Stonetown Closes Downtown, to Reopen in March as Zanzibar


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[image-1] Stonetown (627 Prospect Ave.), which opened downtown in 2012, closed its doors for good three weeks ago. The restaurant, originally opened by the Angie's restaurant group, had changed hands and closed before coming back into the parent company portfolio, just in time for the RNC circus downtown, which included a safety perimeter outside its front door.

"That was like a kick in the face and an uphill battle," says Willy Jackson, executive chef and kitchen operations manager for Zanzibar and Angie's Soul Cafe restaurants.

But the lights inside the downtown restaurant space will not be dark for long; come March, the restaurant group will open a second location of its popular Southern fusion concept Zanzibar, which opened at Shaker Square (13225 Shaker Sq., 216-752-1035) seven years ago.

"We're going to see if we can't brand that concept and do multiple ones," Jackson adds. "We need to stay focused on what's working for us right now other than our Angie's Soul Cafes, and Zanzibar will be the next one up."

Following some cosmetic interior changes, the downtown restaurant will open with a nearly identical menu and format. That means diners can look forward to delicious Southern-styled starters like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, and soul rolls, those egg roll-like snacks filled with collard greens, black beans and corn. For dinner, there's gravy-smothered pork chops, fried catfish, and chicken and waffles. Sides like candied yams, mac and cheese, and corn muffins round out the menu choices.

At the Shaker Square location, Saturday and Sunday brunches are very popular and Jackson hopes the same will be true downtown.

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