Sleep Out Louie's, the bar and grill at 88 Union downtown, has closed after a 20-year run, to be replaced this summer with a Mesquite Chop House. This will be the second one in the area: The original operates in Southaven. Both are owned by River City Management Group. At 105 S. Second, Flying Fish restaurant has opened. This offshoot of Flying Saucer features catfish and seafood as well as a gospel brunch on Sundays.
Yet another chain of "fast casual" Mexican restaurants is coming to town. Taco del Mar, which operates more than 200 units in North America, will open in Southaven and in the Germantown area, with plans for more locations in the Mid-South. New to Cordova, at Germantown and Dexter, is King Biscuit Diner, which features a large menu ranging from diner favorites to Thai barbecue to fajitas and crawfish etoufee.
In other "south of the border" news, Leelavadee Thai Cuisine, featuring specialties such as tom-yum soup and green curry with shrimp, has opened at 775 Goodman in Southaven.
The Tennessean, on Collierville's historic Town Square, gives diners the experience of noshing in an old-school dining car. The restaurant makes its home in the railroad cars on the south side of the Square, and features the cuisine of chef David Krog, formerly of Madidi restaurant in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Across the square, Caffe Italia, an offshoot of the restaurant Pasta Italia, features desserts and specialty coffees, a full bar, lunch, and an abbreviated dinner menu.
In Midtown, real estate exec and former Squash Blossom owner Jimmy Lewis is getting back into the natural foods business, opening Jimmy's Market in the former Burke's Bookstore location at 1723 Poplar Ave. The market will also feature a deli.
Jennifer Chandler, formerly chef and proprietor of Cheffie's Market and More, has penned Simply Salads (Thomas Nelson Publishers), with more than 100 creative recipes and ideas to take advantage of those easy, prepackaged salad mixes available in the produce aisles these days. Don't miss the dressing recipes — gourmet without the hassle.