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SEATTLE
Olivar opened July 22 in Capitol Hill. The cuisine is French and Spanish, which makes perfect sense since before he settled in Seattle, French chef Philippe Thomelin owned a tapas bar in Andalucia.
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Chicago
Mana Foodbar opened this month in Chicago. Jill Barron and Susan Thompson's edgy vegetarian restaurant will serve Asian-inspired dishes and a range of sake cocktails.
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New York
Gary Robins, the opening chef at Sheridan Square is being replaced by Franklin Becker (Rising Star New York 2006). The chef change is effective July 15.
Mixologist Junior Merino's new venture, Macondo, is soft-opening July 9. The emphasis is on Latin-style cocktails, some served communally, such as sangria, cider, the Quemada, and the porrón. The food will feature the best of South American street food, and there's a DJ booth to keep spirits high.
Florent Morellet's eponomous West Village French diner rises from the ashes of its June 29th closing. In its new incarnation, Florent will be re-named R & L Restaurant, conveniently the name on the 50's era sign on the facade. Landlord Joanne Lucas plans to open the restaurant July 2 with the same decor, menu, and most of the same staff. Her father owned the original R & L Restaurant before Morellet's reign.
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Atlanta
Food Studio, the Fifth Group's chic hotspot run by executive chef Mark Alba restaurant is closing. Its space will be used for events by Bold American Catering with executive chef Todd Anis.
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WASHINGTON, D.C.
After only 10 months open, economic reasons have pushed McCormick and Schmick's to close Restaurant K, run by executive chef Alison Swope. The Portland-based seafood chain released a statement thanking chef Swope for her skills and hard work, and say they hope to include her in their culinary development team in the future.
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San Francisco
Fifth Floor, the high-end restaurant at Hotel Palomar welcomes new executive chef Laurent Manrique, also of Aqua. Chef Manrique, a native of Gascony, will bring the flavors of his home country and update them according to his own distinct, elegant style.
After 20 years at John Ash & Co, executive chef Jeffrey Madura has announced he is leaving, with no plans to enter another kitchen. Chef Madura cites family health concerns as his reason for leaving. His last day will be July 31, after which he will be replaced by Tom Schmidt.
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LOS ANGELES
Kevin Meehan, former chef de cuisine at Patina, replaces Yianni Koufodontis as executive chef at Paperfish in Beverly Hills. The restaurant has a new menu as well.
San Bernardino will get its first Puerto Rican restaurant this summer. A group of investors led by Peter Alvino teamed up with Carmen James, owner of a Puerto Rican restaurant in Las Vegas to plan the restaurant. El Coqui, named after the small frog that is the unofficial symbol of Puerto Rico, is expected to open in August, and will fill the Caribbean void in the Mexican-food dominated Los Angeles area.
Jimmy Shaw's Loteria Grill Hollywood opens to the public July 1st, six years to the day after the first Farmer's Market location.
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OTHER OUTPOSTS
Las Vegas - At the Bellagio the Light Group (Fix, Bank) is preparing to open Yellowtail, a new high-end sushi concept. Construction is nearly finished and Yellowtail is slated to open this month.
Las Vegas - Mainland, Jonathan Morr's (BondST NY and LA) new Asian noodle concept opens this month at the Palazzo. The funky decor and affordable food aim to keep the vibe relaxed and fun.
Las Vegas - Laurent Tourdondel's BLT Burger opens at the Mirage this month, after a soft opening at the end of June. Expect the same high-class burgers as the New York branch.
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