While Freemans won’t confirm or deny rumors that it’s working on an upstairs party space (a rep does admit that changes are in the works), the restaurant has kindly sent us some menus, launching October 1, that show an increasing southern influence. New items include shrimp and grits, beer-braised pork shank, and sweet-potato pie with buttermilk ice cream. Meanwhile, another downtown spot, the Bourgeois Pig (scene of one of the most bizarre celebrity sightings in recent memory) informs us that it’s expanding its menu to include charcuterie and, yes, artichoke dip. Actually, not so much artichoke dip as an artichoke-and-crab gratin. Also new: fondues made with Murray’s cheese, including curry, lobster, and “French onion” varieties. And the restaurant is now open starting at 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays — bottles are half-off until 7 p.m. (they’re also half-off all night Monday and Tuesday).