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Chattanooga's changing tastes in restaurants

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A couple heads to lunch at the Fork & Pie Bar while Aden Shabez of Stone Source cuts tile for the new Blacksmith's restaurant in the 800 block of Market Street. Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press A couple heads to lunch at the Fork & Pie Bar while Aden Shabez of Stone Source cuts tile for the new Blacksmith's restaurant in the 800 block of Market Street. Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press

CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -- Nearly two dozen prominent Chattanooga restaurants closed their doors in the past year, as many of the city's old-line establishments gave way to a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Celebrated restaurants like Niko's Southside Grill, Market Street Tavern and Table 2 ceased to exist, as food trucks, coffee shops and cafes arrived to take up the slack.

Some restaurants like Meo Mio's materialized out of nowhere, then quickly closed their doors and then reopened as a different restaurant within the same year. Others, like the Melting Pot, faded away with little explanation. A few shut their doors due to disasters, like Toast Cafe, which was almost completely gutted by a freak fire.

The total number of permitted restaurants in Hamilton County decreased from almost 1,700 in summer 2010 to 1,614 today, which health officials say mostly reflects some shrinkage in the number of mom and pop establishments.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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