The Adirondacks have stopped moving, the Rattlesnake isn’t dead yet and Michael’s is going to New York. There is big news, in other words, from Michael McCarty.
To begin with, McCarty, the high-profile Santa Monica restaurateur and his partner of four years, chef Jimmy Schmidt, have parted ways. The pair had opened three restaurants across the country--the Rattlesnake Club in Denver in 1985; a second Rattlesnake in Detroit, where Schmidt had originally come to prominence as chef at the venerable London Chop House, last year; and what was originally to have been a third Rattlesnake, now known instead as Adirondacks, in Washington, D.C., in the early days of 1989.
McCarty says that ever since the opening of the Detroit restaurant, he and Schmidt have been discussing the possibility of an amicable split. “Jimmy loves Detroit and they love him,” McCarty says, “and he really likes running the restaurant there as a sort of one-man band. That’s very different than the management style we’ve been using in Denver and Washington, where we delegate a lot of authority. So we decided to divvy things up so that Jimmy would own 100% of the restaurant in Detroit, and our management company would control the other two places.”
“Michael will be doing his own menus in Denver and D.C.,” adds Schmidt, “and I’ll do my own type of food here in Detroit. We’re still good friends, and we had lots of fun together. We were just going in different directions, though.”
One of the things he is most looking forward to, Schmidt said, is re-establishing contacts with suppliers he used in his Chop House days, and using more and more regional products.
McCarty and Schmidt had recently announced that they were changing the names of their Denver and Detroit restaurants to Adirondacks, to match the Washington establishment--because, said McCarty at the time, “We don’t serve rattlesnake and they’re not private clubs.” Now, he says, Schmidt will keep the Rattlesnake name for Detroit--and the Denver restaurant will become Adirondacks, not this month as originally planned, but in early May.
McCarty’s other big news is that he has just bought a new restaurant location in New York City, on 55th Street and Fifth Avenue--a space currently occupied by the Italian Pavilion, which he had originally expected to move into, he says, in September of 1980. He plans to open a Manhattan branch of his Santa Monica flagship restaurant, Michael’s (which celebrates its tenth anniversary on April 22).
Meanwhile, he adds, he is spending the majority of his time working on the massive hotel and community center he plans to open in late 1991 on the site of the old Sand and Sea Club on the beach in Santa Monica. Plans to open further Adirondacks have been curtailed. “I have no time to do any other restaurants right now, " he says.
DRIED SHRIMP AND PEANUT SAUCE PIZZA?: Shakey’s Pizza Restaurants Inc., which was the first franchise pizza-parlor chain in America, has been purchased by Inno-Pacific Holdings, a company based in Singapore. All 221 domestic Shakey’s units were included in the deal, whose terms have not been disclosed. Inno-Pacific has owned rights to Shakey’s outside the United States since September. . . .
ON THE FIRE: Opera in Santa Monica resumes serving Sunday dinner next week, April 2, and will reopen for lunch soon. . . . The Radisson Plaza Hotel in Manhattan Beach hosts the second annual South Bay Free Clinic Gourmet Sampler on Sunday, April 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. Some 23 South Bay restaurants will offer samples of their cuisine. Entertainment and a raffle are included. Tickets are $35 each. For further information, call (213) 318-2521.