Former Food Network Chef Opening Restaurant In Camden


Food Network host and Camden native son Aaron McCargo is planning to open a bistro and bar in downtown Camden with the help of a city grant. We just learned that McCargo will appear tonight before a city council caucus to present his plans for a restaurant at the intersection of 3rd and Market Streets in a currently vacant building that has previously housed several other eateries and bars.

It’s not clear what style of food the 2008 winner of The Next Food Network Star will serve, but he’s best known for his bold, down-home flavors (think BBQ and jazzy comfort food). His Food Network show, Big Daddy’s House, featured his family recipes, his relatives and his winning smile. He’ll use his kitchen to train culinary students from nearby non-profits like Cathedral Kitchen, where he’s long volunteered.

City Council will vote next Tuesday on whether to award McCargo a $100,000 Urban Enterprise Zone grant, which will contribute some (but not all) of the funds he needs to open. Luckily for McCargo, he doesn’t need a zoning variance, but he does need approval on the grant before he can set an opening date. This will be his second Camden restaurant, following the now-defunct McCargo’s Restaurant he opened in 2003.

Aaron McCargo [Official]