Brad Blum, who in the past was a big executive at Darden (which owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster etc.) and Burger King, is opening restaurants of his own in New York. Rumors say he’s opening an “American Deli” of some sort in Williamsburg, and also — perhaps as soon as in two to three weeks — a place on Union Square, possibly near Heartland Brewery. One rumor monger told us it was going to be Italianish, but Mr. Blum's PR flak said it wouldn’t be Italian, but wouldn’t say anything else because she promised an exclusive to someone else [update: previously I said it was Florence Fabricant of the Times, but my colleague corrected me; he said he asked the publicist if it was Florence and she just laughed].
That’s a common practice, but it’s still rude to other journalists, so I thought I’d just throw the information out there.
I actually met Randy McNamara, Heartland’s vice president of operations, last night at Spiegel Tent, where my friend Ben Schmerler, who does PR for Heartland (which runs Spiegelworld’s foodservice), was hosting several NRNers. McNamara said he didn't know anything about Brad Blum opening a new restaurant nearby.
At any rate, two of my colleagues here at Nation’s Restaurant News, Paul Frumkin and Elissa Elan, just headed to Union Square to knock on doors and find out what they can find out.
In other news, Ben just landed Murray’s Cheese as a client, so congratulations to him.