GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Famous for biscuits the size of your face, Smith Street Diner in Greensboro closed early in the pandemic. Now, the owner, Beth Kizhnerman, says she’s got a new restaurant in the works.
Beth Kizhnerman and her business partner Jerry Kizhnerman say they plan to open Gate City Provisions, Eatery and Market in June 2022. According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, it will be opening at 1901 Spring Garden Street, near the intersection with South Chapman Street, and close to 913 Whiskey Bar and Southern Kitchen, Freeman’s Grub & Pub and Spring Garden Bakery & Coffee.
She describes the restaurant, which will have indoor and outdoor seating, as “not your ordinary” eating experience. Each day, guests can find daily grilled cheese creations among other sandwiches. Fans of Smith Street Diner’s New Orleans-style file’ gumbo will welcome the dish’s return among other housemade soups. The restauranteurs also plan to bring a modern twist to their salads.
They’re also bringing a twist to the menu with categories like “In-Betweens” for sandwiches, the “BeSide menu” for sides, the “Toss menu” for salads, the “Ladle menu” for soups and “the Sweet Spot” desserts.
In addition to the restaurant, Gate City Provisions will also house a market of “select, small-batch manufactured food items,” according to the news release. And you can expect to-go provisions and meals prepared daily for pick up.
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Kizhnerman got her start working as an apprentice at Season’s in the Bostonian Hotel at Faneuil Hall in Boston and later at L’Auberge Bretonne in La Roche Bernard, Bretagne, France. In the late 1980s, she started working at Southern Lights in Greensboro before opening South by Southwest in Winston-Salem. In 1999, she opened Bistro Sofia on Dolley Madison Road with former husband and business partner Jerry Kizhnerman.
Jerry Kizhnerman opened Smith Street Diner in 2006 and turned over control of the diner in 2010 when Beth Kizhnerman closed Bistro Sofia. Smith Street Diner closed after 15 years at the start of the pandemic as stay-at-home orders took a toll on the restaurant industry. The restaurant announced that the closure would be permanent in May of 2020.
“The decision to close any business is exceedingly difficult believe me,” she wrote at the time. “When Smith Street Diner opened 15 plus years ago, we had no idea it would become what it has over the years…an institution. People dined with us not just from Greensboro but from all over the state and from all over the country. We had a lot of local regulars, but we also had a lot of out of town regulars. Smith Street Diner seemed to garner the hearts of many food writers, food bloggers and travel writers and people that just loved the small independently owned local diner.”
Smith Street Diner was rated North Carolina’s best diner in Food Network’s “50 Diners Across the Country” in 2019.