File this one under: Rapid Expansionwire. Top Chef alum Brian Malarkey is preparing to open THREE new San Diego concepts. Which is pretty b-a-n-a-n-a-s if you think about it. He launched his first ever restaurant, Searsucker, only 15 months ago, and followed up with Burlap just this past summer. Now he has THREE more in the works. OMG.
As previously reported, Malarkey is working on a seafood-centric concept in La Jolla called Herringbone and he also intends to take over an existing space called Gio’s in La Mesa. Now Malarkey tells us he plans to open a FIFTH concept in the San Diego neighborhood of Point Loma.
Sticking with his fabric motif, the La Mesa space will be dubbed Gingham and his Point Loma outpost will be called Gabardine. Gingham (think picnic checkerboard) will open in mid-December with Ryan Studebaker, formerly of PrepKitchen in La Jolla and Del Mar, running the kitchen. Malarkey says to expect “a low and slow meat market with BBQ, fried chicken and braised meats.” On the other hand, Gabardine, as in the thick wool designed by Burberry in the 1800s, will be more refined and focus on composed dishes in a space that offers a neighborhoodesque feel. Malarkey has tapped Paul Niles, from New York’s Tribeca Grill, to serve as his executive chef. Gabardine is expected to open by the year’s end. Neither of the aforementioned eateries are part of that national expansion plan.
Searsucker, BURLAP and Herringbone ARE, however, slated to expand to Arizona and Orange County by the middle of next year. All of these outposts will be designed by Thomas Schoos, but the other side projects (Gingham and Gabardine) are going to “serve as training grounds for bringing new talent up in the kitchen and will be designed by local San Diego talent.”
As for the forthcoming Herringbone in La Jolla, Malarkey has poached fellow Top Cheftestent Amanda Baumgarten (Season 7) from the Water Grill. In fact she was actually brought aboard the Malarkey bandwagon three weeks ago and is currently working at Burlap until Herringbone opens as a “seafood bazaar serving seafood pizza and other fun approachable shared plates like smoked salmon dip, crab dumplings, crudos, and oysters in April.”
·All Brian Malarkey Coverage [~ELA~]
— David Morris
[Photo: Mom Culture]