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Tim Love's By the Book PR Machine

With the exception of one incident a few weeks back, we've not said much about Lonesome Dove, Tim Love's cowboy-themed bistro just-opened on 21st Street. On the other hand, the Star-Telegram out of Fort Worth, Tim Love's hometown, ran a mega-feature on the chef, which, for its in-depth account of the opening, the corresponding PR dance, and the cowboy himself, we bring you now. Here is a sample:

Love knew what he was up against, of course -- when he signed the lease in February, he took over a space that had seen three tenants in two years. The most recent, an Indian restaurant named Turmeric, had stayed open barely more than a month.

In its Aug. 2 preview of fall restaurant openings, the New York Post sniffed: "Unless your idea of thrills is a Texas import called Lonesome Dove Western Bistro or an 'organic steakhouse' named STK, this fall and winter are shaping up as the dullest culinary seasons since the Luchow's era," a reference to the century-old German restaurant that closed in the early '80s.

Since then, with the help of a Manhattan marketing firm and Love's own publicity smarts, there've been some major media coups: a photo-and-recipe spread in September's Food & Wine magazine; an appearance on TV's Good Morning America on Labor Day; a photo in the New York Times' fall restaurant preview -- all in his signature beaver-felt cowboy hat.

There is plenty more behind-the-scenes goodness to be had in the article, including a description of a notebook containing photos and descriptions of important food writers and editors, given to the venue by its PR folks (Baum, likely). There is also Love's take on New Yorkers. We're not rude, see, just not overly friendly.
· Can Love conquer all? [Star-Telegram, via Gastropoda, sort of]

BONUS: Re the Baum/Baltz business: No one would confirm this but it turns out that Bobby Flay, whose Mesa Grill is a Baum client and is located a very few blocks away from Lonesome Dove, felt the Western Bistro concept a bit too close to home for his taste. When he finally got all the details on Tim Love's restaurant, he -- pause -- asked Baum to find someone else to do the mouth-piecing at Lonesome Dove.