Sky Full of Bacon

One idea I had early on for a Sky Full of Bacon video was following a restaurant from beginning to opening— seeing the decisions that are made behind the scenes that shape the diner’s experience in often invisible ways. But I didn’t have the contacts to get in on the opening of a major restaurant from the beginning. Until I was at Grub Street Chicago, and I was approached about doing something about one of the biggest openings of the year, Grace, from former Alinea #2 Curtis Duffy, very early in the process. Hey, I have just the idea for how to cover that, I said.

And so in late March I met with Duffy and his architect in the gutted space to talk about how this blank canvas would become Duffy’s vision of a restaurant:

Construction is a long process, but it’s not the only thing happening in the development of a restaurant during those many months. In May I met with chef Duffy and his new manager/sommelier, Michael Muser, to talk about how you create a wine list for a restaurant that doesn’t exist yet:

By July they were starting to get the restaurant’s furnishings in, and so we talked plates, glasses, silverware, and how you shape the guest experience with all of them:

In September I returned to the space, built out but far from finished, to talk about how the restaurant was designed to facilitate a certain service flow that maximizes both efficiency and the gracefulness of the guest experience:

The restaurant was finally ready to open in December. I returned on their very first night of paying service, a week before the official opening, to conclude the story:

(To see the original posts that ran nationally at Grub Street announcing the videos, click on the months highlighted in the text above.)

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