Ed Bailey and company purchased the Uptown Bar & Grill about six months ago. According to Ken “Kesey” Kuczwaj, Vice President Brand Development of ECB Enterprises, Uptown Bar and Grill will close around November 1 and will reopen as a yet-unnamed “man-versus-food type sandwich shop.” The restaurant will have “cool cocktails” and “the greatest New York Sicilian pizza-by-the-slice you ever tasted.” More on that later.
Kuczwaj’s job is to lead Ed Bailey out of the cuckoo’s nest of grandiose steakhouses and into more manageable restaurant concepts. Like Patrizio. Today I caught up with Ken as he toured the site of the soon-to-open Patrizio Osteria in Southlake.
“The Bailey’s brand built four huge steak houses but it turns out the concept was wrong for the locations,” Kuczwaj said. “What started as a big fanfare tailed off. We looked at the numbers and it didn’t make sense. We want out of the steakhouse business.”
Soccer moms in Cedar Hill will no longer have to come up with $65 for a steak, the Bailey’s location there is in the process of closing. The Fairview BPP closed on September 8. Fort Worth, their most successful location, shuttered in early June. According to Kuczwaj, BPP on Park Lane in Dallas will stay open with “business as usual” with Ryan Carberry as the chef. “Now, our focus is on Patrizio,” Kuczwaj said. “We have investors interested. The Southlake store is our new concept for the brand. It’s about traditional, not Americanized Italian food.” Kuczwaj says the company also plans to roll out Patrizio Express stores that will feature a small menu, pizza, lunch, and take-out food.
Chef Carberry also oversees the menu at The Chesterfield downtown and he is working on the food for the yet-unnamed restaurant that will replace Uptown Bar & Grill.
“A friend of mine in New York is coming down to consult on the Sicilian pizza,” Kuczwaj said. “He triple rises the dough and hits it with sauce and cheese. It appears to be a thicker pizza but it is as light an airy as cotton candy.”
Stay tuned for the next edition of As Ed Bailey Turns.