Oak Steakhouse without Brett McKee? Apparently so. The chef/restaurateur has announced that he will be leaving Oak (and his involvement in O-Ku) to concentrate on the Roadside Kitchens venture.
McKee opened his first Roadside Kitchen at 17 North in Mt. Pleasant last fall, followed by a 15 North Roadside Kitchen in Charlotte a few weeks ago. When we spoke to him in May about his plans, the ambitious McKee was working on a restaurant at an inn in New York (which eventually fell through) and was overseeing details at the Charlotte venture. He was also very excited about the Roadside Kitchen concept, which he sees as having limitless potential. Instead of a chain concept, where every single restaurant is exactly the same, the Roadside Kitchen cultivates a unique style and menu based on its location and input from fans and friends via social media.
According to a press release, McKee will be taking the Roadside Kitchen concept "across the Southeast and the rest of the country."
So far, he's scouted locations in Greenville and Birmingham and recently put out a call on Facebook for real estate brokers in Nashville. Ultimately, he has plans to open 10 to 15 more restaurants in the next few years.
"Culinary wise this is the most exciting thing I have ever done in my career," he said. "It's been a hell of a ride. Stay tuned for more".
You can bet we will.