2018 is off to a great start, with many new restaurants either opening or getting their footing. Let’s hope for more during these prosperous times!

The Cheese Cottage downtown
Downtown’s corner of St. Louis and Dearborn is getting the curd treatment as the home of the cheesiest place in town, The Cheese Cottage. The physical address, 660 St. Louis St., is where Mobile County native and self-proclaimed cheese snob Kristi Barber has opened — and is still developing — her house of all things cheese.

Sourcing many varieties from “local” cheesemakers such as Day Spring of Gadsden, Stone Hollow of Birmingham and Belle Chevre of Elkmont, she’s got the Yellowhammer State covered, with more semi-local options coming from Sweetgrass of Thomasville, Georgia, and Mauphie Farms in Wiggins, Mississippi.

Already open with a limited menu, The Cheese Cottage eventually will have 92 cheeses on hand with six featured cheeses to showcase weekly for sampling, as well as six different sandwiches and daily specials. Sign me up for the Mobile Muffaletta or the Bacon Brie Sandwich. Of course, there’s a cheese board and charcuterie, too.

Expect wine and craft beer in the 700-square-foot facility and enjoy the covered outdoor patio.

The soft opening was this past Tuesday and a grand opening with live entertainment is slated for Friday, Jan. 19, 4-7 p.m. Check out the website at www.thecheesecottagellc.com.

Dublin Pub coming to Old Shell Road
Making its way to just below the University of South Alabama’s campus is The Dublin Pub & Eatery at 5955 Old Shell Road. Not open yet, the interior is coming together and they should be serving up “brews and steaks” in no time.

Pay attention to them on social media for actual opening. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear something.

Flipped Out Kitchen has grand opening
Farther west we have Flipped Out Kitchen, a salads, bowls and pasta place at 7765 Airport Blvd., Suite 120, at the southeast corner of the Schillinger intersection. The grand opening was Tuesday, Jan. 9 (they had to wait until after Elvis’ birthday), and the reviews are very good.

With house creations and build-your-own options, there is a pasta choice for everyone. As a bonus, the drive isn’t as bad as I remember it to be.

El Papi opens to great acclaim
And why not? When you’re part of the same group of restaurants as Chuck’s Fish and Five Bar, a high-end Mexican restaurant like El Papi is bound to be good. Tacos al Pastor and Tamales de Pollo Verde look amazing in the online pics. Folks are swearing they taste even better.

Located next to Five Bar in the former Café 615, you’ll be in good company if you can’t get a table at one or the other. Just go next door.

Recycle!

(Photo/ Facebook) The Cheese Cottage is celebrating its Grand Opening Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. at 650 St. Louis St., downtown Mobile.