The Standard Hotel's culinary takeover of the Far West Side continues, with a report on Eater that Kurt Gutenbrunner, the Walls chef and wine-store owner will be the new sausage king of the beer garden. This isn't the first time the dashing Austrian talent has made a go of it inside a hotel. The year was 2005 and Kurt Gutenbrunner was four years younger. The Hotel on Rivington had just opened up, and the chef swooped in to elevate their weirdly futuristic restaurant, THOR, from a cesspool of pretension to a cesspool of pretension with delicious Austrian cuisine.
But all too soon the year was 2006, and, as Kurt Gutenbrunner told Florence Fabricant, he was quitting the place. "Sometimes you have to have the sense to call it a day," he said. Since then, the restaurant at THOR has fallen on some hard times. It has become, alas, just another mediocre restaurant in a hotel. What does this mean for the Standard? Initially, probably not much. It's already faring well, despite the supposed lack of street traffic in the area. The Beer Garden is focused more on drinking beer and watching naked people than it is on food. So will he last more than a year here? We'll check back next summer.