Two new restaurants are preparing to open in the 200 block of South Fifth St. in downtown Springfield.

In April, SBJ reported that Tacology 101 was closing its second location at 210 S. Fifth St., next to Floyd’s Thirst Parlor, which was previously occupied by the sushi restaurant Stop and Roll. The space will now reopen as The Dog House, a custom hot dog restaurant owned by Rosh Mahmood, a familiar name in the local restaurant scene.

Mahmood, who is originally from Chicago, said he wanted to provide a fast and affordable lunch option in the downtown area. “Who doesn’t love a hot dog? But we’ll also have Italian beef, brats, chicken and even vegan dogs,” he said, noting that the menu will include a variety of specialty hot dogs such as bacon wrapped and chili cheese dogs. “We have a dog for everybody’s appetite.”

Mahmood said he plans to have a soft opening this weekend and will be offering the full menu by the following weekend. Since the restaurant is attached to Floyd’s Thirst Parlor, he also intends to have late night hours on Fridays and Saturdays for the downtown bar crowd.

In addition, work has been taking place at the former Balen’s Bar & Grill, located across the street at 217 S. Fifth St. Word on the street is that it’s a new venture from Anchors Away, a seafood restaurant that opened last May, replacing the various incarnations of Norb Andy’s Tabarin in the historic Hickox building at 518 E. Capitol.

Anchors Away owner Sandra Cabbell declined to be interviewed for this story, stating that she was not sure yet about plans for the Fifth St. location. However, Blake Pryor, a commercial realtor with Coldwell Banker Commercial who previously had the 4,200-square-foot turnkey restaurant listed, confirmed that a lease was signed in April and it was no longer on the market.

Linda Renehan, who owns the Springfield Vintage store in the same block, said she was looking forward to the opening of both new restaurants. “As a business owner, it’s really exciting that everything on the block will be full; there won’t be any empty buildings left.”


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