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Emerging Brands

Cheesecake Factory’s fast-casual concept has a name: Social Monk

Social Monk Asian Kitchen will be the chain’s second try at an Asian concept and will debut this fall.
The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory is making another run at an Asian concept.

Social Monk Asian Kitchen, a fast-casual Asian concept “with a modern, urban feel,” will open in Thousand Oaks, Calif., this fall in the Promenade at Westlake mall.

Cheesecake currently operates a casual Asian eatery, RockSugar Southeast Asian Kitchen, and it has invested in the fast-casual chain Flower Child. But the company said in February that it planned to open its own fast casual.

RockSugar’s Singapore-raised chef Mohan Ismail created Social Monk’s menu and will lead its culinary operations, the company said in an emailed statement Friday. Ismail developed the menu to span several countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Indonesia and India.

The menu features made-to-order Asian starters, salads, sandwiches, rice and noodle bowls, classic entrees, sides and frozen custard. The concept, which will be home to communal as well as patio seating, will also offer beer and wine.

The name “is a playful but intentional juxtaposition of the concept’s social appeal and its warm, understated charm,” the company said.

Cheesecake has been working to develop or purchase a concept to pair along with its flagship chain. Maxim Group analyst Stephen Anderson said earlier this month that he expects Cheesecake to ultimately buy North Italia, a Fox Restaurant Group-created concept that Cheesecake invested in, along with Flower Child, in 2016.

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