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Grand Openings: Where to Eat and Drink Across the Country

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NEW YORK

Griffin
50 Gansevoort St
Opened: May 31, 2012

Some people think it is crazy to open a new club in the Meatpacking District in this economy, but club owners defy this theory. If you dare to brave the cobblestones, Griffin is located in the former PM space, equipped with an enormous chandelier, mirror ceiling, VIP balcony, and blue velvet banquettes. With Milk and Honey and Little Brand vets running the bar, you’ll definitely get the feel of opulence and get ready for an old-school blow-it-out MPD night!

Tonda
235 E. 4th St
Opened: June 1, 2012

Bob Giraldi transforms his East Village gastropub E.U. into the Neapolitan-style pizzeria. All New Yorkers will care about is the individual-size pies, baked by pizzaiolo Michele Sceral in a wood-burning oven equipped with a newfangled stone pivot. According to Nobile Attie, oven builder, “The pies will only need to rotate once to be perfectly cooked.” In addition to twenty kinds of pizza, from margherita to shrimp-arugula-and-parmigiano, the menu offers salads, focaccia, and “Neapolitan street food,” as well as an extensive Italian wine list and local delivery.


CALIFORNIA

The Colonial Wine Bar
7166 Melrose Ave.
Opening: Summer 2012

David Haskell, restaurateur and wine guru, is teaming up with executive chef Alex Ageneau to open The Colonial Wine Bar this summer. With Haskell’s knowledge of wine and Ageneau’s Mediterranean influence, the dynamic duo is looking for the perfect pairing for each plate. Enjoy anything from Mushroom & Grilled Corn Risotto, to Bone Marrow Croquettes & Gribiche Sauce, or Sea Urchin Bruschetta; their goal is to take the food and wine pairing experience to another dimension.

The Fat Cow
189 The Grove Dr #010
Opening: Summer 2012

Chef Gordon Ramsay, sharing kitchen duties with Andi Van Willigan, the sous chef from Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, is taking our meat obsession to the next level. This new 200+ seat restaurant is going to be serving a European-inspired cuisine. With the overall rustic ambiance, featuring ingredients from local farms and dishes of house-cured meats and cheeses and specials from the farmer’s market, this is the prime spot for carnivores.

CHICAGO

BellyQ
1400 W Randolph
Opening: Spring 2012

Bill Kim, in partnership with Cornerstone Restaurant Group, is preparing to open a new Asian barbeque restaurant with leather-apron wearing servers and Chinese water-smoked dishes. The restaurant will also include a nightly karaoke room for guests and local chefs to go compete in vocal battles. Kim believes, if you can’t take the heat in the kitchen… go to the karaoke bar. There will also be a section of the restaurant that will be dedicated to Japanese infrared grill-top tables where guests can cook their own food. Kim is also planning to include a "grab and go” element on the Randolph side of the restaurant for people to order take out on the street.

Lao Yunnan
2109 S. China Place
Opening: End of May

'Tis the Season for Tony Hu to take over the World, Spring World restaurant that is. Lao Yunnan, named after the Yunnan province in southern China, will be the Chinatown mayor’s sixth restaurant in this area! Hu will keep the current chef but will make some menu changes before the new restaurant opens at the end of the month. The menu will include dishes with spicy and sour flavors and we may even see the province's infamous noodle dish with fried tofu, shrimp and quail eggs.

PHILADELPHIA

Shake Shack

2000 Sansom St.
Opening: June 7, 2012

The locals are restless; Danny Meyer is bringing his infamous franchise to Philadelphia for the first time! People are waiting in anticipation for the delicious burgers, shakes, and concretes. For those of you who are not familiar with the “SS Experience,” be prepared to stand in long lines for quick bites that are totally worth it. However, this Shake Shack is also serving up a few twists; the debut of the SmokeShack Burger, which is the first time bacon will be a topping on the menu, and Philly-inspired sweet treats, which will feature crushed-up Termini Bros. cannolli shells, soft pretzels, La Colombe coffee beans, and Federal Donuts doughnuts. Making this Shake Shack a true Philadelphia signature.
 

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