Resto owner Christian Pappanicholas tells Eater that he has made the decision to close down Resto, his nine-year-old Murray Hill restaurant, and will open Cannibal Liquor House in the space this fall. Resto opened back in the spring of 2007 with a focus on Belgian food and beer. It soon became known as much for its hamburger and large format feasts as its original concept. During the almost decade long run it saw a procession of talented chefs helm the kitchen like Ryan Skeen, Bobby Helen, Preston Clarke and Koren Grieveson, who departed back in April. According to Pappanicholas, Resto was somewhat burdened by the expectations of its legacy and with The Cannibal branching out — there is now a locations in Hell's Kitchen and Los Angeles — it made sense to take the opportunity to both reinforce and expand the the brand.
Cannibal Liquor Bar will focus on cocktails in the same way that the adjacent Cannibal Butcher & Beer focuses on beer. The Cannibal's executive chef Francis Derby will also oversee the kitchen at Liquor House, with a chef de cuisine to be named at a later date. The menu has yet to be determined but it will likely feature oysters, burgers, and steaks, according to Pappanicholas. Resto's last night of service will be August 11, and Cannibal Liquor Bar is expected to open in October. Cannibal Butcher & Beer will remain open through out the renovation.