The late-summer heat might have many consumers ready to dive face-first into a vat of Pumpkin Spice Lattes. But the dog days of the season aren’t stopping operators from opening a wide range of new restaurants. Here’s a look at some recently opened on-trend restaurants that just might have the legs to gain ground.
1. Delivery-only tacos
It seems the only way to launch a successful delivery-only concept is through an existing restaurant, and the team behind Untamed Taqueria just might be halfway there. The taqueria, a delivery-only restaurant from New York City-based Untamed Sandwiches, makes the most of the five-day braising technique employed at the sandwich restaurant. The taco restaurant evolved from the family meals that Untamed Sandwiches chef de cuisine Luis Mendez would serve to his crew.
2. Instagram-friendly biscuits
Is Instagram + biscuits + fried chicken an instant recipe for success? That’s the hope of Bird Bird Biscuit, a new fast-casual operation in Austin, Texas. The restaurant apparently had to double its biscuit production after selling out repeatedly during its early days, according to Eater. The sunny interior features a social media-ready mural of egg yolks, chickens and sunbursts designed by a local artist.
3. Arena-based supper club
Dining operations inside arenas, even limited-service ones, continue to skew more local and upscale. And the latest opening planned for Chicago’s United Center (home of the city’s Bulls basketball team and Blackhawks hockey outfit) is no exception. Queenie’s Supper Club, slated to open in September, is a partnership between the arena and Heisler Hospitality, a Chicago-based multiconcept operator. The restaurant will be open two hours before and one hour after arena events, serving traditional supper club dishes such as Caesar salad, prime rib and crab legs.
4. CBD-laced cocktail bar
As more states legalize marijuana for recreational use and more consumers become comfortable with pot derivatives, expect to see it cropping up on menus. New York City bar Adriaen Block is serving a full menu of CBD cocktails, including the Stony Negroni and Bakin’ & Eggs. (CBD is the nonpsychoactive chemical in pot that many say has calming properties.) The food menu focuses on hearty pub fare such as a bacon-topped burger and fried calamari. Dessert, of course, includes CBD-infused whipped cream.
5. Boozy baked goods bookstore
Say that one three times fast. Millennials, especially, crave a true experience when dining out. Bibliophile, slated to open next month in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, aims to provide one with booze-infused desserts, a full bar menu and a small selection of books for sale. (The restaurant is located near the University of Chicago.) The new place comes from the owners of nearby Fabiana’s Bakery.
6. Customizable Vietnamese fare
The Boiling Bowl is headed to Portland, Ore., this fall, featuring customizable, DIY salad rolls as well as soups, banh mi and bowls. Salad rolls are served as platters and well-stocked with southeast Asian vegetables and herbs as well as a variety of proteins.