In ongoing efforts to recognize Forest Park as the center of the culinary world, we note one opening and one near-opening of new restaurants along Madison Street.

Piggyback Tavern opened last week on Circle Avenue. Filling a genuine gap in local offerings, owner Rachel Dennis and Chef Jason Kurosaki, have created an appealing joint that David Hammond, one of our food writers, has high expectations for. Right location, right menu, right moment.

Now comes word that another local, Patrick O’Brien, is closing in on the opening for Scratch Kitchen which he describes intriguingly as “an urban sandwich and artisan canned beer bodega.” He’ll offer live music and a range of evening activities to draw a crowd to his new spot.

We’ve come a long way from Homer’s, The Pines and the Park Lounge.