Butcher Shop for Starr?

A 'meat-centric' move in the Big Apple. Plus, he hires a chef for his Rittenhouse pub

Stephen Starr sure had been spreading his wings beyond Philly these days. He’s opening a Japanese restaurant in Bal Harbour, Florida in early 2011 and now comes news of another project in New York, where he already has a satellite locations of Buddakan and Morimoto. Last night, Starr met with a local community board to discuss a new project in the West Village.

Eater has a full report of the proceedings, but plans are for a 223-seat “meat-centric” restaurant with, most interestingly, a “a butcher/retail space towards the entrance.” The concept isn’t a traditional steakhouse, according to a Starr rep, but more of a neighborhood place. Starr himself tell us, “I want to continue to grow our business in both Philly and New York because they are sister cities. In terms of concept, we are still refining it, and may be bringing in a chef-partner.”

Meanwhile, locally, Starr has announced a chef for his 18th and Sansom Street British pub project. He’s a genuine Englishman: Robert Aikens. From the PR blather:

“Aikens began his career cooking at the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Gavroche in London. At 22, he moved to New York State to become the sous chef at The Point Resort, which was awarded Zagat’s Best Small Resort in the US during his tenure. After serving as chef at the prestigious executive dining room of CitiGroup, Aikens returned to London in 2007 to work alongside his brother, the celebrated executive chef of the Michelin star, self-titled restaurant Tom Aikens, and assisted in the opening of Tom’s Kitchen, a casual, British-style brasserie with European and American influences.”

The ETA on that as-yet-unnamed pub, by the way, is now early December. Meanwhile, back to that butcher shop idea. We think a butcher shop within a Starr restaurant would be pretty cool right here in Philly (look how well the gourmet market/restaurant route has worked out at Garces Trading Company). And just think, if it were within Butcher & Singer, he wouldn’t even have to change the name. What do you think?