond Avenue is being renovated as a restaurant.

The Lightning's intrepid researcher answers readers' questions.


Q. What is the status on the restaurant that is going in on the corner of Main and Second Avenue?


Things are happening — you just can't see it from the street. Once the home of Sinclair Office Supply, 200 N. Main Street is being totally rebuilt as a 9,500-square-foot restaurant. The owners, Bobby and Layla Rogers, did not disclose an opening date, the decor, the food or even the restaurant's name. But Bobby did say that there won't be any menu items that you can't pronounce. I was left with the feeling that they are keeping their options open and are taking their time to get it right.
What we do know is that it will feature a street-level dining area with a long bar and lounge, a lower level special occasions room and a rooftop area that will offer full-service dining. New windows will be installed on the south side and the old brick walls will be exposed. Renovation work revealed a large mural type sign (circa 1920) painted on what was once an exterior brick wall. The old laundry company ad will stay – visible just over the bar. Upon completion this year the mystery restaurant will be the largest downtown eatery. Bobby Rogers' building experience shows in the workmanship of the restoration and his training as a chef will be needed as well when the doors open. The restaurant business is often unkind to those who venture but this one could be a real jewel for downtown. Now can we talk parking?

Q. Why are some traffic signals lights hard to see? It seems that the more modern styles are the worst offenders.

I take it that you are referring to the new Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lights. I referred your question to our DOT traffic engineers and they saw no downside. DOT has a wholesale replacement program that upgrades the "old-timey" halogen lights to LED but if a single light is reported defective, it gets replaced as soon as possible. My cursory online research revealed that LED traffic signal lights use 80 percent less energy and last 5 to 10 times longer than the old incandescent halogen bulbs. The initial cost for LEDs is greater than for the halogen lights but that money is easily offset by energy savings and not needing to slow down traffic for maintenance. But did you know that the red traffic light burns about 60 percent of the time compared with green and yellow lights? Converting 100 red traffic signals to LEDs could save $3,000 a year. Perhaps one downside – LEDs don't melt the snow blown into the traffic signals.