Eleven Madison Park Owners Getting In On Fast-Casual Action

Eleven Madison Park team will open a fast-casual restaurant in 2016

Eleven Madison Park's Daniel Humm and Will Guidara are joining the crew of acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs, like David Chang, Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi, and Jose Garces who are expanding into the fast-casual arena. The pair tells the Wall Street Journal that they will open a fast-casual spot next year called Made Nice where meals will cost $10 to $15.

Despite the fast-casual tag and affordable price point, the pair will unsurprisingly keep things classy. EMP's sous chef, Danny DiStefano, will be working there, and Guidara and Humm have enlisted Stonehill & Taylor, who designed the NoMad, to design the space. They're sourcing their stoneware from Jono Pandolfi, who happens to make the tableware for EMP. The menu hasn't been finalized but will consist of composed veg-focused plates. Humm says, "Maybe we'll have a dish focused on cucumbers. . . . Maybe it's grilled cucumbers, potato salad, salmon and some greens."

With one location planned to open on 28th Street in New York, it doesn't look like the pair are launching a national domination plan à la Chipotle, but we'll have to wait and see. They are opening a NoMad in L.A., so anything is possible. And, as Danny Meyer tells the Journal, "Fine casual is a fantastic way for a fine dining restaurateur or chef to subsidize our deep need to stay in the fine dining business. . . . Every now and then the Beatles had to have a pop hit, so they could write songs for The White Album."