Restaurateur Jonathan Insetta’s newest venture Downtown will be called Bellwether and should open by early April.
Work is taking place behind the walls on the street level at 100 North Laura, the 10-story building at Laura and Forsyth streets.
Insetta’s group — which also owns Orsay, Black Sheep Restaurant and BLK SHP at Intuition — says on the bellwetherjax.com website, “This casual yet sophisticated restaurant will offer an eclectic mix of timeless fare for lunch and dinner.”
It will feature outdoor dining, a full bar and private dining options.
Bellwether will open in the former Midtown Deli space, which is undergoing significant renovations.
Insetta is president of Black Sheep Restaurant Group Inc. Orsay is in Avondale, Black Sheep is in Five Points and BLK SHP operates in Intuition Ale Works near the sports complex.
He said Wednesday that a bellwether is the leader of a herd of sheep. “And we really liked the idea behind it and the way it looked in print, as well,” he said.
Insetta said the menu will be similar to Black Sheep’s, with the addition of dinner options and snacks.
He said the burger program will include beef, chicken, the beet burger veggie option, a fried chicken sandwich and a “gooey cheeseburger.”
Insetta said his group has been doing research and development on the menu for a year. “I’m super stoked about it,” he said.
It will open starting with lunch only. Dinner Thursday-Saturday and brunch Saturday-Sunday come later.
Insetta said there also will be a private dining room as well as delivery with a corporate catering menu.
Bellwether will seat 120, with the private dining room having capacity for 40. That area also can be for regular seating.
It will offer a full bar with draft beer, wine and craft cocktails. A daily happy hour is planned.
Insetta said the bar program will be similar to that at Black Sheep.
Bellwether brings Insetta’s culinary focus back Downtown. He formerly operated Chew restaurant at 117 W. Adams St., which closed in January 2012.