1. 24 Wood Fired Fare, Philadelphia
Known for his Latin concepts, Jose Garces is switching gears with the launch of 24 Wood Fired Fare, his first Italian restaurant. The all-day eatery houses a counter-service coffee bar offering pastries, grab-and-go options, cold-pressed juices and proprietary coffee from fellow Philadelphia concept Garces Trading Co. for breakfast, while lunch and dinner are full service and include antipasti, salads, pasta and wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas. A bar offers craft beer and an all-Italian wine list.
2. Ancolie, New York City
Positioning itself as an “epicurean cantine,” this counter-service Greenwich Village eatery only serves meals in reusable glass jars. The green-minded concept, launched through a Kickstarter campaign, uses jars to cut down on package waste and offers customers $1 back when they return them, Gothamist says. Jarred meals range from $5 to $15 and include salads, breakfast parfaits and baked goods, with hot foods and soups on the way.
3. Kogi Taqueria; El Segundo, Calif.
The second brick-and-mortar outpost of Roy Choi’s signature food truck launched inside a Whole Foods store this month. The kiosk serves the entire Kogi truck menu, including short rib tacos, kimchi quesadillas and Korean hot wings. Kogi is one of several concepts, including Biju’s Little Curry Shop and Mendocino Farms, that have partnered with Whole Foods to launch outposts inside the company’s stores.
4. Sunday in Brooklyn, New York City
Fine-dining veterans from two New York food groups launched this three-story Williamsburg restaurant in early November. The ground floor houses a late-night bar serving seasonal cocktails and natural wines; the second floor features a full-service dining room and outdoor garden for brunch and dinner; and the third includes a private dining room for events. Looking to make the most of all dayparts, a coffee bar and market selling breakfast sandwiches, housemade pastries and pantry staples is set to open soon on the ground floor.
5. The Barn; Evanston, Ill.
Amy Morton, daughter of Morton’s The Steakhouse founder Arnie Morton, launched this “meat-centric” casual-dining concept earlier this month in a Chicago suburb. Three cuts of steaks—all priced under $50—are available, along with meaty entrees such as bison Bolognese and pan-seared calves' liver. The restaurant is in a converted horse stable, which customers enter through a barn door in the alley. In fact, the Chicago Tribune says the alley entrance is a nod to Amy’s father, who operated an alley restaurant before launching his eponymous steakhouse chain.
6. Motze, San Francisco
Aiming to be a low-waste concept, Motze offers no printed menus—instead, offerings are listed on boards hung on the walls—and receipts aren’t automatically printed, says Eater San Francisco. Menu items change daily based on whatever its partnered farm brings in, and the concept encourages the use of whole animals and unprocessed vegetables. Only a $58 prix-fixe dinner menu is available, and tipping isn’t allowed. The pop-up restaurant, which will be open for a year and a half, comes from former Bar Tartine chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burns.
7. Tasty Made; Lancaster, Ohio
Last month, Chipotle launched its new fast-casual burger concept, which touts responsibly raised beef, hand-cut fries fried in sunflower oil and hand-mixed milkshakes made with real ice cream. While Chipotle told Bloomberg it’s seeing “strong” sales at Tasty Made, consumer reception on social media and Yelp has been mixed—although our twenty-something scout was a fan of the concept’s Tasty Bacon Sauce. The first Tasty Made launched in central Ohio in Lancaster, and a second Ohio unit is set to open soon in Pickerington, according to the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette.
On the horizon
Here’s a look at more concepts set to launch within the next few months:
- Colada Shop: This Cuban-style cafe announced it’s opening a second location in Washington, D.C., in January, just months after it debuted in Sterling, Va. The concept’s specialty is its namesake beverage, consisting of four espresso shots sweetened with sugar and served with demitasse cups for sharing. Also available are Cuban sandwiches and snacks such as empanadas and croquettes, alongside Cuban coffee, hot chocolate and granitas.
- Angeline: Cleveland chef Michael Symon is set to launch this Italian restaurant in the spring in Atlantic City, N.J.’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. The 223-seat fine-dining concept will include a bar area, main dining room and private event space.
- Jackrabbit: San Francisco restaurateur and “Top Chef Masters” winner Chris Cosentino announced he’s opening his first restaurant outside of California in Portland, Ore., this spring. Jackrabbit will be located in a downtown Hilton and will feature a raw bar, a gin-focused cocktail program, house-cured meats and large-format signature plates, according to Eater Portland.
- April Bloomfield’s Los Angeles concept: Eater Los Angeles says New York restaurateur April Bloomfield is working on bringing a Middle Eastern concept to a Los Angeles space vacated in 2014 by Hollywood favorite Cat & Fiddle. Sources say the restaurant will feature a patio and wood-fired oven.