The Most Anticipated Summer Restaurant Openings in 15 U.S. Cities

From celebrity chef expansions to neighborhood gems
May 17, 2017
by Zagat Staff

New season, new restaurants. Check out these 15 hot openings around the country and keep them in mind for your summer travel. 

Atlanta: Mary Hoopa’s House of Fried Chicken & Oysters

Projected opening date: Late June

​The moniker clues you in on what to expect at this upcoming spot from chef Robert Phalen (One Eared Stag, ex Holy Taco). Fried chicken aplenty will fill the menu, as will oysters raw, grilled, baked, fried and likely arriving in other preparations too. Chef Neal Bukiet heads the kitchen, while beverage director Mikey Kilbourne builds a menu of local beers and cocktails. Originally slated to open earlier this year, Mary Hoopa's will soon (fingers crossed, y'all) set up shop in Atlanta's East Lake neighborhood, sharing the same revitalized intersection that recently welcomed newcomers Poor Hendrix and Greater Good BBQ. Oh, and that name? The restaurant pays homage to the recipes and memory of Phalen’s mother-in-law's former cook and nanny.​

2371 Hosea L. Williams Dr.

Austin: Holy Roller

Projected opening date: Late May to early June

Hot on the heels of her husband Phil Speer opening Bonhomie, Callie Speer (formerly of Swift's Attic and Geraldine's) will open her own chef-driven diner concept. Holy Roller, located off West Sixth in the former Wahoo's Fish Taco space, will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, with plenty of sweet and savory pastry elements. We'll be counting down the days until we can try the migas kolach topped with hash browns and queso — plus soda fountain–inspired parfaits, root beer floats and a soft serve–filled choco taco. Pastry chef Britt Castro and beverage director Jen Keyser also join the team from Geraldine's, completing the rock star triumvirate.

509 Rio Grande St.

Boston: Eventide Fenway

Projected opening date: Late summer

After scoring national kudos and two shared James Beard nominations for chefs Michael Wiley and Andrew Taylor, Portland, Maine–based Eventide Oyster Co. is coming to Boston. So far there's little info available on how this Hub location, dubbed Eventide Fenway, will differentiate itself — but frankly, we're perfectly fine with simply replicating all the seafood-serving, oyster-slurping success of the original.

1321 Boylston St.

Chicago: Proxi

Projected opening date: June

One of the most revered restaurants in the West Loop, Sepia is finally expanding next door with its hotly anticipated casual venture, Proxi. With a name that comes from the Latin word “proximus,” the restaurant draws inspiration from global street food to add depth to its American brasserie roots. The space is mesmerizing, with soaring ceilings and an open kitchen showcasing chef Andrew Zimmerman’s talents. 

565 W. Randolph St.

Dallas: Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern

Projected opening date: Late summer

The urban legend that dearly departed Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern would reemerge finally has a firm spot in reality with construction well underway in Addison for the beloved Cane Rosso sibling's hand-tossed thin-crust pies. (By the way, another Cane Rosso debuts this summer too, at The Star in Frisco). Pasta, strombolis and sandwiches such as the chicken Parm (pictured) will join the popular pies.

14910 Midway Rd., Addison

Denver: Tavernetta

Projected opening date: Late June

Thrilled as Denverites are to have their very own slice of Frasca, owner–master sommelier Bobby Stuckey has kept a different Italian institution in mind as inspiration for his LoDo venture with chef-partner Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson: the legendary Cipriani. “Those guys were so good at hospitality — it wasn’t formal, but it was really crisp,” he explains. With that in mind, he and Mackinnon-Patterson have put an ace team in place. Chef de cuisine Ian Wortham has been traveling from Piedmont to Sicily for ideas for the pan-regional menu; Thomas Keller vet Justin Williams will serve as GM; and wine director Carlin Karr, a 30 Under 30 alumna whom Stuckey calls a "superstar," is building the all-Italian cellar. Stuckey’s no less jazzed about the 125-seat space, including the fireplace-graced bar: “It looks right into the canopies of Union Station,” he says. “You get off the train and you’re staring at it."

2669 Larimer St.

Houston: Roka Akor

​Projected opening date: Early to mid summer 

On trend with the growing presence of upscale Asian eateries around town, this nationally acclaimed Japanese sushi and steakhouse will take over part of the first floor of a luxury high-rise in River Oaks. The name comes in part from the words RO and KA, which mean hearth and burning fire, respectively, a nod toward the robata grill that will anchor the kitchen. Sushi, prime steaks and seafood will incorporate seasonal and local ingredients, and there will be an extensive selection of the Japanese liquor shochu. Modern decor and lighting will balance out wood-paneled walls for an approachable yet stylish vibe.

