When we heard that The Daily Grill was thinking of revamping their downtown location (arguably the most successful of the bunch), we thought they were going to remodel the whole dang thing. Instead, they have built a gastropub, Public School 612 into one side of the existing Daily Grill space. It's an interesting idea, the restaurant within the restaurant.
Kelly Architects came on board a few months back to do the remodel, aiming to bring some modern energy to a stale burger joint. Inside, there's a familiar style of vintage industrial chic (see also: Gjelina, Wood & Vine, Tinga), a door guy (?), a full and colorful bar and plenty of communal tables. There are tall stools on the floor and incandescent bulbs up above. In other words, looking cool looks easy.
What's interesting about Public School 612 is that it actually takes its inspiration from the middle-school cafeteria. Fortunately, it aims to improve rather than imitate. Irish Stout short ribs come with real Yukon mashed potatoes instead of instant mash; skip the starchy gravy and sub in grown-up caramelized onions. There's fried chicken here, a lamb burger, and hand-cut fries. Perhaps more notable is the fact that Hallie Beaune (one of the Beer Chicks) put her name on the beer list. Open now, nightly. [EaterWire]