You might have noticed some changes at 420 Marshall (adjacent to Government Plaza) to the space that was once Theo’s and later Katherine’s, but always a restaurant. All the work was behind closed windows, but signage popped up last week giving the big reveal away. The East Bank District’s popular Retro 521 Cafe is expanding to downtown Shreveport and plans to serve breakfast/lunch/? out of the Marshall Street location, and do large parties in the beautiful 421 Texas event center. Co-owner Kristi Tift hopes to have the cafe open in early June and says the plan is to open weekdays at 7am baking all the breads they use for their menu. They will be serving a full breakfast brunch and lunch with a daily lunch special. ‘This location,’ says Tift, ” will offer more grilled items, and flash fried baked goods.”

Just up the block at the Slattery Building, at 431 Texas St., the space that used to be the Hallmark shop is opening as The Green House Nutrition, a store that will feature energy teas and shakes that one person who drinks them daily quipped tastes like ‘crack in a cup.’ We assume – that in this context- that is a GOOD thing. One thing we are pretty certain of is that an energy boost tea would be very welcome at about 3 p.m. each day! The shop plans to open in June.

And finally, the former Chateau Suites Motor Hotel is no more. The signs have gone up on the new and improved Holiday Inn  Express & Suites at 201 Lake Street. After more than 18 months of construction, the hotel plans to open in, yes, June. Congratulations to all of our new downtown businesses!