New chapter at Chapel
Chapel Bistro in East Nashville is in the midst of a major overhaul. The restaurant was opened by Fred Grgich (designer and front of the house) and Ted Prater (chef) to great critical and popular acclaim in December 2002. Though it has been quite successful, the relationship between investors and the creative guys recently became testy. A little over a month ago, Grgich left to devote more time to consulting with other restaurants and potential restaurateurs, as well as developing some concepts of his own. He has been replaced by Josef Gutzmirtl, who comes from Flying Saucer to serve as general manager.
Last week, talented chef Prater also left the building, citing creative differences. He is returning to the kitchen at mAmbu, where he worked with chefs/owners Corey Griffith and Anita Hartell before opening Chapel.
Chapel Bistro is now open for dinner Monday through Saturday. Serving as chief mixologist on Monday and Tuesday nights is Veta Cicolello, last seen at Margot Cafe and Bar; Jason Winkler has been newly hired for weekend nights. The front porch is open for dining as weather permits; according to Gutzmirtl, the back porch is undergoing significant upgrading and should be available for al fresco dining in a couple weeks.
Now in charge of the kitchen is former Chapel sous chef Steven Stuart, who has added a couple new menu items and will be revising the entire menu seasonally.
In my crystal ball, I see the currently dormant Fred/Ted partnership resurrecting itself in another restaurant venture, possibly in the 12 South/Belmont area.