Plant-based celebrity chef Matthew Kenney is opening yet another restaurant this year, adding to his growing empire of plant-forward vegan establishments. Unlike any other restaurant to come before it, Kenney’s new concept will open inside the dining hall of Chicago’s Saks Fifth Avenue – the first-ever vegan restaurant to do so.
Eater Chicago reports that the new vegan restaurant will be called Althea, and like many of Kenney’s numerous concepts across the world, will feature a globally-inspired menu heavy on the organic ingredients carefully sourced from farms in California and other parts of the country. With offerings like kelp noodles, kimchi dumplings, and spicy udon soup it appears that the menu will be primarily inspired by East Asian cuisine, but guests can also expect signature dishes such as raw vegan lasagna made with layers of thinly sliced zucchini and nut-based cheese.
Althea’s 2,000-square foot space will be situated on the seventh floor at Saks and feature a 13-seat bar and 14-seat lounge where guests can order vegan cocktails, beer, and biodynamic wine. A 64-seat dining room will provide more seating, plus a view of the historic Chicago thoroughfare, Michigan Avenue. The decor has been described as “clean, bright, and modern,” echoing the aesthetic of many of Kenney’s other establishments.
The opening of Althea will mark the 16th establishment to open in Kenney’s vegan restaurant empire and one of several to open this year. Last May saw to the opening of Arata, a vegan Japanese-inspired restaurant, adjacent to two of Kenney’s other eateries: the plant-based pizzeria Double Zero and the Mexican-inspired Bar Verde. Earlier this summer, Kenney opened his Kanu, his first vegan restaurant in Canada, in Edmonton.
Kenney’s Double Zero, which presents a modern spin on wood oven pizza, seems to be among the most popular of his restaurant concepts, with locations in Manhattan, and upcoming locations in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Boston. Kenney also has restaurants present in London, Sydney, Bahrain, Bogota, and São Paulo.
Althea is slated to open this September.