More recently, Metro has committed to renovating the streetscape between Church and Union to place even more emphasis on that stretch as a vital part of the city center. With new lighting and signage that will be visible all the way to Broadway, the hope is that tourists and locals alike will be drawn up the hill from the arena and honky-tonks to enjoy some high culture in addition to the lowdown good times to be had on Broadway.
Apparently, restaurant owners have figured out that new crowds may soon be descending (ascending?) on that block as three new eateries either have opened or will throw open the doors soon in that 200 block of Fifth Avenue North. Blue Coast Burrito is already serving at their new location at St. Cloud Corner next to Puckett's Grocery. While their address is technically 500 Church St., you'll have to turn the corner onto Fifth to get in the door.
Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches is building out a location right across the street from Blue Coast, hoping to draw on the crowds of business folks who work within a few blocks of that corner. Perhaps the most intriguing new addition is going in at 235 Fifth Ave. N. in the former home of another sandwich shop that cleared the way for Jimmy John's to rock the block. It's also where Sherlock's Books and Hobbies used to be. The new tenant will be Bibap Fusion Rice.
There used to be a popular restaurant in Hell's Kitchen in New York called "B-Bap Fusion Rice" that was known for custom-made versions of the Korean rice specialty dish Bibimbap. It was kind of a cross between Mongolian barbecue and stir-fry.
It looks like Bibap Fusion Rice may very well be a similar type of dining experience and a welcome addition to downtown. Construction is still under way, but if you see that they're frying before we do, holler back here in the comments and we'll head on down for a First Bite.