The news that one sixtyblue would close after service on Saturday night left a lot of questions, including whether chef Michael McDonald would be attached to the forthcoming new concept from Cornerstone Restaurant Group, which owns the space. Eater spoke with McDonald this afternoon and he confirmed that he, in fact, will be leaving after the restaurant closes.
"The new concept, from what I know of it, won't be a good fit for me," McDonald said, who couldn't elaborate on what it will be. "I've been here for three years and we've had a wonderful run ... I have nothing but good things to say about these people." Since he only learned about the restaurant closing a day before the news broke, he really hasn't had time to make any decisions.
Instead, McDonald will take time to find the next right fit. "I'm not in a panic mode," he said. I'm going to explore all of my options, which include owning my own place if I can find the right partnership or even do it on my own," he said. "Or even if there's another situation like this place, where I had total creativity and flexibility with the menu."
McDonald is disappointed the restaurant is closing, but he knows that's how things go in this business. He added that he had a great team and that "someone will get really lucky when my chefs go to other restaurants." And McDonald himself is looking at this at an opportunity for continued growth. "I'm sad and I put my heart into [the restaurant], but it's done and over," he said. "I want to move on to bigger and better things. That's how life evolves and people get better."
· More Details on One Sixtyblue's Closing to Reconcept [~EChi~]