At the end of the day yesterday, Toro Bravo's John and Renee Gorham dropped some pretty big news: They're teaming up with their business partner, Ron Avni, and the Gorhams' right-hand man, Josh Scofield, to launch a chicken-centric tapas joint in the soon-to-open Pine Street Market.
This morning, we caught up with John Gorham by phone so he could further elaborate on his plans. Here's what he told us about Pollo Bravo.
- The chicken concept has been years in the making. In fact, the chicken's marinade has been in the works for the last 18 months.
- About that marinade: Gorham says its a Spanish-Mexican mashup partly inspired by Gorham's many trips Spain's San Miguel Market and the pork-free Muslim district of Madrid, and a trip Scofield took to a small beach town north of Puerto Vallarta. About Scofield's trip: Every day he ate chicken carbon from a little old lady who sold it on the street. He loved it but couldn't figure out why it was so good, so he asked her to share her secret. The trick? She marinated her birds in the organic carrot juice she got from the nearby "hippie juice bar."
- Pollo Bravo will have a bar that seats 17 and will feature pairing cocktails authored by Tasty n Alder's Jeremy Meilen. Rounding out the menu are an abbreviated list of Gorham's greatest hits: chorizo, salted cod fritters, bacon-wrapped dates, roasted seasonal vegetables, and potatoes bravas, which will get a new twist here—you'll be able to "build your own."
- Expect a few pop-up dinners over the next couple of months at the Gorhams' test kitchen-events space, Plaza del Toro. In fact, Gorham says he'd like to host pop-ups for his Pine Street neighbors so they can dial in their food before the market opens. So far, those neighbors include Common Law (a Patrick McKee joint, with an assist from Langbaan's Earl Ninsom) and baker Ken Forkish (Ken's Artisan Bakery, Ken's Artisan Pizza, Trifecta Tavern), as well as operations manned by Hopworks, Barista, Olympia Provisions, and the international ramen maker, Marukin.
- This won't be the only Pollo Bravo. In fact, Gorham says he'd been eyeing a brick-and-mortar someplace else, but approached the folks behind the market after Andina pulled out of the concept earlier this fall.
Pine Street Market is slated to open downtown later this year or in the early months of 2016.