Todd English: Will Olives Re-Open?

Why has Todd English‘s flagship, Olives, remained shuttered nearly a year after a grease fire in the kitchen ducts?

The Boston Herald recently speculates little rebuilding has occurred inside.

Meanwhile, the courts are holding a hearing on April 5th concerning the non-use of the restaurant’s license:

“We are aware of the hearing, which is just to update the city on what they’re doing,” she [English’s spokeswoman, Mariellen Burns] said. “They are working, the restaurant is all torn apart, they are changing the flow and doing work on the ducts and roof.”

The paper suggests that Todd is busy with his other properties, his cupcake bakery (see Super Chef), and the media.

Super Chef wonders whether something else lies behind the non-opening: Todd perennial problem — cash flow.

Typically, fine dining flagship restaurants –- fine dining in general — does not generate the most cash flow in a celebrity chef’s vast business holdings. Once a celebrity chef is well established and has opened many outlets, the flagship’s often remains to help reputation. Rarely does a chef to give up the flagship, though occasionally another concept may take its place. Money comes from more lucrative consulting deals, lower-end eateries, endorsing products, and good TV exposure. It rarely comes from high-end, flagship restaurants.

Super Chef chronicled Todd’s pursuit of funds to support his highly leveraged restaurants. Since the book’s publication in 2004, Todd has continued to expand both in the Boston area and beyond.

Let’s wait and see whethr Olives indeed re-opens, or whether Todd puts it out to pasture more permanently.

(Image of Todd English from Gawker)

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