Last week, it was finally announced that the owners of The Daily Grill, a chain with 29 locations nationwide, will be opening the first freestanding location of their "gastropub" concept, Public School 310, in Culver City this November. Yesterday, Nation's Restaurant News reported that the company's president Bob Spivak says that the company has plans to "open several more" Public School locations nationally.
It was just a matter of time before the corporate restaurant world seized onto the gastropub concept. As Spivak comments in the NRN story, the company recognized that adding craft beers to their locations and focusing on a drinking crowd "makes a lot of sense when we can increase our bar sales without much additional labor." Other chains in the country have already co-opted the term gastropub. Ri Ra Irish Pub, a chain mainly serving the east coast, has been using that term for years, although a look at their menus indicate that the word gastropub is a stretch.
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Which is what makes Public School 310 different. The menu items they've revealed include ingredients like speck and ricotta salata, and it looks as though they're going for a much more food-forward approach. It's smart -- the gastropub is probably the easiest entry point to the indy-driven food scene of today for a corporate chain. Public School could be the Hot Topic of restaurants, pushing sardines, burrata and craft beers on the delighted suburbs of America.
But first they'll have to do well in what NRN calls "the chic West Los Angeles telephone area code" of 310.
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