Exclusive: Stephen Starr Will Open Tom-Like Restaurant in Philly, Says Big Boxes Are Over

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On Monday, Stephen Starr will speak with Tom Colicchio and Grub Street’s Daniel Maurer as part of “Top Chef: Taste of the Five Boroughs.” Over the phone today, Starr (who will be a guest judge this season!) revealed to us that after he relaunches his trademark restaurant, the Striped Bass, as a steakhouse called Butcher and Singer, he plans to open in Philly a fifteen- to twenty-seat, chef-driven restaurant, though he won’t give the name of the chef or the restaurant. Starr acknowledges “you can’t make any real money with that many seats,” but at the same time he believes the era of the “big boxes” (a term that, incidentally, he isn’t fond of) is a thing of the past. “No one in the next seven to ten years,” he told us, “is going to be able to build a large restaurant like I did.” That said, his current restaurants are doing well — business is actually up in the last year at Morimoto. To find out how he and Colicchio are keeping their empires afloat, come by Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall on Monday at 12:15 — tickets to “Taste of the Five Boroughs” are sold out (a limited number will be sold at the event), but the discussion is open to the public. It’ll be preceded by an introduction of this year’s cast and followed by demos featuring former cheftestants Harold Dieterle, Richard Blais, Spike Mendelsohn, and Andrew D’Ambrosi.

Taste of the Five Boroughs [City Harvest]