2929 Weslayan St.

Los Angeles: Jean-Georges Beverly Hills and The Rooftop by JG at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

Projected opening date: June 1

Jean-Georges Vongerichten's empire includes highly acclaimed restaurants in New York (where Jean-Georges is a perennial Zagat survey list topper), Miami, Chicago, France, Japan, Dubai, Las Vegas and Mexico (his latest Seared is a Cabo hot spot), but not the West Coast. This still-unnamed project will be his first. Details are limited, but we know there will be a ground-floor restaurant and a rooftop space, with menus that include global as well as local and seasonal influences. The hotel, which debuts this year, will be adjacent to the Beverly Hilton at Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards. 

9850 Wilshire Blvd.

NYC: Sen Sakana

Projected opening date: Late May to early June

Originally expected to open in 2015, the 190-seat, Japanese-Peruvian restaurant (with room for an additional 50 in private dining) headed by chefs Mina Newman and Taku Nagai will finally open this summer. The two cuisines are blended seamlessly into dishes like causa onigiri, a Peruvian potato version of the Japanese rice ball and chicken karaage, fried chicken coated in toasted quinoa.

28 West 44 Street

Miami: Soul Tavern

Projected opening date: Early June

Jason Gordon's long delayed, veggie-forward gastropub in Sunset Harbour will open this season with international comfort foods like mushroom burgers, quiche tofu tots, pizza and maki rolls. The laid-back restaurant will serve both vegan and vegetarian dishes along with draft beer, sake and libations.

1801 West Ave.

Philly: Maison 208

Projected opening date: Early to mid summer

Top Chef contestant Sylva Senat is about to show Philly what he's got with his new restaurant in Midtown Village, where he will be dishing up elegant, New American plates with a French twist. There will be wine too, and lots of it available by the bottle or glass. Also, just in time for warmer temperatures there's a retractable roof on the second floor.

208 S. 13th St.

San Diego: Born & Raised

Projected opening date: Early summer

This steakhouse concept by CH Projects in the former Nelson Supplies building is poised to be Little Italy’s hottest destination. The restaurant will pay homage to the classic steakhouse look with a midcentury-modern meets art deco design by Paul Basile of BASILE Studio. Brass tables topped with imported green Italian marble and custom-designed parquet flooring are spread throughout the two-story space.

1909 India St.

San Francisco: The Charter Oak

​Projected opening date: Mid June

Chef Christopher Kostow and front-of-house director Nathaniel Dorn of The Restaurant at Meadowood will unveil their more casual concept in St. Helena’s former Tra Vigne venue at the beginning of summer. Kostow skips the elaborate tasting menus and opts for a family-style experience with seasonal, approachable flavors, lots of produce from Meadowood's garden and hearth-cooked dishes. Renovations by Kostow, Dorn and Napa's celebrated architect Howard Backen call for an outdoor patio, bar, communal table and an airy brick-exposed dining room with custom oak tables and a massive overhead chandelier.

1050 Charter Oak Ave., St. Helena; 707-963-4444

Seattle: Jarr & Co and MarketFront

Projected opening date: June 29

This exciting partnership between Bryan​ Jarr (Jarr Bar) and chef Zoi Antonitsas is slated for the new Pike Place Market expansion, called MarketFront. On the docket is a cannery and restaurant/bar that will specialize in preserved seafood. Joining Jarr & Co in the expansion will be new spaces for Market favorites indi chocolate, Honest Biscuits and Old Stove Brewing Co, spread out over 12,000 square feet of space.

85 Pike St.

Washington, DC: Succotash Penn Quarter

Projected opening date: August

If you’ve been meaning to make the hike out to National Harbor to try chef Ed Lee’s Korean-inspired Southern fare at Succotash, go ahead and take that off your to-do list. The Kentucky-based chef (who's also behind Louisville's 610 MagnoliaMilkwood and the soon-to-open Whiskey Dry) plans to move to Washington and expand his DC-area presence with the late-summer opening of Succotash in Penn Quarter’s landmarked Equitable Bank Building. Some 350 seats will be spread among three floors that include a bar stocked with 200 whiskeys. The new location — a partnership between Lee and KNEAD Hospitality + Design — will feature dishes from the National Harbor menu as well as a handful that are unique to this outpost.

915 F St. NW