Red Herring’s executive chef Jacob Coronado and bar manager Clay Livingston are now part owners of the bar and restaurant — and their first order of business was to change the dinner menu.
The plan was always for the two to build up “sweat equity,” which would later turn into real equity in the business, Livingston told Insider. However, the process was sped up when restaurateur and Red Herring co-owner Brett Davis left to work at a Michigan winery.
Davis is no longer involved with Red Herring. Mo Deljoo, who owns the building and is an entrepreneur, is still a co-owner of the restaurant and bar.
Deljoo said he is excited to have Coronado and Livingston join as owners.
“Both of them have been very involved from day one and passionate about the concept,” he said.
The biggest change, Livingston said, is working more hours. It’s still sinking in that he doesn’t have to get his ideas approved by a boss because now he is the boss.
Coronado said taking an ownership stake in the business was “scary at first,” but “Clay and I work well together.”
Following the ownership changes, Coronado and Livingston decided to beef up its dinner menu from small bites to full entrees.
“It was pretty obvious. We were watching the guests, watching our growth,” Coronado said. “You could just tell that some think ‘Where’s the steak?’ or ‘Where’s the big piece of chicken?’ ”
Red Herring, located at 1757 Frankfort Ave., will still offer a small bites menu at the bar and late night, but now, customers will have the option to order something more substantial. Coronado said the change would give people more of a reason to visit Red Herring during the week.
The menu, Coronado said, will change almost weekly.
The kitchen staff will join him on his weekly trip to the farmers market for ingredients and develop a menu based on what’s available. Red Herring debuted the expanded menu Monday after closing for one day to install a hood system.
“We will keep it as fresh as possible,” Coronado said.
Prices will range from $15 to $26 for hearty entrees. This week’s items include macaroni and cheese with house-made country ham with cavatelli pasta; seared New York strip steak with potato pavé and gravy; and duck with greens, cinnamon honey dressing, quinoa and candied lemon.
The bar menu, which boosts more than 100 cocktails, will likely change about twice a year in fall and spring. Red Herring will introduce more cocktails with sherries, ports and northern European cordials to fit the colder season, while drinks with fresh produce like strawberries will be taken off the menu or altered.
“We are going to stick to with what’s seasonal,” Livingston said, noting that otherwise the product is “subpar.”
He’s also working with the kitchen staff to see how different specialty drinks can complement the ingredients in different dishes.
Both Coronado and Livingston said Red Herring is the most collaborative place they’ve worked. There is no back of house and front of house, they said. Cooks will help serve, and service staff have helped out in the kitchen before.
“Everybody’s had to get out of their comfort zone,” Coronado said.
“Who better to sell and entree than the cook who came up with it,” Livingston added.
Correction: A previous version of this post included the incorrect price range and menu items featured this week.