The old Original Pancake House location on South Boulevard has gotten an upscale makeover. The 1300 Southend Tavern quietly opened Aug. 3.
The Scene: The restaurant bears no remnants of OPH. Sleek, dark-hardwood floors, track lighting, brick walls and exposed ceilings accent the open, airy space.
It has the potential to be a decent sports bar. Eight large flat-screen TVs are well-placed, and there's plenty of seating (and room to spare) with regular tables, high tops and stools around the large bar.
The food is standard bar fare with a Southern-heavy theme (fried green tomatoes, spicy pimento dip, ribs, corndogs, and shrimp and grits) plus the usual burgers, fries and pasta dishes.
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The music: A TouchTunes jukebox sits along a wall, but no one was taking advantage of it the night I stopped in. Instead, we listened to soft rock played at such a low volume you could easily eavesdrop on other conversations.
The crowd: I'll be interested to see what the crowd is like in a month or two, once they build up a regular clientele. I'm not sure how successful it will be. Parking is less than ideal and there's competition from the wildly popular Nikko just a building away. But it could draw a crowd looking for a more casual option.
Details: 1300southendtavern. com.
Sunset Club reopening
The Sunset Club will unveil its new, high-tech look during a reopening party Sept. 4. Owners say its the first fully interactive venue on the East Coast.
Ready for Mary J.?
R&B star Mary J. Blige and singer Robin Thicke will perform at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on Sept. 27. Tickets are on sale.