By JACK WEATHERLY
Zea Rotisserie and Bar will be the first retailer to open in the second phase of the Renaissance at Colony Park.
The restaurant will open Nov. 20 and will be the 10th in the New Orleans-based chain and the first in Mississippi.
As the name suggests, the eatery will feature rotisserie-cooked meats, along with grilled ribs and roasted corn grits.
Two of the three owners of the chain were on hand Tuesday to preview the restaurant and conduct tours as well as giving samples or ribs and grits.
Greg Reggio, one of the owners, said that the parent, Taste Buds Management, which also owns and operates the Semolina restaurants, has had the Ridgeland location on its radar for a couple of years.
“We are so excited to finally open this highly-anticipated location in one of Mississippi’s most dynamic retail centers,” Chief Operating Officer Paul Hutson said in a release.
Initially, Zea will serve dinner Tuesday through Sunday, later adding Monday dinner and lunch in the “near future.”
The next tenant in the newest phase of Renaissance, Malco Theaters, has set Dec. 13 as its target date to open six-screen boutique theater.
It will sport six all-luxury recliner auditoriums with reserved seating, state-of-the-art Dolby 7.1 digital surround sound and Dolby Atmos audio system in some of the auditoriums.
Patrons will also have access to the Malco Grill, which includes gourmet quick-casual selections, as well as a full bar with beer, wine and cocktails.
Zea has already hired about 88 to staff the restaurant and will hire more, said general manager Barbara Coultas.
The restaurant will have a 230-person capacity.
Reggio said the name Zea reflects New Orleans in a way. The name comes from an ancient Greek word that means “life.”
In New Orleans “we don’t eat to live, we live to eat,” Reggio said.
Coultas said in a prepared statement that “our restaurants use an open flame rotisserie that gives our meat a crispy, caramelized outside, leaving the inside tender and juicy.” The meats include chicken, lamb, pork and ribs.
“And we feature many flavors from around the world, influenced by many cultures. You’ll find classic Southern tastes along with Asian, Mediterranean, Latin American and Creole.”
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