French-style bistro for Moorestown
MOORESTOWN - Moorestown, which will soon boast restaurants created by two of Philadelphia's top chefs, will have a third in the spring, developer William Burris announced last week.
By late spring, he expects to open Gusteau, a bistro-style French restaurant and bakery, in the former Friendly's restaurant on Main Street that has been vacant since 2011.
The 120-seat eatery will not have a liquor license but will serve dinner, lunch, and breakfast – the latter, he said, because he misses breakfasts at Friendly's, where many town business and civic leaders used to meet.
"I really like a French bistro atmosphere," Burris, CEO of Burris Construction Co., said Friday. He and his wife are particularly fond of Bouchon, a bistro at the Venetian Las Vegas hotel and casino. "We said, 'Wouldn't it be nice to have something like this at home?' "
Burris, who with partners created the Black Whale Bar & Fish House on Long Beach Island nine years ago, said his decision to create Gusteau was not in response to the imminent arrivals at Moorestown Mall of super-chef Marc Vetri's Italian trattoria-style Osteria, and Iron Chef Jose Garces' Mexican cantina-style Distrito.
He has turned to Philadelphia's Olivier Desaintmartin, a Food Network "Chopped Champion" and creator of Zinc and Caribou Cafe, to create the kitchen at Gusteau.
"I expect this will be his show," said Burris, who expects prices will "probably be higher than anything else in town."
"We've got a lot of Italian" restaurants, he said, "and they do a great job. But I think a lot of people around here are ready for something else."
Like a Parisian bistro, it will have outdoor tables and will be "dog-friendly - to the extent we can."
Moorestown Mayor Stacey Jordan on Friday called the concept exciting.
"It's totally different from what's going on at the mall," she said, adding that it could, with Distrito and Osteria, make Moorestown a dining destination.
- David O'Reilly