Looks like hospitality titan Esquared is going even harder on fast-casual. The company’s creative director Samantha Wasser, who co-founded vegan hit By Chloe, has now signed on with yet another chef for a new Middle Eastern fast-casual restaurant called Dez.
Dez, at 227 Mulberry Street in Nolita, is a partnership with Eden Grinshpan that started after the chef reached out to ESquared. Grinshpan, who is better known for her television appearances than any restaurant experience, is host of Food Network’s Canadian version of Top Chef and been on the Cooking Channel shows. This will be her first restaurant.
Here, Grinshpan will be serving plated dishes, including vegetable mezze, vegetable bowls, pitas, and shared plates. The menu is “taking inspiration from her family roots and travels around the Middle East and Mediterranean countries,” according to a statement. Though it will feature many greens, Dez is not a vegetarian restaurant.
The restaurant has a planned opening in 2018. It’s just blocks away from The Sosta, ESquared’s very pink Italian fast-casual restaurant that opened earlier this year, and like with The Sosta and By Chloe, Wasser will be spearheading the design — so expect lots of neon signs and other cutesy accents built to be Instagram bait.
Dez is the third fast-casual restaurant with a partner chef from Wasser and her father Jimmy Haber’s ESquared Hospitality, the company that’s behind full-service restaurants like BLT Burger and BLT Prime. But despite success with the now-international By Chloe, that partnership ended poorly. Over the winter, ESquared and vegan celebrity chef Chloe Coscarelli’s relationship terminated with an ugly lawsuit, and now, Coscarelli no longer works for the By Chloe chain.