New Yorkers might know Willis Loughhead as the recently departed chef from Country. Miamians, or Miami’s tourists, might remember him from Tantra, a South Beach restaurant featuring aphrodisiac cuisine (laugh if you want, but the restaurant’s still open) where he was chef around the turn of the century, or from the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, where, back in 2004, as part of the VIP turndown service, he would prepare five different flavored popcorns. The flavors rotated, but they included tomato, Parmesan, truffle, pistachio and chocolate.
He actually popped the truffle popcorn in a truffle oil — with white and black truffle peelings added — tossed it in butter and sprinkled it with Maldon sea salt, Parmesan cheese and julienne black truffle.
As a kid he took popcorn — tossed with M&Ms while still hot — to drive-in movies.
Anyway, now Willis is looking for a restaurant space, ideally in the West Village but anywhere south of 14th Street. He's hoping to open what is a essentially “a large local bar with good food as a perk” — 40 seats, say, in addition to a big bar. He’s thinking open kitchen, too.
So drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have a space to rent. I’ll put you in touch.