The seven restaurants in the 4-Star Restaurant Group portfolio have a new infusion at the corporate chef position. Kevin Ives, most recently at Francesca's, has taken over, bringing eclectic food and wine experience from around the country to a growing brand. Their current docket (The Smoke Daddy, Frasca Pizzeria & Wine Bar, Dunlays Logan Square and Lincoln Park, D.O.C. Wine Bar Chicago and Lombard, Crosby's Kitchen) is large, but Ives says they're looking to grow further, including more Smoke Daddy locations. "(Expansions) are my specialty," he says.
In two years running the Francesca's projects, Ives launched the Glazed & Infused brand and the revamped Francesca's Forno, among others. He has worked in Hawaii, Palm Beach, and South Carolina after a childhood spent in Florida and Cleveland before coming to Chicago to helm the 26 Francesca's restaurants. He will also be working with the chefs at each location on day-to-day food and menu development.
Ives is also a Level One Master Sommelier and will be bringing that experience to the beverage end of the projects, including the wine-focused D.O.C. locations and Frasca. One feature D.O.C. is known for is wine-and-cupcake flights, maybe patrons will see wine-and-doughnut flights there soon.