Union Square Cafe, New York City
After 30 years in the same location, Danny Meyer’s first eatery (and the namesake of his restaurant group) closed its doors in December, the result of skyrocketing rent. Regulars won’t have to go far to find its new location, as it will open just a few blocks away this spring, according to AM New York.
Apizza Regionale; Syracuse, N.Y.
This new concept from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que founder John Stage opened in March—right across the street from Dinosaur’s original outpost. This time, however, Stage is trying a whole new cuisine. Neapolitan-style pizza is the focus at this Italian spot, but co-owner Paulie Messina assured a local news station that it’s “not a slice joint.”
Duck Duck Goat, Chicago
Chef Stephanie Izard’s newest concept, created in partnership with Boka Restaurant Group, is a sit-down Chinese spot that will diversify its offerings with a soon-to-open street-food takeout window.
Hand-pulled noodles are the star at this dinner-only (for now) restaurant, which opened late last month. The space was designed to have an “every town Chinatown” feel, with entryways to its multiple dining rooms giving the appearance of storefronts.
Herb & Wood, San Diego
Part restaurant, part cafe and part market, the latest concept from chef Brian Malarkey is slated to open as early as this month in San Diego’s Little Italy ‘hood, Eater says. Despite its large combined footprint (12,000 square feet), Malarkey told Eater that he wants the restaurant component to have a boutique feel. Its 200-plus seats will feature an array of options, including loveseats, booths and a chef’s table near the open kitchen.
Holler & Dash; Homewood, Ala.
Longtime family-dining brand Cracker Barrel announced earlier this year that it would break away from the blue-plate special with a new concept targeting a different (read: younger) demographic.
Enter Holler & Dash, a biscuit sandwich-focused spot that opened last month in Homewood, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham. While its setup is typical fast casual, 60-seat Holler & Dash has “added a few new wrinkles,” Chief Operating Officer Mike Chissler says, such as an ordering kiosk that allows guests to skip the line when placing an order for dine-in or carryout.
Toothsome Chocolate Factory, Orlando
This chocolate-themed restaurant and candy factory is the stuff kids’ dreams are made of. But the concept has some features the whole family can appreciate. Adult-friendly details include steampunk-inspired decor and a broader menu featuring steak, seafood, pasta and all-day brunch.
The restaurant is slated to open later this year at Universal Studios CityWalk, according to Universal Orlando’s blog.
Some of the more senior members of the team smile at the junior staff who are excited to uncover an interesting trend in “eatertainment” or the latest single-ingredient concept. We try not to be condescending when we suggest they do some research by looking at past issues of Restaurant Business or old Technomic top chain reports before calling it the next big thing.