Another splashy project is shaping up near The Gulch, and it may be one of the most ambitious yet. Chris Hyndman, the entrepreneur known for popular restaurant-and-nightclubs Virago, Lime and Whiskey Kitchen, is just weeks away from a bold expansion for Virago, in a former industrial garage just south of Broadway at the corner of 12th Avenue and McGavock.
Virago, a chic spot for sushi and cocktails, was a Midtown pioneer when it opened in 2000. Instead of doing another update of its Division Street home, Hyndman chose to relocate it to a spot adjacent to The Gulch and across from Whiskey Kitchen. The new locale will open in mid- to late October, but the original restaurant will keep serving up sashimi until just before the change.
We hadn’t heard many details until now, but Hyndman promises a huge rooftop patio with a skyline view and a sake bar with more than 50 varieties. As for the interior, he says, “It was a blank canvas, and I was able to design it with all the lessons we’ve learned at Virago over the past 10 years.”
The flow is improved, allowing for better service, and there will be multiple dining areas — some quiet and suitable for conversation, others with a high-energy vibe. “It’s the best of both worlds,” Hyndman said.
The work, done with the help of Barry Brechak Architecture + Design, started quietly, but now some of the changes are visible — and impressive. Striped, tawny lumber called tigerwood wraps around a corner of the building, transforming its brick exterior.
Virago has always been known for high-quality, creative sushi, but a whole new menu is going to be added: robatoyaki. That’s the Japanese version of roasting your favorite foods over a wood fire. It can be a revelation: Fresh fish, steak, chicken and vegetables are skewered and placed over the open flame to create a smoky flavor and rich texture.
The new Virago and Whiskey Kitchen are part of Hyndman’s “M Street” plan for developing the block of McGavock between 11th and 12th avenues on the edge of The Gulch. The third piece of the puzzle is Kayne Prime steak house in the old Radius10 space, which Hyndman said would open in November or December.
French dining in Green Hills
Table 3, a new “rustic French” restaurant from the folks behind F. Scott’s, opened a couple weeks ago in the former Bistro 123 space next to the Green Hills movie theater. The interior (which over the years has endured fire and flood and various mishaps) is gleaming now, and the menu is expansive, with items like steak tartare with a farm-fresh egg and the traditional French bistro steak with fries. Table 3 is open daily.