Last updated: August 24. 2013 11:47AM - 443 Views

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LIMA — With two new businesses opening Monday on Town Square, downtown is getting an “open for business” vibe.

Vivace and Childers Media Group are now neighbors on the northwest corner of the square. Vivace reopened with a major facelift after closing in the winter, and Childers moved into the former Ohio State Beauty Academy, after Matt Childers purchased Maverick Media’s 92.1 The Frog WFGF, 93.1 The Fan WWSR, 107.1 WDOH, 104.9 The Eagle WEGE and 940 WCIT in a deal announced in March.

South of the square, John Heaphy continues work on a planned steakhouse, Old City Prime, set to open in the early fall, and north of the square, Shane Hobak continues work on another planned restaurant, Fresh.

With recently opened Fat Cat Diner and The Met, Vivace owner and chef Khaled Alkhatib said he’s pleased to be part of a dining vibe downtown.

“We want to provide people with something different, something fresh,” Alkhatib. “We don’t have a lot of customers from out of town. We want to give the people of Lima something they don’t have every day.”

Vivace is open for lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. It will stay open later for special events happening downtown. Many of menu items are carried over from Lazeza, because customers requested them. The restaurant is also getting its liquor license; diners could carry in alcohol to the previous location.

Both new businesses have remodeled spaces with “big city” feels. At Childers, crews began work in January, even before the sale was finalized and reported, and gutted a beauty school for new on-air studios, conference space and administrative offices. The remodel includes exposed brick and original hardwood floors. The stations’ studios look out on the square, as does Childers’ office.

Childers said he wanted his company to be part of downtown, because it’s a special place. The new development is a plus in itself, he said, but it also spurs more, and local businesses support each other. A case in point: While Childers is thrilled to have Vivace next door, and will surely eat there, Monday, most of the company’s staff ate across the street, at Joey’s.

Chris Connor
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