From first-time solo projects to exciting expansions.

By Regan Stephens
December 30, 2020
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Around this time every year, we start to get excited for all the new restaurants set to open in the new year—chefs with a fresh perspective, menus full of new dishes to taste, beautiful new spaces to see. This year, though, after the industry endured countless challenges and closures, it’s more than exciting. It feels like a hopeful sign that there’s an after, with better days to come, ideally bolstered by the lessons of 2020—including the failings of a hospitality model that dehumanizes workers, and the importance of supporting our communities' most vulnerable.

etta
Credit: Courtesy of etta

From seasoned veterans to first solo projects, these 15 restaurant openings are giving us some hope for 2021.

Honeysuckle (Philadelphia, PA)

Chef and artist Omar Tate, along with his wife and partner, chef Cybille St.Aude-Tate, plan to open their West Philadelphia community space in late 2021. Inspired by Tate’s pop-up dinner series of the same name, the Honeysuckle community center will include a grocery shop, café library, meat market, and supper club, which, according to Tate, aims to center and honor Black food.

West Philadelphia

VAGA (Encinitas, CA)

In early 2021, Claudette Zepeda will helm VAGA Restaurant & Bar at the forthcoming Alila Marea Beach Resort in Encinitas, California. Previously at San Diego’s El Jardín, the award-winning chef (and Top Chef/Top Chef Mexico contestant) will bring her vibrant cuisine to the oceanfront space.

2100 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas

Hawksmoor (New York, NY)

London’s premier steakhouse is making its U.S. debut in New York City’s Gramercy Park neighborhood this spring. Opened in 2006 by childhood friends Will Beckett and Huw Gott, the eight-location chain is known for charcoal-grilled steaks and a stand-out cocktail program that’s won them Best International Restaurant Bar at the Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans twice. Situated inside the landmarked United Charities Building—which has until now, been closed to the public for nearly a century—New York diners can expect grass-fed, dry-age beef, classic steakhouse sides, and stellar cocktails.

105 E 22nd Street, New York

Audrey (Nashville, TN)

Sean Brock made his mark on the culinary landscape in Charleston, South Carolina, with Husk and McCrady’s before cutting ties with the restaurant groups in late 2019. Early next year, the award-winning chef and bestselling cookbook author will open a new flagship restaurant in East Nashville. Named after his grandmother, Audrey will be “dedicated to exploring the possibilities” of Southern food.

East Nashville, Tenn.

Store House Market & Eatery (Bastrop, TX)

Sonya Cote—the chef and James Beard Foundation fellow behind Austin’s Eden East and Hillside Farmacy—is opening Store House Market & Eatery in January, along with her husband and partner. Located in Bastrop, a small town roughly 30 minutes outside of the city, the new restaurant will source ingredients from local producers, including from their farm at Eden East. Set inside a historic, 175-year-old building, Store House will serve a seasonal menu rooted in classic Southern dishes, like chicken fried quail knots, cheddar fondue, and the chef’s signature dish: "Farm BQ."

813 Main Street, Bastrop, Texas

Store House Market and Eatery Farm BQ
Credit: Courtesy of Store House Market and Eatery

Middle Child Clubhouse (Philadelphia, PA)

Matt Cahn opened Middle Child in the Washington Square West neighborhood in late 2017, offering hoagie-loving Philadelphians a new and delicious take on classic deli fare. In 2021, the alum of New York City’s Court Street Grocers and Superiority Burger will open Middle Child Clubhouse. A slightly swankier version of his modern sandwich shop, Middle Child Clubhouse will take inspiration from favorite East Coast eateries, including Upper East Side burger mainstay J.G. Melon. During the day, there’ll be a full coffee program and menu of salads and sandwiches, and by night, burgers and steak-for-two, plus local beer, cocktails, and natural wine.

Fishtown, Philadelphia

Bar Le Côté (Los Olivos, CA)

Greg and Daisy Ryan have gotten plenty of accolades this year for their Los Alamos, California restaurant Bell’s, including a F&W Best New Chef nod for Daisy. This spring, the husband and wife team will open Bar Le Côté. Also located on California’s Central Coast, in Los Olivos, Bar Le Côté will be a seafood tavern.

