6 new restaurant concepts likely to make a splash

the crack shack

This fall brings with it a slew of restaurant openings from notable members of the industry, including those below. Just don’t ask them to nail down an opening date quite yet.

The Crack Shack, San Diego

Putting his spin on the fried-chicken frenzy, Chef Richard Blais inserts a fast-casual chicken shack in the middle of the San Diego’s Little Italy ‘hood. The “shack,” which occupies a 1,800-square-foot former welding office and mechanic shop, houses restrooms and the back of house only; an accompanying outdoor area contains a bar, bocce court and seating for 135. Its business is expected to be takeout heavy, with most menu items falling between $8 and $12.

Roister, Chicago

The latest concept from Chef Grant Achatz and partner Nick Kokonas could redefine casual spots, as it’s coming from a pair known for charging diners upwards of three digits. That perception may not change entirely, as a meal for two at Roister will run between $50 and $500, the Chicago Tribune reports. Still, the duo told the Tribune the concept will be a pronounced shift from fine-dining restaurant Alinea, citing T-shirts and jeans as appropriate attire.

La Sirena, New York City

The trattoria on the plaza level of the Maritime Hotel will be New York City’s first standalone concept in close to a decade from B&B Hospitality Group, owned by Chef Mario Batali and restaurateur Joe Bastianich. La Sirena’s “modern Italian” space will seat 250 and also offer two private-dining areas.

Otoko; Austin, Texas

Chef Paul Qui seeks to set a new bar for customer experience at his sushi-counter concept in the recently opened South Congress Hotel. With just 12 seats and an expected staff-to-customer ratio of 1:2, Austin360.com reports, there will plenty of opportunity to cater to diners, whose checks will reportedly start around $150.

Mabel’s BBQ, Cleveland

Through Mabel’s, Chef Michael Symon stakes claim on a barbecue style for Cleveland, with a flavor all his hometown’s own. Meat served at the 100-seat eatery will be applewood smoked and slathered in Symon’s “C-Town Sauce,” a mustard-based condiment made with local maple syrup, cider vinegar and chili.

Rivea, Las Vegas

With a construction budget estimated at $2.8 million, Chef Alain Ducasse’s recasting of his former miX restaurant and lounge in the Delano Hotel includes a 200-seat dining room with a maritime theme, Eater reports. With its adjacent Skyfall Lounge and a private-dining room, Ducasse’s third Rivea location comprises 14,624 square feet, Eater says, a centerpiece of which is an illuminated “wave wall” that plays off of the concept’s Mediterranean-inspired menu


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