Are you sure about building that wall? In the past two weeks, a pair of family-owned eateries have expanded downtown Gainesville’s dining options well beyond our borders.
Unbeknownst to each other, two determined couples spent the long, hot summer putting love, sweat and tears into a pair of dining establishments that are now helping to give downtown Gainesville more of an international flair.
Alpin, a French bistro owned by Romain and Sita Marlier Challandes, opened earlier this month at 15 SW 2nd St., in a space formerly occupied by the Motor Room lounge.
Tamal, a storefront tamale shop owned by Nicholas and Rachel Iannelli, is now open for business four days a week at 439 Main St., in the complex that also includes the Civic Media Center and Wild Iris Books.
“This is Mom and Pop comfort food — nothing fancy,” Rachel Iannelli said about her 15-seat eatery that opens at noon Thursday through Sunday and closes each day whenever the last tamale is sold.
During the first two weeks of operation, Tamal has sold out of that day’s supplies of handmade tamales by 5 p.m.