Friday, February 4, 2011

DDA strategy raises hopes, questions

It’s been awhile since Dewey Eason has hosted Southern Vittles Night at daughter Donna’s restaurant, Ezra Cafe, featuring his mother Eula’s treasured recipe for chicken and dumplings with all the fixin's.

June or July might be time for an encore.

That’s when Ezra is expected to re-open at its new location at the SunTrust building in downtown Bradenton, thanks to a $250,000 incentive package from the city’s Downtown Development Authority that was approved Thursday.

It’d be a celebration, if you will.

Good for Ezra, which has cultivated a following over the years at 5629 Manatee Ave. W., being able to do the deal with the DDA.

If such an incentive package is unprecedented, so be it.

It’s a function of the DDA to prime the pump and bring more business downtown.

They’ve got momentum there.

Two more bars are on the way.

Now another restaurant, a classy family business that should be an asset for downtown, albeit at a first-floor location that has seen its share of turnover the 13 years I’ve been here.

Begrudge them? Not me.

Neither do some of their future neighbors around the corner on Old Main Street.

Not that they don’t have questions about the deal.

A lot of questions.

Read more Sunday in Mannix About Manatee.

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