From Chophouse to Changes

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A big topic on the food scene has been what’s next for ~ACME CHOPHOUSE~, since Traci Des Jardins will be closing the restaurant on December 31st. It’s a hefty space, so the next incarnation will actually have a floor-to-ceiling wall that will divide the location into two. On one side (the 3rd Street side), Des Jardins will be opening a second Mijita (a brilliant addition to the area, I must say). There will be some new features, like a tequila bar, a private dining room, and more indoor/outdoor seating.

On the other side, the new concept’s current working name is Public House, and will be more like a beer hall in style. On the menu: bar food like burgers, onion rings, and local hot dogs that will continue chef Thom Fox’s commitment to using sustainable ingredients. Some ACME classics will remain, like the mac and cheese and butterscotch pudding. The interior will be gutted, and a large beer bar will be going in, with a wall made of floor-to-ceiling kegs, and lots of TV screens. There is also going to be an open plaza bar with roll-up windows, so guests can order and enjoy a cold one while sitting on the patio. Frost Tsuji Architects, who also did Jardinière and Bar Jules, are behind the new design. The plan is to open both spaces at the end of March.

In the meantime, Traci is going to be busy in Lake Tahoe over the next couple weeks launching Manzanita at the The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe (located mid-mountain in Northstar resort). It opens December 10th, just in time for ski season. It’s a 94-seat restaurant, along with 71-seat bar and lounge, and the menu will feature her signature French-inspired California cuisine, with a “regional mountain resort influence.” It’ll be nice to come off the slopes and dig into a Five Dot Ranch grass-fed hamburger and pommes frites ($15) at the bar or rotisserie chicken with chanterelle mushrooms, parsnips, and pears with a crispy farm egg ($26) for dinner in the dining room.