Hog & Rocks owner Scott Youkilis is closing his pork, oysters, and cocktails focused restaurant after eight years, Tablehopper reports, and in the process he’s handing over his prime corner restaurant space at 3431 19th Street to chef Anthony Strong, who has been on the lookout for a permanent place. Hog & Rocks will close in mid-April, and Youkilis tells Eater he’ll stay on with Strong, at least initially, in a consulting role. “It’s a pass the torch kinda thing,” he said.
Strong has been on the move since he left his role as chef at nearby Locanda to travel, returning to the local scene with a splashy idea for a “delivery only restaurant,” Young Fava. After a brief experimental period cooking out of the kitchen at Turtle Tower and sending gourmet boxes of foie gras terrine and caviar with potato chips to delivery customers, Strong pulled the plug on that venture. “Handing over white boxes just wasn’t doing it for me,” he told Eater. The chef pivoted to an Italian pop-up, Cibi Cotti, in the Local Mission Market space, developing recipes for a permanent restaurant space — which apparently he’s just found.
Strong approached Youkilis, who tells Eater he “figured it was just the right time.” Stay tuned for news on what Strong has planned for the location — and what Youkilis has in mind for the Hog & Rocks farewell tour.
Updated on February 8, 5:10 p.m: Strong confirmed the move, but remains tight-lipped on what to expect. “I’m not saying a word about it,” he told Eater. The restaurant “won’t be like the pop-up, exactly,” he added — but beyond that, we’ll have to wait and see.