If you haven't heard the news, the long-awaited opening of Bottle Rocket will happen on February 14 — 11 months since the Blue Plate Group closed the erstwhile Scusi to work up a "new concept."
I stopped in to Bottle Rocket (new tagline: "Dangerously delicious") last evening and spoke with Ryan. He told me that the restaurant will be taking reservations for Valentine's Day and will be open thereafter for dropping in, with call-aheads and reservations for larger groups.
I told Ryan that my wife and I had been big fans of Scusi and asked whether Bottle Rocket would be mounting anything like the late, lamented Tuesday Night Date Night. I think the answer is no, at least at first, but the restaurant is clearly looking to give the neighborhood what it wants — doing that is practically the hallmark of this restaurant group, whose properties include the Highland Grill and the Groveland Tap down the street.
Ryan said I would love Thursday evenings, when — in one of those odd cases of a social media meme leaking out into the real world — Throwback Thursdays will offer some of the menu favorites from Scusi. It seems like a nice gesture for Scusi fans.
According to the Strib, Bottle Rocket will serve lunch and dinner daily and breakfast on the weekends. It will remain open during the mid-afternoon and plans to welcome the neighborhood school-kids in a sort of juvenile happy hour. Snuffy's had better beware.
The restaurant plans an "aggressive" happy hour, making good use of the expanded bar and full liquor licence that were precipitating motivations for re-working Scusi.
I'm excited to see Bottle Rocket open and hope and expect to become a regular.
Bottle Rocket from across St. Clair Avenue, captured this morning. If you look closely you can see black, goose-neck spotlights still in place from Scusi.
A Google StreetView capture of Scusi from St. Clair Avenue, October 2014. Note the way the awning beneath the spotlights unifies the long streetscape of the restaurant.
Bottle Rocket sign over the front door, looking west on St. Clair.
Bottle Rocket doorway.