There’s no denying that Stephen Starr has had his share of successful restaurants. Still you can’t ignore he’s had a few flops along the way too. Most notable among them is Washington Square, the gorgeous Rockwell-designed indoor-outdoor restaurant that he opened back in 2004 with Marcus Samuelsson running the kitchen. Samuelsson ducked out after six months and a string of unflattering reviews. The succession of chefs and concepts that followed over the next three years failed to pull the restaurant out of its funk. Now enters Talula’s Table’s Aimee Olexy, whom Starr has tapped to revive the long-dormant space, which the Business Journal reports is still aiming for an opening this spring. But does she have what it takes to succeed where others failed?
While Starr and Olexy are both mum on the subject, everyone from hospitality flack Peter Breslow and Inquirer critic Craig LaBan weigh in on the subject. LaBan is cautiously optimistic, noting Olexy “has a tremendous track record,” but he’s loath to blow the whole deal “out of proportion.”
Derek Lee, who maintains BestFoodBlogEver.com, chimes in with, “If Stephen Starr affords the same level of respect and autonomy to Aimee Olexy and her crew as he did to Morimoto, I have complete confidence that the new venture will succeed.”
Starr and Django creator pair up for delish collaboration [PBJ]
Earlier: Aimee Olexy Enters Starr’s Orbit