You would think that being famous, a proven talent, and having a Bravo TV crew following you around would be a good way to attract investors and get yourself into a restaurant of your own. But then again, this is the restaurant business so, apparently, you’d be wrong.
Grub Street talked to local hero/Top Chef cheftestant Jen Carroll about what was happening with her new restaurant concept, Concrete Blonde, and she let them know that while she was super-duper close to getting everything in line, at the last minute her investors bailed out and left her in Nowheresville. So what happens next?
Pop-ups, TV cameras and some re-grouping. Carroll has been cooking her way around town for the past couple months, arguably testing menu items for the new concept, but also just hanging out and doing what she does best. There’s also still that TV show in the future (Life After Top Chef, for which this funding snafu might make a nice narrative arc), and she is insisting that while this deal falling through has essentially put her back at the beginning of the restaurant-opening process, she is still committed to bringing Concrete Blonde to town.
The big question now, though, is where? Rumors have had Carroll poking around one of the ex Marathon spaces and the Restaurant Formerly Known As Tweed, but the last time we talked to her, she swore that the as-yet-undisclosed-and-now-no-longer-in-consideration space in Center City that was supposed to be Concrete Blonde was neither of these.
So we’re taking all suggestions. Since Carroll has to start all over again anyway, in a perfect world, where would you like to see her open, and why?
Jen Carroll’s Concrete Blonde is Currently On Hold [Grub Street]