Newsletter: Coming soon — ‘sushi amplified’ on Broad Street. Aw, Ratz: Kayak/tube business closes.  Home prices soar; sales up, too. Business Buzz: 8 updates at a glance. Peaks & Valleys: Swimming with sharks; farewell to a friend.

Newsletter: Coming soon — ‘sushi amplified’ on Broad Street. Aw, Ratz: Kayak/tube business closes. Home prices soar; sales up, too. Business Buzz: 8 updates at a glance. Peaks & Valleys: Swimming with sharks; farewell to a friend.


Rock N’ Roll Sushi headed to downtown Rome’s hot 200 block. What started in Mobile, Ala., in 2010 from a husband-and-wife team has grown to more than 50 locations, one of which will fill the briefly vacant spot at 208 Broad St. in downtown Rome. Rock N’ Roll Sushi — “sushi amplified” as the logo says — is taking over the spot that had been home to Seasons/Bistro 208. You can sample the menu here.

Charity Perez, who owns the Gadsden location, is leasing the spot on Broad Street as well. She hopes to begin hiring between 25 and 30 people in late July or early August with a September opening. The location will get some minimal updates inside and outside as well as the Rock N’ Roll Sushi look, she says. Rome’s downtown has a strong affinity to Gadsden, she says, citing First Friday concerts and other  activities. “I believe in downtown revitalization,” she says.

As for the restaurant: You can expect a different spin on sushi, more of an Americanized version with a Cajun influence as well, Perez says. She used the “Tour Bus Roll” as an example: “Surf n’ turf. Spicy tuna, krab stick, cream cheese inside, topped with seared filet mignon, jalapeño, spicy mayo, sweet chili, eel sauce, sriracha, and crunchy flakes—Totally baked.”

The dining experience is designed to have a feel of “coming to a concert event,” she says, adding that some of the old MTV themes and music will be looped for customers. The planned hours: 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Perez has been in touch with Rome City Clerk Joe Smith and will seek beer and wine pouring permits as well as liquor, adding that the restaurant has signature cocktails.

The leasing was coordinated by Ginger Alexander of Hardy Realty.

River Ratz won’t be back this season.

From 2016: Opening weekend for River Ratz.


One of Rome’s best summer experiences calls it a season: For most of the past seven years, Rick Dempsey has launched hundreds of kayakers and tubers on Rome’s Etowah River from Dixon Landing at Grizzard Park. Depending on the water flow and the kayak or tube, the journey would stretch from two-and-a-half to three or four hours. But not this year, at least under his ownership. River Ratz Tubing & Kayaks is for sale and if there isn’t a buyer, Dempsey says he does not plan to open next month. Earlier this year, Dempsey posted on Facebook his intentions to sell River Ratz — preferrably in one piece (the business, short bus, van, two kayak & tube trailers, an inclosed trailer, tubes, kayaks and many other items. If interested, please contact him through the Facebook page.

BUSINESS BUZZ: A quick look at what’s up around town.

Aventine adds Brocolinni and Sausage pizza. Details in buzz.

More pizza on the way: A national brand is coming to Rome. We have messages into the main office and will have updates soon. Expect pizzas, subs and wings… Real estate alert: “Another great sale” scheduled to be announced later this week. Details are we get them … Rome-based Big Dan’s Car Wash opened another location, in Crystal River, Fla., over the weekend… Look for updates on another new tenant at East Bend in the Eggs Up Grill wing soon…  Downtown Rome’s Mellow Mushroom has extended hours effective this month: The kitchen is now open Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; until 10:30 p.m. Thursday; until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and Sundays, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. … Hot dog lovers alert: We’re hearing good things about GastroDawg food truck, due back at River Reverlry Brewing on Glenn Millner May 6 and May 20… Aventine on West Third has tweaked the menu for spring. Brocolinni and Sausage pizza, some new pastas, pan fried chicken liver appitizer included (the sweet potato souffle remains!)… Lake Winnepesaukah amusement park opens for the season on May 5 with the water park to follow on Memorial Day weekend…

The model is now open at Crestwood, Smith Douglas’s latest subdivision in Northwest Georgia off Ga. 53 in Rome. Prices are from around $200,000 to $226,000. Hometown photo from Sunday.

A double dose of sticker shock from area home prices — even as sales increase. The latest reports on home sales show the average prices of homes sold in Bartow County soared almost 28% in March vs. the same month in 2021. That price: $339,000. In neighboring Gordon County, the climb was even steeper: 30.8% or to $270,000. Are those prices scaring consumers away? Hardly. In Bartow, 157 homes sold last month, up 3.3%, while Gordon County saw an 18.4% jump to 58 home sales. Both counties likewise reported an increase of new listings. We’ll have the Rome/Floyd numbers in our next update.  (Source: Northwest Metro Association of Realtors.

PEAKS & VALLEYS: The highs and lows of Northwest Georgia.

Peak to Berry College’s annual PITCH competition. Think of it as a better spin on TV’s Shark Tank. Each year, the college’s Center for Student Enterprises and Entrepreneurship Development encourages student entrepreneurs to “present their ideas and compete for cash prizes totaling $35,000.” It “gives students the ability to learn what entrepreneurship means and what it takes to advance an idea toward reality.” Among this year’s winners is Mallory Smith, a management major from Rome, and her concept called “Rendebrew Coffee Co.”, a mobile coffee trailer. Smith won $2,500.

Valley to the loss off of “plant man” John Paul Schulz: Few people connect with a community the way John Paul Schulz did. From masterful landscape creations to enduring, passionate friends, the tributes to John continue on Facebook and in conversations around town.

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