Rob Byford, the developer of the new River Market district bar Library Kitchen and Lounge in the old Gusano’s location, says he’ll be open Jan. 1 for business, just hours after the bar shuts down from a private New Year’s Eve party he’s hosting for “250 of our closest friends.” That pretty specific party plan makes it sound like folks may be able to count on dining on what he’s calling a “Delta-Southern-Creole cuisine” while nursing their hangovers.

Library Kitchen — so named because of all those Library Bars in university towns that let students say they were in the library when parents call and the fact that its location (313 President Clinton) is (virtually) bookended by the Clinton Presidential Library on the east and the Main Library on the west — will have several unique features: A to-go window on Clinton Avenue, where you can order barbecue sandwiches or nachos and the like as well as alcohol. Meats smoked on-site, in its alley-side smoker. A 240-square-foot “yard area,” with commercial astroturf and picnic table at the front, open to the street in good weather thanks to new garage-style doors to be installed at the front. A huge rectangular bar in the middle of the room that 40 folks can sit around. There will also be “massive” booths on the sides of the room and 16 large-screen TVs.


Gwen Jones, of the Beast food truck and Rebel Kettle fame, has been hired as chef, and she’ll be cooking up meat and threes during the week and a Sunday brunch menu. There will be live music on weekends.