This week, I went out to lunch at an AWESOME new place called The Auditorium. It's located in the Fondren area, in the old Duling Street School. It's literally in the reclaimed space that used to be the school's auditorium. The entire building looks to be under development, with an antiques store already open for business there in addition to the restaurant. (You can walk in at any number of doors, and the hallways seemed to feature the original flooring. They are doing a fabulous job on this renovation.)
The restaurant has a great atmosphere, and they've kept the original stage and proscenium from the auditorium. They've trucked in Peavey electronics and theatre-grade lighting, and they plan to book live music there in the evenings. The walls feature vibrant original art. The place is nicely-sized, but not so big as to feel impersonal. There's a bar at the back.
I chose the shrimp and grits for lunch, and they were DIVINE. Service was a tad slow, but they are new (open, I think, for only a month or so) and we were there at the peak of the lunch hour. Another great benefit - they've just resurfaced the old school parking lot, so there is TONS of great parking (a hot commodity in Fondren)!
The restaurant is partially-owned by Nathan Wells, he of Basil's and Rooster's. If you haven't been by yet, check it out! We really enjoyed our meal there, and we'll definitely be back!