November 14, 2013 9:51:55 AM
Something new is coming to downtown Columbus.
About a month ago, Dan Bennett, a local eye doctor, and his wife, Kim, purchased the building at 513 Main St. Planning is ongoing, so nothing has been finalized, but Kim Bennett said she and her husband are "99 percent sure" they will rent the 3,000 square feet out to a restaurateur who will serve lunch Monday through Friday. (It is still early in the game, so she declined to say what type of menu.) On weeknights and weekend, though, the idea is to have the site available for people wanting to use it for special events: bridesmaids luncheons, corporate meetings, wedding parties, etc.
Bennett said she feels like while locations for large social gatherings are available -- the Trotter Convention Center and Lions Hills Country Club, for example -- Columbus has a need for an option with a smaller, more intimate atmosphere. Included in the fee to rent the downtown space will be a caterer, along with things like tables, linens, plates and silverware.
The inside will likely begin to be renovated later this month. There will be a hardwood floor. Local art for sale will adorn the walls. Bennett, describing the interior, said it will be "elegant, with an old-world, New Orleans look."
The exterior facade is getting a facelift, as well. The glass windows are coming down. A balcony will be installed.
"The front will have more of a historic-feel," Bennett said. "It will be appropriate for a historic downtown."
As far as an opening date, Bennett hesitated to offer anything concrete, but guessed "early spring 2014."
She envisions the restaurant being able to seat 65 people and the venue, when rented on weeknights and weekends, will be ideal for parties of roughly 80 people.
"We just thought it would be a neat service to offer Columbus," she said.
The location most recently housed Continental Market & Bistro, which closed earlier this year.
There are two apartments upstairs at 513 Main St. Those spaces will remain apartments.
In other Golden Triangle business news, on Friday in West Point, SouthernCare and Northside Christian Church are hosting a job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Counseling Services Gym, which is the former Mary Holmes College Gym.
Scott Burroughs, a director with SouthernCare, said the job fair isn't aimed at any particular audience, rather, anyone in the job market.
"We're trying to help everybody," he said. "Times are hard out there."
Burroughs said SouthernCare helped put on a similar event last month in Amory. Twenty-plus employers, from manufacturers to fast food restaurants to insurance companies to banks to hospitals, were present. A similar mix of human resources from potential employers are expected to be at Friday's event, Burroughs said. Most will be from in and around West Point, though some from Columbus and Tupelo will be represented, as well.
Admission is free. Attendees, depending on their goals, are encouraged to bring about a dozen resumes and dress in business attire.
William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.
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