Downtown’s Garden Grill Cafe is in transition on a couple of levels, though most details aren’t finalized.
What is certain is that chef and owner Miguel Larcher is moving to Michigan, sous chef Nick Stroot will be the new executive chef and the restaurant is moving.
“It was not popular to keep working this location,” Larcher says.
The vegan restaurant, which opened on South Seneca five years ago as d’Sozo, has been in Occidental Plaza, 300 N. Main, for just over three years.
“We have no parking anymore,” Larcher says.
He says the restaurant lost spaces over the years, and Stroot says there were rising costs associated with the location, too.
Where the restaurant may move will be up to Stroot and a potential group of new owners, Larcher says.
“They will really have to come together and do it.”
Larcher is moving to a Michigan resort, which he says he’d rather not name yet, and starting a culinary school for the resort.
“It was not an easy decision to make,” he says. “I came to a point where I would need less stress. I wanted something different for my family.”
Stroot has been with Larcher since Garden Grill moved to Occidental Plaza.
“I’m willing to carry on what Miguel started here,” he says.
Stroot says he wants to make some additions, too, but won’t deviate from the vegan menu. That’s even though his family and their Stroot Lockers are known for the meat they sell.
“They think I’m weird,” Stroot says. “I’m like the black sheep of the family.”
He says he’s the only vegan in the family.
“It’s kind of funny.”
What won’t be funny is if Stroot can’t organize a group of backers to help him re-establish the restaurant elsewhere.
He says he thinks it won’t be a problem.
“I’d be surprised if nobody wanted to do it.”
Stroot isn’t sure what he’ll do if he can’t get financing.
“I’ll just go lay down on the couch and cry I guess.”
Look for more information in January.