Like everyone in the hospitality industry, Logan Ely is in the midst of a personal and professional upheaval unlike anything he could have imagined. With his Fox Park restaurant Savage (2655 Ann Avenue, 314-354-8488)
shuttered, the chef and restaurant owner has been scrambling to figure out how to make sure his business survives and his employees are taken care of to the best of his abilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, in the midst of the uncertainty, Ely is forging ahead. Last week, he announced plans to open his second restaurant the Lucky Accomplice (2501 South Jefferson Avenue)
in Fox Park, just a few blocks away from Savage. Though the date is up in the air because of the pandemic, he anticipates the restaurant will open this summer.
"We started planning this about a month or so before all this happened, and we have to see this through," Ely says. "I'm not sure if we could get out of the lease or back out, but we want to figure this out and push forward. You have to keep pushing and stay positive, adapt and adjust."
While Savage is known for its elegant, cutting-edge tasting menus, the Lucky Accomplice will be a more casual, come-as-you-are neighborhood restaurant and bar. As Ely explains, the same culinary ethos that underpins Savage will be present at Lucky Accomplice — using seasonal ingredients and only ethically sourced meat — but the dishes will be a la carte and more approachable.
"We wanted a restaurant where you could drop in and say hi without making a reservation and not spend $100," Ely explains. "You can hang out at the bar, grab a beer and some snacks — nice but approachable, where you can walk in and get something easy."
As Ely explains, he did not necessarily set out to open a second restaurant, but rather felt it come together organically because of the wonderful talent pool he has at Savage. Together, he and his team decided that the best way to keep challenging the crew and expand their restaurant family was to open a second restaurant where employees could further develop and take on new responsibilities.
With those employees currently idle because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are all banding together to help realize the vision of the Lucky Accomplice. From helping with the buildout to planning menus, everyone is pitching in — something that is giving the team hope for a future Ely sees as bright once guests can start patronizing restaurants and bars again.
"I think if anything, people will realize how important restaurants are," Ely says. "Bars and restaurants are sociable places. It's important to get out of the house, see friends, go on a date. It's a big part of any community, and it's not just restaurants and bars. Ranchers, food producers, musicians, theater performers — all the things that bring people together are suffering. I think that once this is over, people will realize the importance of that; these are the things that bring us together and make us a community, and that's important."
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