Executive chef Andrew Myers has left the Anchorage Cafe after the family-owned, neighborhood café ended its small-plate evening menu. Myers—also a Eater Louisville Hot Chef nominee—had been there for about a year according to the cafe's owner, Bruce Lake.
"Nothing bad happened," Lake said, calling Myers's food "excellent." "We just didn't really build audience to make it [the small-plates offering] viable from a business perspective long-term."
Myers is now working at the Holy Grale. "I'm taking up at the Grale for Josh [Lehman, executive chef] for a little bit," Myers said, adding that his tenure there just will be for a couple of months. "In the meantime I'm working on something for myself. I hate to really say too much about it just because I don't want to jinx it. I haven't really gotten that far with it either."
"We decided about a year ago to launch a separate and distinct small plate initiative. Andy came on to spearhead that," Lake said. "The audience was moderate. Unlike our breakfast, lunch and brunch, it never really built a great crowd for the evening audience." Lake compared Anchorage Cafe's offering to Blue Dog Bakery and Cafe's discontinued Red Hog Tapas menu: critically acclaimed but not a financial success.
"We decided right about the end of 2012 to really stick to our knitting and continue to excel with locally sourced and carefully crafted breakfast, lunch and brunch offerings," Lake said. "We have a first-rate espresso bar, and we're putting an increased emphasis on that." Lake also cited the Anchorage Cafe's bakery and pastry operations as pillars for its focus on the traditional cafe model.
Lake said when they concluded that the Anchorage Cafe was going to "veer away from a separate and distinct nighttime offering, if you will, I think it became clear to us and Andy collectively—I think he would agree with this—that long-term that's not really I think his aspiration nor is where his skills and experience are best suited."
"He'll surely do great things in another restaurant. And I'm sure sooner rather than later," Lake said. "It no longer was the fit we hoped it could be."
"We think highly of Andy," Lake said.
[Photo: Courtesy Anchorage Cafe]