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DOWNTOWN AUBURN

These 3 restaurants have closed in Auburn, but cocktail bar and 'breakfast joint' are on the way

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When a restaurant or bar closes in downtown Auburn, another often comes out of nowhere to take its place.

That’s happening now, as several popular businesses have closed in downtown Auburn in recent weeks. “Closed” signs have been put up on the doors of University Donut Company and Fusion Thai & Vietnamese Restaurant, both on East Magnolia Avenue, and Arigato Sushi Boutique on North College Street.

Arigato closed over the weekend just one month after Tacorita closed next door.

“I feel like a lot of these places are just closing suddenly,” said Jessica Kohn, downtown coordinator with the Auburn Downtown Merchants Association. “I think that is worrying members of the community a little bit.”

Businesses are set to fill the space of two of those recently closed businesses.

According to Kohn, a new cocktail bar called Session will open soon in the University Donut Company’s location, and a breakfast place is planned for Fusion. No official word has been given on Tacorita or Arigato yet.

Kohn said Session is expected to open in October and will be geared toward a demographic other than just college students. The lounge also has a location in Tuscaloosa. While University Donuts just closed in the last few weeks, construction has already begun inside for the lounge.

“That is a different concept than we currently have in downtown Auburn,” Kohn said. “It’s going to be a higher-end type bar. It’s the type of cocktail lounge where there is no standing. You’re greeted by a hostess, and then you are seated and then someone will take your order.”

According to Kohn, there will be no food, just alcohol, and if the seats are full, then no one will be let in until a seat opens.

“It is a cocktail lounge, so you’re going to be seated when you take your order, and they do pride themselves on making sure that you get your drink in under 4 minutes or less,” Kohn said. “It’s very different than going to some of the other bars that we have in town where you might be standing up at a bar and waiting for a bartender to notice you to get your drink.”

She didn’t have specifics about the restaurant taking the place of Fusion, but she did say it was “something that is much needed” and that it will be “a breakfast joint.”

“I think people are going to be happy with these new businesses that are coming out,” Kohn said.

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