A recent transplant from New Orleans, Todd brings with him 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry and has hired chef Lauren Beall, a Johnson and Wales graduate, to execute the menu, still very much a work in progress. The two were deep in menu development when Xpress visited them on Tuesday, June 20 — just two weeks before the planned July 5 opening.
"I don't want to be a meat-and-three, I don't want to be a steakhouse, I don't want to say I'm farm-to-table, but I don't want to say I'm not. Because if I can, I will," says Todd.
Though Todd remains quite cryptic about his concept at the moment, he says that he intends to keep prices reasonable. "Price points dictate what you can and can't do," he says. "It will be good, honest food — and a great value for the dollar. I would definitely not classify it as upscale, but I would definitely call it high-quality. Without a doubt, we are going to bring some serious integrity to it, if I'm going to have anything to do with it."
Todd has painted the interior walls of the Broadway building in rich colors, added a counter-height wall that adds some separation between the dining room and the bar area, and hung some lights over the bar, adding some intimacy. He's also preparing to install booths, bringing a comfortable feeling to the once large, high-ceilinged room.
Jack and Lesley Groetsch, the former owners of Tingles Café, are no longer involved with the restaurant. They remain the owners of Sazerac, which is located directly next door — the two businesses will share a walk-in cooler.