If 2015 taught us anything, it’s that “The Chipotle Of…” is how you do the restaurant business. Fast-casual is everything. This year, Shake Shack went public and is valued at $2 billion. So, it’s no surprise that Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, of Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad, are getting on board.
Make Nice is set to open next year on 28th Street, allowing Humm and Guidara to continue their takeover of the neighborhood. It’s meant to be “fine casual” dining, and unlike Chipotle, customers won’t be allowed to customize their meals. The menu will feature 12 dishes with vegetables as the centerpieces, and will be made using seasonal ingredients.
Chefs and restaurateurs love fine dining, but it’s difficult to earn money. You need a large space, equipment, a huge staff, and essentially Friday and Saturday nights to earn money. Quick service restaurants have low fixed costs and a high volume of business at least five days per week, two meals per day, so they can sell their food cheaper and operate with better margins. At its best, Make Nice will subsidize the NoMad and Eleven Madison Park and allow them to keep operating.
Meals at Make Nice will range from $10-$15, and Humm and Guidara are pulling out all the familiar stops. Danny DiStefano, the sous chef from Eleven Madison park will be helping with the opening, and they’re using designers from Stonehill & Taylor, who worked on the NoMad, which will put the “fine” in fine casual and give it a definite cool factor.
The restaurant is set to open in Spring or Summer of 2016, and we’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available!
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