1817 fern creek

That little shack on the corner of Fern Creek Avenue and Kaley Street hasn't had much luck, not since All-American Cafe moved out nearly five years ago. It's been a coffee shop or two and a florist at one point. But all of those businesses were short lived.

Now, Kelly's Homemade Ice Cream will open a second location in the building, which is currently painted a pistachio color. Kelly's original location is on Corrine Drive in Audubon Park. That shop opened in 2015 after the owners, Kelly and Scott Seidl, had some success selling their cool wares at farmers markets. Apparently the brick and mortar shop has been successful enough to warrant a second location.

Perhaps an ice cream store will break the string of revolving-door businesses at 1817 S. Fern Creek Drive.

All-American certainly had a good run, and against the odds, too. The building itself had few seats for diners -- most were content to sit on the patio, even though it offered little shelter and not much ambience, either. After All-American closed at that location, it tried to revive its breakfast crowd by partnering with Holy Smoke BBQ, which itself was struggling on Curry Ford Road. Neither All-American nor Holy Smoke lasted very long -- that space is now home to La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant.

Kelly's Homemade Ice Cream is expected to open its second store in November, which is not historically a big ice cream month, but we'll see.

Lisbon dining room

I suppose it's significant that Lisbon, a Portuguese restaurant, had been open for a full year before I even heard about it.

That may be partly due to its International Drive location. Not that I eschew or ignore restaurants in the tourist sector. On the contrary, I like knowing about the good ones -- and there are some good ones -- so that I can advise and make recommendations on where to dine (and where not to) for visitors and locals alike.

But it's been a historical fact, unfortunately, that many businesses, including restaurants, choose I-Drive as a location because of a steady stream potential clientele. For some, that means they seldom have to market themselves to keep the seats full -- there's always another proverbial busload just around the corner.

Hooley gin

It's Labor Day Weekend, which means it's time for Raglan Road's annual Great Irish Hooley, Friday through Monday, Sept. 4.

A hooley is a "wild and noisy party," which could describe the scene at Raglan Road just about any night. But it gets wilder and noisier during the Great Irish Hooley weekend.

That's thanks in part to the extra entertainment that RagRo brings in for the occasion. This year, the Lisa Canny Band has traveled from County Mayo and will play at the hooley nightly. They play a more modern style of Irish music, fusing hip-hop and R&B. But there's also plenty of traditional music and you'll certainly find an opportunity to sing and clap along to "No, Nay, Never," if you must.

Pharmacy reopens

Apparently the Pharmacy has found the cure for its ills.

Its closure on Aug. 18, first reported here and represented on its Facebook page as a one-week "kitchen remodeling," was due to financial problems. As was said at the time, the Restaurant Row speakeasy-style bar and restaurant was in need of new investors. Those investors have been found and the restaurant will reopen Thursday, Aug. 31, according to owner Loren Falsone.


The restaurants listed here have been nominated for Best Fine Dining.

So what constitutes fine dining? It's a higher level of fod quality along with an elevated style of service. Tablecloths are usually employed, and quiet conversation is possible. Good wines are available, often with a sommelier to make recommendations. You know a fine dining restaurant when you're eating in one!

These nominees fit the bill. 

Voting is open through Oct. 4. The winner will be announced in the Oct. 5 edition of the e-letter.

Place your vote by clicking the box next to your choice and then clicking the Vote button. Only one vote per person is allowed -- if you've already voted, the Vote button will not appear.

You may write in the name of a restaurant that you'd like to nominate. But remember: The Foodster Awards are exclusively for independent businesses, defined as having three or fewer locations -- no chains. Any write-in nominees that don't meet that definition will be removed from the list. Also, do not write in the name of a restaurant that is already named in the list -- by doing so you may actually reduce the number of votes that restaurant might receive because only the votes on the first listing will be counted.

After voting, leave a comment below telling us who you voted for and why. We may use your comment if your favorite is the winner. (Be sure to put the name of the restaurant in your comment or we won't know which one you're referring to.)