After evacuating the kitchen earlier this year over operations and contract disputes with Go Fish owner Mike Hoque, former Go Fish chef Chris Svalesen has already lit his burners. Svalesen has taken over the Inwood Quarter Café--which was stoppered and bolted last month--and plans to open, along with former Go Fish manager Bradley Bandfield, a restaurant featuring grilled and smoked meats and seafood. They plan to call it Sage (214-770-4050). You mean for the herb? "Actually, it's like older people that have knowledge, that kind of sage," corrects Svalesen. "We're two old farts with a lot of restaurant knowledge." Svalesen says he and Bandfield plan to refurbish the interior and exterior of the restaurant plus have the rubbled parking lot resurfaced before they open the 90-seat restaurant late April-ish. Inwood Quarter Café, which opened in fall 2002, was the work of David Burdette and Cameron Morris, who founded the defunct "new Southern" restaurant Rooster and once ran Brent Place restaurant in Old City Park. (Svalesen says the pair high-tailed it to Wyoming.) Meanwhile, the Go Fish kitchen is being headed by sous chef Edson Damien (formerly of Oceanaire and Capital Grille) while Hoque searches for a Svalesen replacement.
The Addison version of Monica's Aca y Alla, which opened last June, roughly a year after owner Monica Greene's downtown Pegaso Café sputtered, has closed. Greene, who operates Ciudad and Monica's Aca y Alla in Deep Ellum, says she never got traction in Addison. "I think people in Addison tend to believe they like independent restaurants, but they're really comfortable with corporate restaurants," she says, adding that she's scouting for new Monica's locations; possibly back in the perilous downtown corridor. "I like to take chances," she says...Consilient Restaurants (Hibiscus, Cuba Libre, Sense, Fireside Pies) chef Nick Badovinus says he and Consilient founder Tristan Simon are scouring dirt around Frisco to seed a New American grill that would conceptually fall between the upcoming tavern-ish The Porch and Hibiscus. "No deal has been done for certain," Badovinus stresses. "We hope it comes down, and the attorneys are talking...We're just getting ready to rocket, just trying to keep a lot of eggs in the air." Catching a few of those eggs is Norma Dickey, who was lured away from the troubled Entertainment Collaborative (Green Room, Gypsy Tea Room, Jeroboam) to head up Consilient's marketing and special events management...Businessman Mike Chen, who owns Steel, Standard and Kirin Court and is an investor in Patrick Colombo's Ferre and Cru Wine Bar, says he plans to open Steel restaurants in Atlanta and Houston over the next 18 months with Ferre founder Patrick Colombo jerking the management reins.