As 2017 winds to a close, some operators are pinning their hopes to new concepts, dreaming of a bottom line that’s black as soot—not red as Santa’s suit. Here’s a sleigh full of new concepts worthy of your attention.
1. Australian coffee invasion continues
It seems there’s no stopping those coffee chains from Down Under. New to the mix is Little Ruby in Los Angeles, a spinoff of Ruby’s Cafe—the godfather of Australian cafes in the U.S.—which opened in New York City in 2003. Little Ruby, like other Australian cafes, serves traditional flat whites along with avocado toasts, grain bowls and burgers. The concept also serves wine and beer.
2. Cronut creator bakes up dinner concept
Upstairs from Dominique Ansel’s Los Angeles bakery (famous for churning out that doughnut-croissant hybrid) is his new full-service concept, 189. The concept’s dinner menu is described as traditional French married with California ingredients, and it includes a shareable plum sauce-glazed steak, crispy confit duck leg, a riff on clam chowder with clams and tortellini and, of course, desserts. Weekend brunch is served family-style, sans menus, with dim sum-like service.
3. Russia’s largest restaurant chain enters U.S.
Teremok, known as the “McDonald’s of Russia,” has more than 300 units in its home country and recently opened two New York City stores. The concept specializes in Russian bliny, savory crepes stuffed with meats, cheeses and other ingredients. Bowing to American tastes, the chain added pastrami and pizza variations for its U.S. units. Teremok also serves borscht, sweet bliny and all-day breakfast. The chain was founded in Moscow in 1998 by a mother and son.
4. Cereal pop-up milks concept for permanent space
After a year-long pop-up, Kellogg’s NYC Cafe is slated to open a permanent cereal-obsessed concept this month. The space features an open kitchen, new menu items and Instagram-ready design that allows for “cereal selfies.” The new unit is five times the size of the pop-up location. The Kellogg’s pop-up was one of a slew of CPG-themed concepts that entered the market in the past year.
5. Fine dining, hold the waiters
Tickets are $225 per person—not including drinks or tip—for David Bouley’s new Bouley at Home in New York City. The concept centers around multicourse tasting menus, served and explained by the cooks. At each seat is a silverware drawer so diners can retrieve their own cutlery. The space features TVs playing videos showing how the food is cooked. The restaurant also plans to launch a $75 lunch menu.