A new eatery headed to Downtown plans to offer a dining experience that’s decidedly different than the typical restaurant. The place will have no fixed menu, no tie-wearing servers and flexible seating — and it won’t even have a name for its first year of business.
The forthcoming restaurant is a project of Boxer Property’s Andrew Segal, who will open his flexible new eatery on the ground floor of the 10-story building at 1910 Pacific Avenue next month. “We decided to start from scratch — why are restaurants so static? You can’t transform them, you can’t move them around. Why do they even have names?” says Segal, whose company owns the building on Pacific Avenue. “We decided not to give the restaurant a name for a year, and let the community name it.”
This is how it will work: diners use a digital platform called Thrst, accessible via a website or mobile application, to input orders. They can view the restaurant’s offerings for the day, pay and tip in advance, tell the app we’re they’re located, and the food arrives to wherever they are inside the restaurant, via a staff of kitchen runners. The whole space is meant to be flexible, with furniture that’s also mobile.
“We’re thinking basically this entire building is the restaurant — it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting at your desk, or out on the deck, or in the park across the street — the food will come to you,” Segal says. Boxer Property first tested this idea at Elevation Hotel & Spa in Crested Butte, Colorado, and Segal says it was successful there.
A peek inside the space, which is currently under construction, indicates that it will feature a mix of mid-century modern and industrial furnishings. A vibrant, rainbow-inspired palette adorns accent walls, and murals liven up the otherwise no-nonsense building. On-trend lighting fixtures, like a sea of mercury-dipped Edison bulbs, lend a contemporary feel.
As far as the food is concerned, the restaurant offerings can change daily and will include things like sandwiches, steak, seafood and more, all priced between $10 and $30. Wine will be sold by the bottle, at price points ranging from totally affordable ($15) to a weekend splurge ($500). The restaurant may “borrow” menus from eateries that have closed, and they’ll have guest chefs moonlight in the kitchen.
The restaurant will be led by Chef Bryan Chambers, who studied at the Culinary Institute of America and has worked in restaurants in Dallas and Washington D.C., including a stint as chef de cuisine at the National Gallery of Art. At this restaurant, Chambers will be able to change up the menu daily, depending on the dishes he wants to make and the ingredients that are available.
Segal plans to curate a diverse crowd of regulars by offering deep discounts to creatives, first-responders, nurses, and students, among others. “I want people to walk out of here and say, ‘I met this interesting person.’ It’s open to everybody, but we’re effectively curating with prices.”
Check back for more details on when the restaurant at 1910 Pacific officially opens.