Caitlin and Chris Rorer are hoping to open Keen, at 1708 Lombard Street, early this summer. It’s the first restaurant for the couple, who met at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. The address housed Astral Plane for 30-plus years, followed in quick succession by Astral Plane Millennium, Fish, and Brick American Eatery.
Keen spans two floors and four separate areas in adjoining properties. Facing the building from outside, on street level to the right is the bar and to the left is the main dining room, which will seat about 40. Upstairs, above the dining room, will be what Caitlin calls a lounge, and the other side will hold another dining room.
The menu is American, and the plan is to keep it affordable. “We want it to be a neighborhood spot that people can come to three times a week,” Caitlin says.
Caitlin, who’s 29, was Chris’ TA at the Restaurant School. He had left a career in finance to try his hand at cooking. Keen was first mentioned in the press in 2014, in the now-folded City Paper, with Le Bec-Fin alum Randy Hoppmann, who taught the Rorers at the Restaurant School, attached to the project. Hoppmann is no longer involved.
Here’s what it looks like now: