Critically-acclaimed chef John Shields, who previously announced that he picked Philly to open his first solo project, has been rethinking his original plan because of a lack of interest financially.
"I love Philly, I love the energy, and my wife and I have had a great time here," Shields told Eater. "But, we've gotten virtually no interest from financial backers. And, we've gotten some strong leads in Washington, D.C."
Shields recently left Town House in Chilowie, Virginia, where he won just about every award a chef can win on the national stage. He then packed up his life and his partner/wife/pastry chef Karen Urie, and headed to West Chester to spend time with family. After being wooed by a bevy of chefs around Philly to join the white-hot scene here, Shields settled on staying local. But, the money never came, and now he is forced to explore other options. Shields joins Jen Carroll on the list of successful chefs who had to leave Philly because of cash flow issues. Carroll picked NYC to open her debut restaurant, Concrete Blonde.
If anyone out there is looking to invest in a restaurant homerun, Shields has yet to pack up the car. We'll all be reading about his new restaurant in the pages of Food & Wine and Bon Appétit when it opens. But, it sure would be nice if the address listed on the piece was somewhere in Philly. Most importantly, Shields wants to be here.
"It's not a dead deal situation yet, but we have to start soon," Shields said. "And, it's a shame, because there's so much excitement here, and we love it. But, maybe Karen and I will just end up steaming crabs for a living, which wouldn't be bad, either."
· All John Shields Coverage[~EPHI~]
· Chef John Shields Working On Restaurant Concept in Philly [~EPHI~]