We've been hearing rumors since last week that Geoffrey Zakarian is out as the owner/operator of Country, and we've been getting vehement denials from Zakarian's PR team and the PR behind the Carlton Hotel. It's dead wrong they say. People are just worried about the switchover to Country Steak they say. And we would believe them had we not received a tip before the weekend from an inside source assuring us change in ownership is official—he tells us that Adam Block is the owner/operator at Country and that Geoffrey Zakarian has a licensing agreement to preserve the name.
If you don't know Adam Block, he is serious player in the national restaurant scene. He's the consultant and deal maker who got Masa and Per Se into the Time Warner Center, he's the man who told Terrance Brennan not to open restaurants in Chicago, and he's the guy who helped Geoffrey Zakarian open Country. (See his profile by Michael Ruhlman for his full story).
It's not completely surprising, given this month's announcement that Zakarian was turning the upstairs at Country into a steakhouse and given Block's prior involvement in the restaurant, that changes are afoot with the ownership. We're just waiting for Zakarian to give the official confirm.
· The Secret Ingredient [NYT Magazine]
· EaterWire: Upstairs at Country to Become Country Steak [~E~]
— photo credit