2375 Alamo Pintado Ave, Los Olivos

Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion (Phoenix, AZ)

Christopher Gross’s long-awaited latest project is expected to open in early 2021, in Phoenix’s historic Wrigley Mansion. Inside the modern, intimate 26-seat space with floor-to-ceiling windows and a retractable roof, the James Beard Award-winning chef will serve a seasonally-changing eight-course tasting menu.

2501 E Telawa Trail, Phoenix

Rose Mary (Chicago, IL)

After winning Top Chef in 2018, Joe Flamm left Michelin-starred Spiaggia to start planning his first solo project. Located in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood, Rose Mary is named for his grandmothers, and will serve what he calls “Adriatic drinking food," focusing on his Italian heritage and his wife’s Croatian background.

932 W Fulton Street, Chicago

Forget Me Not (Denver, CO)

Culinary Creative, the team behind Denver’s Señor Bear and Bar Dough, is opening Forget Me Not in the city’s Cherry Creek North neighborhood. Named for the flower shop that previously occupied the building, starting in early 2021 the cocktail bar will serve a rotating menu of seasonally-inspired drinks mixed with house-made syrups and floral infusions, plus small plates and fresh oysters.

227 Clayton Street, Denver

Forget Me Not 2 cocktail
Credit: Courtesy of Forget Me Not

The Dining Room at High Hampton and The Tavern (Cashiers, NC)

High Hampton, the Cashiers, North Carolina, mountain retreat is re-opening this spring, with restored rooms and two restaurants, all overseen by the team behind Blackberry Farm. The food and beverage crew includes Blackberry Farm and Blackberry Mountain alums—pastry chef April Franqueza and executive PM chef Scott Franqueza, who worked in restaurants in San Francisco, and New York (including Per Se and Café Boulud), before working as the sous chef at Three Sisters at Blackberry Mountain.  Zach Chancey, formerly of Rye in Louisville, is the executive AM chef.

1525 Highway 107 South, Cashiers, North Carolina

etta (Los Angeles, CA)

2012 Food & Wine Best New Chef Danny Grant is set to make his Los Angeles debut in April with his third location of etta, inside Culver City’s the Shay Hotel at Ivy Station. Centered around a wood-fired oven, the menu will feature favorites from the two Chicago-based locations, including fire-baked focaccia with ricotta-honey and truffle, handmade pasta, and seasonal pizzas.

Culver City, Los Angeles

etta
Credit: Courtesy of etta

The Bistro at The Cloudveil (Jackson Hole, WY)

Longtime Jackson Hole, Wyoming chef and restaurateur Gavin Fine is bringing the Bistro to the Autograph Collection hotel this spring. The part casual, part refined restaurant will feature a raw bar, an extensive cocktail program, and a few of his iconic French dishes from Rendezvous Bistro, the chef’s first restaurant. Set in Jackson’s Town Square, the space has indoor and outdoor seating with mountain views.

112 Center Street, Jackson

Lenoir (Charleston, SC)

Vivian Howard, the chef, TV personality, and cookbook author behind Charleston’s Handy & Hot, is opening a second spot next door this spring. At Lenoir, diners can expect both Southern cuisine and hospitality, with highlights like a “K-Town” burger with pickled green tomato and spicy-bacon pimento cheese, and hoecakes with goat cheese, fig preserves, and speck. For dessert, throwback treats include a Pepsi float and pumpkin butterscotch budino. The space, designed by local architect David Thompson in collaboration with Howard, includes local art, an expansive bar, and a covered, outdoor patio.

68 Wentworth Street, Charleston

The Landing Kitchen and the Lark (Bala Cynwyd, PA)

Philadelphia-based chefs and restaurateurs Nicholas Elmi (Laurel, In the Valley, Royal Boucherie) and Fia Berisha (Aether) have teamed up to bring two new dining concepts to the region. Slated to open in February, northwest of Center City in Bala Cynwyd, the riverfront all-day café the Landing Kitchen will showcase baked-in-house bread and pastries, breakfast and lunch options, and a dinner menu of small plates and seasonally-changing entrees. Lark, the duo’s coastal restaurant featuring sustainably-sourced seafood and handmade pasta, will open in March.

The Lark: 611 Righters Ferry Rd., Bala Cynwyd

The Landing: 619 Righters Ferry Rd., Bala Cynwyd