Two industry veterans whose concepts already dot restaurant rows from coast to coast lifted the napkin recently off their latest ventures.
Cameron Mitchell, the Columbus, Ohio-based creator of Ocean Prime and other high-end concepts operated by his own Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and others, is going retro at his newest undertaking, The Barn. The place features what it calls “traditional cuisine,” or familiar presentations of steak, seafood and barbecued meats, along with a menu of classic country-style desserts.
Among its unique features is a station in the bar where patrons can help themselves to snacks like house-cured olives and cheese dip while they wait for a table.
Local reviewer G.A. Benton described the space as “a super-fancy Cracker Barrel” with “ranch-inspired horsey accents.”
The Columbus premier of The Barn came as Mitchell was opening his first restaurant in California, a Los Angeles outlet of his Ocean Prime concept.
Meanwhile, Chicago’s Gibsons Restaurant Group is venturing outside the Chicagoland area for the first time with The Boathouse, a collaboration with Steve Schussler, the brain behind such eatertainment cathedrals as Rainforest Café, T-Rex Café and Jukebox Saturday Night.
The Boathouse, slated to open next spring, will be located on the shore of a lake at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Unique features include water taxi access and rides in amphibious cars. Live musical performances are integral to the concept.
Schussler’s Schussler Creative is designing the concept. The restaurant will be managed by Gibsons, which had five ventures on Restaurant Business’ Top 100 Independents list, including three Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouses, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House, and Quartino Ristorante.