In this week's review of Wild Ginger in Cool Springs, I rave about the colorful, inventive sushi and the overall gorgeousness of the building at the corner of Bakers Bridge and Market Exchange Court. The owners, working with H. Michael Hindman Architects, clearly went to a lot of expense to build a consistent identity that is reflected in the clean flavors and contemporary, organic design of their independent restaurant.
Seems to me that's exactly what you'd need to do if you wanted to replicate your restaurant concept in a few—or a few hundred—other places. Assuming Wild Ginger can deliver a consistently delicious and elegant experience, the brand could find success beyond the sprawling asphalt pastures of Cool Springs.
Coincidentally, Wild Ginger is located just a few blocks down the road from another independent restaurant that we think could have legs for branding: Basil Asian Bistro. A much smaller concept, based on Thai and Laotian cuisine, Basil's simple, sultry décor and exquisite menu—think banana leaf wraps stuffed with salmon and banana spring rolls drizzled with honey and sesame for dessert—could be shoehorned into virtually any strip mall in the country, upping the ante for Asian food in almost any neighborhood.
For now, let's see if Wild Ginger can live up to its early promise. If you get there, please report back on your experience. In the meantime, what other local independent brands would you like to see expand their reach? If the world is doomed to be paved with chains, at least they could be our own homegrown businesses.