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Now open: Porter Ale House & Gastropub, The Hightower and Art’s Ribs & BBQ

Matthew Odam

Porter Ale House & Gastropub opened at 3715 S. 1st First St. The neighborhood restaurant and bar will serve snacks like truffle popcorn and pork belly sliders with peach mostarda, small plates (roasted beet salad and fried calamari) and larger plates (curry fried chicken wings and burgers). The bar, which seats more than 100 guests, offers 30 beers on tap, including a large local selection, as well as wine and liquor.

Located underneath the Tree Condominiums, Porter is open Monday-Saturday from 3 p.m. to midnight. The restaurant from Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort veterans Joe Bixel, Neil Joiner and Trevor Lane takes its name from the Johnny Cash song, “Hey Porter.” (

Former Artz Rib House proprietor Art Blondin has set up shop in Florence. Art’s Ribs & BBQ opened at 212 Main St. in a 100-year-old stone building.

The Hightower opened at 1209 E. 7th St. in the former home of Karibu Ethiopian Restaurant and Bar. The restaurant, a project from former El Arbol co-workers chef Chad Dolezal and Victor Farnsworth. The restaurant serves moderately priced New American cuisine, and Dolezal said he is focusing on affordable ingredients (think skirt steak, not T-bones) in order to make the restaurant more approachable.

“It’s easy for foie gras and truffles to taste delicious, but we wanted to make our restaurant great for dining every day; an affordable, neighborhood restaurant that makes delicious food,” Dolezal said. (