Griddle Café is on its way out at SLS. On February 1, the occasionally 24-hour spot will be replaced by an actual 24-hour restaurant, Northside Café. Griddle was an offshoot of Hollywood’s hipster Sunset Strip hot spot of the same name. And owner Jodi Hortze’s decision to open the SLS location only overnight from 11 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, remaining closed during dinner hours, was an apparent attempt to cater to the late-night party crowd SLS was hoping to attract. (The same goes for her decision to offer only alcohol-laced shakes, with no kid-friendly versions available.) Anyone who’s noticed the considerable suburban crowd SLS has attracted lately should see why that didn’t work.
Also on the outs, Alex Stratta has severed ties with his partners at Preferred Restaurant Brands. The good news is, it doesn’t seem to have affected his plans to conquer the suburban dining scene. In a statement announcing the split, Stratta promised, “I’m still committed to offering elevated off-the-Strip dining.” That includes the opening of his promised Tivoli Village tapas restaurant this spring, and his highly anticipated steakhouse in the soon-to-open Gramercy complex in the fall. But he’s not stopping there. His reps have announced he’s also working on a “more casual eatery concept for Gramercy.”
Finally, less than a month after the opening of Yardbird, chef de cuisine John Courtney has left the restaurant. Neither side is commenting on the reason for the split. Courtney, who Vegas Seven picked as the city’s Next Great Chef in last year’s Restaurant Awards, did tell me he’s taken a position at B&B Ristorante. In the meantime, Todd Harrington remains executive chef of Yardbird.