Via the Shop Heights 19th Street Facebook page comes word that vegetarian restaurant Cricket's Creamery & Caffe' has a new owner, restaurant industry veteran Michael Alcorn. Although he only closed the deal on May 1, Alcorn tells Eater that he has big plans for neighborhood cafe. He says he "wants to turn it into something bigger than it is ... more guest centered." Alcorn cites the Cheesecake Factory as a restaurant that he wants to emulate in terms of creating a great environment for diners. While Cricket's will remain counter service, the restaurant will "take service to a different level" by getting customers refills and being a little friendlier.
In terms of the food, Alcorn's enlisted help from Kraftsman Baking owner Scott Tycer to advise on changes to the menu. While Alcorn's quick to point out that it isn't a return to the kitchen for the former chef/owner of acclaimed restaurants such as Aries and Textile, new dishes such as a BLT and ham and cheese panini are "Tycer-driven." The cafe's vegetarian items will also benefit from improved products and new recipes. Finally, small businesses that utilize the Kraftsman kitchen, including Fluff Bake Bar and Fat Cat Creamery, will start distributing their products in the cafe. All in all it sounds like a neighborhood favorite is becoming a little more interesting.