John Besh is having a very busy summer. The dreamiest of dreamy celebchefs has gone to Haiti, appeared on Bizzare Foods America, has a new cookbook on its way out, just wrapped Top Chef, and also announced he will also star in a new Spike TV show premiering in Spring 2014. All that, and now Todd A. Price reports that Besh may be part of the redevelopment happening at the previously endangered WTC building.
The long-vacant 33-story tower has been recommended by a city selection committee to become a W Hotel on the lower levels, and luxury apartments on the upper levels. The developers behind the project, Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital Corps, also plan to partner with Besh to open a restaurant on the ground floor, but apparently they haven't 'put pen to paper' yet, and Besh hasn't decided on a concept at this time either. According to another TP article, the building may also have a rooftop bar.
As for something a tad more concrete: Besh was also at the upcoming Pizza Domenica site Thursday night, along with business partner Octavio Mantilla and chef Alon Shaya, meeting and greeting potential Uptown neighbors at their planned location (4933 Magazine) next to ye olde Vitamin Shoppe. Robert Morris reports that Besh served a slew of antipasti and his team chalked up the walls to give neighbors a feel for their plans? no construction has started yet? including a takeout counter, bar, and seating around an open kitchen. There will be about 15 tables, and seating for 90. The Besh team also revealed a mock-up menu, and HEYOOOOO: their legendary roasted cauliflower is on it.
Besh still needs City Council approval to amend the building's conditional use (for dat boozy booze, okay?), which he'll likely receive this coming Tuesday. And while most neighbors appear very excited about the restaurant, some have apparently expressed concern about parking.
· John Besh Restaurant Part of Winning WTC Proposal [NOLA.com]
· Former World Trade Center Building to Remain; Dallas Firm Recommended as Developer [NOLA.com]
· Besh Group Holds Open House at Proposed Neighborhood-Scale Pizza Domenica on Magazine
· All Besh Coverage [-ENOLA-]