Justin Hoke, last at the Georges Perrier-Chris Scarduzio joint Table 31 after three years at Le Bec-Fin, has joined Kite & Key Tavern (1826 Callowhill St. in Franklintown). Hoke said he left T31, seeking a better opportunity.
Logic dictates that as pricer restaurants tighten payrolls, their chefs will seek employment farther down the food chain -- a boon to the gastropub crowd. The gastropubs seem to be weathering this economic crisis better than the fine-dining houses (expense accounts are down) and the midrange BYOBs (which can't sell alcohol to offset higher food prices).
Hoke says he'll "keep it simple and fun." Also new in his kitchen, as sous/pastry, is Dennis Crowley, last at the Water Works.