Naked Lunch owners Ryan Maxey and Ian Begg won’t be traveling far to open their previously announced Basque tapas restaurant. As the Scoop learns this a.m., they just inked a deal to take over Enrico’s, the jazz club/eatery with which they already share kitchen space, and which shuttered just last month. The new restaurant’s going to be called Txoko, named for traditional private dinner clubs in Basque country. In addition to San Sebastian-style tapas, they plan to use the kitchen’s wood-fired oven to do roast suckling pig.
As recently as last month Maxey told us they were having some trouble finding a spot in SoMa, which was their original target neighborhood. But it looks like the new deal fell in their lap, and will
Maxey and Begg previously worked together at Vignette, with Maxey handling the front of the house, and later at Cafe Majestic in 2007, before opening Naked Lunch. In 2008, Begg earned Chron Rising Star status at Majestic, at the age of 26. Begg has clearly been cautious and methodical in his path to opening his own full-service restaurant; back then he told the Chron, “Having my own place is always in the back of my mind, but that’s a tough one. I’ve seen first-hand for many years how hard it is to make money.”
They’re looking at an April opening, if all goes well, and Naked Lunch will continue its daytime, sandwich operations, and will ultimately start serving beer and wine.