Longtime Rice Village restaurant closes to make way for local market

ByEric Sandler CultureMap logo
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
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The pandemic has hit businesses hard, both large chains and small local stores. ABC13's T.J. Parker explains what may be next as the pandemic continues.

Benjy Levit continues to make changes to his local restaurants. After revealing that he recently sold The Classic, Levit has announced that he's also brought an end to Benjy's, his acclaimed neighborhood restaurant in Rice Village.

In its place, Levit will expand Local Foods to build on its success offering more retail and prepared items. Initially started as a convenience to customers who were nervous about shopping in grocery stores at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the offerings, now called Local Foods Market, will become a permanent part of the concept's identity. The current Local Foods space will also get a refresh after the Benjy's conversion is complete, which should be in December.

The moves come as something of a surprise. Just last year, Benjy's celebrated its 25th anniversary with a number of changes, including an updated interior and a new menu created by former The Pass & Provisions chef Seth Siegel-Gardner and Benjy's executive chef Mike Potowski. While the concept had earned praise, Levit tells CultureMap he saw more opportunity in expanding Local Foods.

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