Restaurateurs Plan More Small Plates for Upper King


Ben Russell-Schlesinger and Robert Young

The first-time restaurateurs behind the project at the corner of Morris and King yesterday revealed the concept they’ve thus far been reluctant to discuss.

“What we’re looking to do is take really great stuff and our chef’s reputation and serve it in a small-plates atmosphere,” Robert Young, a 32-year old former server (Charleston Grill, 39 Rue De Jean) said after receiving permission from his partner, Ben Russell-Schlesinger, to “let the cat out of the bag.”

“It’s shareable and social,” Young continued, adding he anticipates customers hopping from the restaurant (the name is still a secret) to other restaurants on Upper King.

So will the restaurant-to-be-named-later function like Republic, which opened with a menu of high-aiming party snacks?

“No, we’ll have a dining space,” Ben Russell-Schlesinger, 28, said.

Maybe the restaurant will have more in common with Indaco, another neighbor?

“No, we’re not doing Italian,” Young said.

Young and Russell-Schlesinger, who worked a few kitchen internships in his native San Francisco, have hired a chef, but the chef’s name is a secret too. They promise his food will be “approachable,” and describe the cuisine as fitting in between The Ordinary and A.C.’s.

interiorThe building at 515 King Street has previously been a bank and — according to what Young and Russell-Schlesinger have heard — a wig shop. It hasn’t been open to the public in decades.

“This is one heck of a historic renovation,” said Young, who’s looking forward to the view of the Ravenel Bridge from the King Street-side bay windows.

The restaurateurs declined to reveal the source of their funding, saying only that the money is coming from an LLC the pair registered in 2012.

Russell-Schlesinger comes from a wealthy San Francisco family with ties to Levi Strauss. His parents’ family-based charitable foundation has net assets of $14 million, according to its website.

Although there’s no opening date yet set, Young and Russell-Schlesinger are confident the small-plates restaurant will be open by summertime.

One thought on “Restaurateurs Plan More Small Plates for Upper King

  1. “Restaurateurs Plan More Small Plates for Upper King”…as opposed to planning for more large plates?

    Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing the renovations and trying out a new chef. There is not enough information provided to compare it to what we already have available on King St.

    Looking forward to summertime guys!