Hitcents Plaza offers cuisine, atmosphere, entertainment

Customers eat dinner outside of Mariah’s on Tuesday, Aug. 26 at Hitcents Park Plaza. Jeff Brown/HERALD

Tyler Anderson

Bowling Green is home to a multitude of dining destinations. From Japanese cuisine to American classics and Italian treats, restaurants dot the streets. The new Hitcents Park Plaza seeks to stand out from these, offering a selection of five restaurants which aim to keep customers coming back for food and fun.

The plaza opened in April of this year at the corner of E. 8th Avenue and College Street, directly across from SKyPAC and Hotrods Stadium. The construction is part of a revitalization effort of the Bowling Green downtown district, which has lost traffic due to major developments along Campbell Lane and Scottsville Road.

Offerings at the plaza include the Pagoda Asian Café, Tres Molinos Mexican Grille, Brick and Basil pizzeria and 643, a bar and grill experience.

MR Group, the owners and operators of Hitcents Park Plaza, also brought an established Bowling Green eatery into the mix.

Mariah’s Restaurant has been part of the downtown landscape for more than three decades. It was moved from a historic brick building on State Street, just a block away from its new venue in the plaza.

Jodi Fleming is currently the general manager of all five restaurants housed in the plaza, and was previously the general manager at Mariah’s for 32 years.

Fleming said as far as business is concerned, “most of the restaurants are meeting expectations, with one or two falling a bit short.” 

Mariah’s, despite many Bowling Green residents opposing its relocation, is among those that are meeting business expectations.

“Our facilities now allow us to handle even larger crowds,” Fleming said. “We can seat more people, our banquet facilities are larger and there’s great outdoor seating.”

Pagoda Asian Café, an Asian cuisine restaurant, has become a favorite lunch destination for Tompkinsville WKU graduate Alisha Martin.

Martin said that while WKU has recently updated their food offerings on campus, students should “venture out and enjoy what the city has to offer.”

When visiting her sister on campus, Martin makes it a point to stop at Pagoda. She said the restaurant easily has some of the best Asian food in Bowling Green. 

“I wish that we’d had somewhere like this on campus when I went there,” Martin said. 

But the plaza is not home to restaurants only. It also features a multi-story car garage, and office spaces are currently being leased.

Trivia nights, cornhole tournaments and concerts provide entertainment for those walking or dining in the plaza. Prospective customers can find information about future activities on the plaza’s recently-launched website.

Fleming said she and her coworkers also use social media to keep customers updated about daily specials and events. It’s part of their plan to strike repeat business. 

A grand opening ceremony will take place on Sept. 8, with festivities and special events throughout the day. 

“We want to get the community involved,” Fleming said.