Former daní foods chef Kent Rathbun finally has an opening date for Abacus, his new McKinney Avenue restaurant. Sort of. "It would be reckless to give an exact date," he says. "But I'm standing on carpet right now." He hesitatingly adds that Dallas should be able to sample his "global eclectic" cuisine with heavy Pacific Rim influences by early October. Maybe. A partnership between Rathbun, onetime Coca-Cola bottling (and daní foods) magnate Robert Hoffman, and Charles F. Stephenson, one of Hoffman's business associates, the 160-seat design-intensive restaurant should have a per-person check average of about $35-$40 (sans alcohol), Rathbun says. But one thing Abacus isn't computing is how much loot it has taken to convert the 8,900-square-foot space (once the restaurant/billiard parlor Big Shots) into his global fusion foray. "No comment," he says. "But I will says there's probably more bang for the buck in this project than anything I've ever personally been involved with."
Jim Anile has morphed into a chef gripped with colossal exuberance. That is a good thing, because he's going to commandeer the kitchen of a spot named for a colossal bottle of fermented inebriants. The former Melrose Hotel executive chef has just signed on with Brandt and Brady Wood and Whitney Meyers of the Green Room to take charge of their new brasserie dubbed Jeroboam, scheduled to open in the circa-1913 Kirby building at Main and Akard streets in early December. "It's absolutely, positively definite," Anile says. "We're going to push multi-course eating, just like the French do...Our theme is 'It's fun to feast.' We're going to have a whole lotta fun...This is the first restaurant of the millennium." Don't they make corks for this sort of thing?...The fate of the Arcadia is inked. "We're all leased up," pipes Bill Hutchinson, president of Dunhill Partners, owner of the property. He says Club Babalu, an upscale Latin discotheque currently parked on McKinney Avenue, will yank its stakes and fill the Lower Greenville space sometime before the end of the year following extensive renovations. The lease was signed following jockeying by three potential tenants. "Actually [Babalu] didn't offer the highest rent," admits Hutchinson. "But it was the one that we thought would be best for the location."...Zeitgeist Café on Oak Lawn has passed on to the ages, at least judging by the patio furniture, which is stacked in the dining room, and the phone number, which dials into a confidential messaging system.
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