Kendal Duque To Bring Contemporary Classics to American Junkie

Photo: Sky Full of Bacon

American Junkie in Scottsdale is apparently a wild and crazy sports bar with, among other things, scantily-clad servers and a prize wheel for free drinks. A year ago (in a comment at Eater) the developers of the Chicago one in River North insisted “that American Junkie Chicago will be nothing like the others and will compliment the level of sophistication River North Demands. American Junkie river north will not have the shot wheel or table dancers.” Which makes one wonder why, exactly, they wanted to use the name at all. But in any case, Dish reports that they seem to be living up to the intent of going a higher road than Scottsdale’s version, by hiring a higher-level chef than you might expect.

It’s Kendal Duque, the Everest vet last seen opening City Tavern and best known for opening Sepia long ago, and examples of his at least somewhat more artisanal approach include a classic double decker burger made with LaFrieda beef from New York, a hanger steak with truffle butter and Taleggio cheese, and smoked pork shoulder. There will also be “one of the Midwest’s largest high-definition TVs,” but that pretty much goes with a burger these days. It’s set to open March 19. [Dish]