Fact: Chinatown Brasserie, an out-and-out Chinese restaurant without, happily, even a hint of French fusion, opened in August and has done a fairly brisk business ever since.
Fact: Mainland, one of Chinatown Brasserie's primary rivals in the high-end-Chinese sweepstakes, announced last week that they're morphing into ... Ollie's Brasserie.
The restaurant formerly known as Mainland will reopen within "a couple of weeks," management tells us, with a sushi bar, a raw bar, and a new menu focusing on contemporary Cantonese and Szechuan cooking. "Our price point was too aggressive for us to be successful all year long," general manager Nick Bradley explains candidly. Ollie's Brasserie will be cheaper and more casual, in keeping with owner Tsu Wang's other outposts. But why would he rename his restaurant after a direct competitor? "Brasseries are known for simple, hearty food," Bradley says. As opposed to, you know, high-end Chinese restaurants.