- Bandwagon Brew Pub (114 North Cayuga Street) officially opened this week, serving a bar menu and dinner all week. They're brewing their own beer on site and it must be good, because they ran out of beer on opening day! You can follow them on Twitter (twitter.com/BandwagonBeer) or check out their website (www.bandwagonbeer.com) for a look at the menu and the latest updates on their brews.
- Also opening this week was the Prize Diner, which has given a modest makeover to the former Ithaca Diner on West State Street across from the State Theater. The Tiny Town Times has an encouraging early look at this new eatery that has us ready to give it a try.
- The Ithaca Journal confirms that there will be an Olive Garden coming to Ithaca in 2010, located in the new building currently under construction at K-Mart Plaza on South Meadow Street. While this had been rumored for some time, it's the first public acknowledgement of the plans that we've seen. The article also repeats the news that a Panerea Bread franchise will also be opening at that location.
- Our friends at 14850 Dining reported that Hog's Back BBQ has decided to close while they search for a new location. Mark writes that the owner "hopes to reopen in another Ithaca location -- perhaps the former Olivia location near East Hill Plaza -- before long." Like Mark, we'd love to see someone bring good food back to that location.
East Hill Plaza can also count on changes in grocery shopping options in 2010, as the P&C Grocery chain filed for bankruptcy in November. According to the Ithaca Journal, the Price Chopper chain has made a bid to buy P&C, but there is currently no way to be sure that any of the three P&C stores in Ithaca (at East Hill Plaza, North Triphammer Road, and Hancock Street) would be converted or sold by whatever chain eventually buys them out. In the meantime, for those who rely on P&C for certain brands and unique choices others don't have, the coming change is sad news. We'll keep covering this story as it develops.
If you've got more info on any of these topics, or have heard of another opening or closing we should share, leave us a comment below or drop us a line: feedback [at] eatingithaca [dot] com.