Yet another Top Chef player is opening a restaurant in Southern California. This time, it’s cheftestant Brian Malarkey, who left his position at San Diego’s Oceanaire yesterday with eyes on the city’s touristy Gaslamp District for his first dining venture, slated for summer 2010. Malarkey is partnering with local nightclub owner James Brennan, with plans to take over 7,100-square-feet of a bankrupt furniture store. Malarkey tells SignOnSanDiego that, like Ilan Hall’s The Gorbals, the kitchen will be open with a chef bar, so those who miss his face on the small screen can watch him live.
“Ever since I had the success on Top Chef and working at Oceanaire, it gave me the confidence I could do my own place,” Malarkey says. He and Brennan have hired Thomas Schoos as the space’s designer, and Malarkey says he’s dedicated to fun food for everyone. In addition to making “the best damn hamburger you’ve ever had,” and his own hot dogs, he says that cow testicles will have a place on his menu. Hey everyone, are we having fun yet?
Always with a spare two cents to throw into the conversation, L.A.’s recently lauded restaurateur and Top Chef baddie Stefan Richter chimes in. While he thinks Malarkey has the goods to make the venture a success, he soberly assesses the state of being a reality star. “After Top Chef, you get a little stardom, everyone knows you, and you get paid for your appearances, but that runs out. My 14½ minutes are almost over,” Richter says, sounding like he needs a hug ( or more likely a date, as we hear). To keep track of how Malarkey is keeping all of his, ahem, balls in the air, or to see if Richter finds love, stay tuned to Grub Street.
Cooking Up A Winner [SignONSanDiego]