All day restaurants is a new trend


by Monica Burton
Breakfast is undeniably good business, and as chefs and restaurateurs have caught on, so too has the all-day restaurant. Unlike the familiar all-day diner, which itself has seen something of a revival in recent years, and its close cousin, the newly trendy luncheonette, today’s casual, multi-hyphenate spaces offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a range of cuisines. They’re often helmed by chefs from the world of high-end dinner service. And they are cropping up in America’s major cities — especially New York and Los Angeles.

As formal fine dining takes a backseat to more casual fare, the all-day destination makes sense. Continuous dining lets restaurateurs tap into the same mores that are driving diners into fast-casual restaurants, without having to give up on the idea of a comfortable, full-service experience. And with an all-day restaurant, operators can maximize profits while serving casual, and often less pricey, food. “There’s this mentality as a business owner that every day that we have the ability to be open and every hour is a blessing, so we want to take advantage of everything we can do,” notes Dan Salls, chef at Chicago all-day Mexican restaurant Quiote.

“Why can’t your go-to spot accommodate you for breakfast, dinner, and drinks?”
It has become clear to many in the industry that diner preferences are changing. “In order to stay relevant and keep guests coming back, you have to be able to provide a diverse range of experiences,” says Camille Becerra, chef at New York’s a.m.-to-p.m. restaurant De Maria. Fewer people are required to spend their days inside an office, and for many, restaurants and cafes are meeting and work spaces as well. What’s more, the all-day format gives restaurants the opportunity to become fixtures in their communities at all times. Becerra asks, “Why can’t your go-to spot accommodate you for breakfast, dinner, and drinks?”

There’s no end in sight for the rise in all-day dining projects from fine-dining chefs and industry vets. The Alinea Group, titans of the Chicago fine dining scene, teased potential plans for an all-day restaurant in a space they bought last year. During a recent Reddit AMA, partner Nick Kokonas wrote, “For a long time we’ve wanted to do a venue that combines a few great experiences in one place — primarily food and music. That’s our intention in that location... and serving breakfast, too.”

Sqirl visionary Jessica Koslow’s next Los Angeles project will be an all-day Israeli restaurant, called Tel. NYC’s Perla is closing, and will re-emerge as the day-to-night Fairfax. A new restaurant from the Littleneck crew in New York will soon add dinner to existing breakfast and lunch service, as will Bay Area chef Preeti Mistry’s Navi Kitchen in Emeryville, California, completing these restaurants’ transformations to round-the-clock destinations. Chef Jason Vincent’s follow up to essential Chicago restaurant Giant, City Mouse, launches with brunch first, but will necessarily be an all-day restaurant given its location at Chicago’s Ace Hotel.

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