UPDATE: A RockSugar rep emailed to say they’re opening this year, not in 2018. Updated story follows
Cheesecake Factory is bringing its version of Asian food to Chicago’s suburbs. RockSugar Southeast Asian Kitchen should open in December at Oakbrook Center mall. It’s RockSugar’s second location as the behemoth Asian restaurant debuted in 2008 inside a Los Angeles shopping center.
There aren’t any fusion dishes on the menu, but dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore — even India — are all on the menu. Items include pho and even chicken tikka masala. The menu comes from New York chef Mohan Ismail. His resume includes Spice Market, Tabla, and Blue Hill. In LA, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, with happy hour (called “Rocktail Hour”) every day.
Cheesecake Factory CEO David Overton debuted the brand nine years ago with help from celebrity chef Roy Choi. This was before Choi opened Kogi, the iconic LA Korean taco truck. RockSugar has drawn comparisons to P.F. Chang’s and Tao, the clubby restaurant with locations in LA and Las Vegas. A Chicago outpost of Tao should open next year.
RockSugar Oak Brook is currently looking to hire 170 employees for the location, both front-of-house and back-of-house locations like line cooks, prep cooks, pastry cooks, bartenders, servers, server assistants, dishwashers, and hosts. Prospective employees can apply on the company’s website.
A rep said they’ll release more information in the coming weeks. Construction is ongoing next to Oakbrook Center’s Cheesecake Factory. How’s that for synergy?