Chef James Toland has finally settled on a space for his forthcoming, eponymous restaurant. The eatery, which was originally slated to be called Gabba Gabba Hey after a lyric in a Ramones song, will now simply be called James Toland and will open in the now-shuttered May Street Market location in West Town.
The new American restaurant will take about four to six weeks to rehab the May Street decor before opening its doors. When it does, it wants to be the place for visiting band to visit, where they'll dine for free (drinks will be paid) assuming they're on tour. And Toland wants to be the place for chefs—and he'll offer 10 percent off bill for industry folk. "Nothing would please me more than to be the late-night hang-out for kitchen crews, musicians, artists and the rest of the fringe communities," Toland said in a press release.
The restaurant will have
touches of "steam punk" artifacts an industrial, sleek vibe with rock 'n' roll fringe (Toland just updated us with the changed concept and says, "think Ace Hotel in NYC") and will focus on using as many local ingredients as possible. "We don’t have to use factory farmed proteins anymore or cheap sweeteners," Toland said. "This is Illinois; the crossroads for the richest agrarian nation in the world."
Regarding changing the name from Gabba Gabby Hey to his own, Toland said simply, "It was a working title that took on a life of its own in the blogosphere. I want to meet the surviving members of the Ramones someday, just not in court."