Sometimes a good idea can smart right in the fly buttons. Just ask Sipango founder Ron Corcoran and his partner Eric Kimmel, founder of The Joint restaurant, publisher of the defunct Ouch magazine and international used rag hawker extraordinaire. Last spring, Corcoran and Kimmel had planned to open a hybrid eclectic deli and used-clothing boutique called Rich Hippie Clothing and Café on Swiss and Hall. There, Kimmel had hoped to manufacture as well as retail his used and remanufactured clothing while Corcoran oversaw the vittles. But the landlord thought the idea was so viable he jacked up the rent on the hapless pair. Twice. So Corcoran and Kimmel cut bait on the off-downtown location, jettisoned the cafe and headed north up the Tollway to Village on the Parkway. There, out of a former St. John's Ladies Apparel store, Rich Hippie Clothing will sell remanufactured clothes and vintage Levis (jackets and jeans), among other rags, some manufactured between the 1930s and 1960s and selling for as much as $1,000 a pair. Vintage skivvies are cheaper, we hope. Rich Hippie should open in early October, about the same time Daxx--the restaurant and bar Corcoran is launching with Sipango bartender Smokey Hill--will open on Lower Greenville.
Restaurateur Phil Romano will open Who's Who Burgers next month in Highland Park Village in the space that was formerly the Highland Park Cafe. The restaurant will serve burgers and "handmade" shakes, which no doubt taste better than the ones made with feet...Khanh Dao, former managing partner of the defunct Voltaire restaurant and current owner of Steel, is set to open a new Asian restaurant and lounge in November snuggled next to Steel in the former Les Saisons space in the Centrum building. This is the same expanse Khanh had originally planned to dedicate to banquets and catering for Steel. Now, it will be a separate entity with a big cozy lounge flush with old-world, château-like décor speckled with Asian art. Cuisine for the as yet unnamed restaurant will be prepared tableside via mobile carts. And wine? Khanh says there's no truth to the rumor she's bidding for the showy wine collection Scott Ginsburg assembled for Voltaire, soon to be reincarnated as another Asian concept called Bamboo Bamboo. "I admire Scott's wine cellar, but I have no interest in it," she insists. She could probably get a great deal on his collection of Voltaire quotes, though.
Correction: In the review of Rooster restaurant in the September 5 issue, I incorrectly referred to new Rooster owner Leo Villa as the owner of Javier's. The owner of Javier's is, of course, Javier Gutierrez, and Villa was a part of his management team. I regret the error.