Jeremy Fox-fever struck L.A. diners when news broke last spring that the chef was decamping from San Francisco for Southern California. The city has been pretty eager to see the former Ubuntu and Manresa chef launch his own restaurant project and for a minute there, it seemed pretty close with Fox's Venice project, Barnyard. Yesterday, Eater broke the scoop that Fox vacated the restaurant just weeks, possibly days, before its opening, with sundry theories being bandied about that place blame on both parties. We checked in with Fox's people, only to learn that Barnyard's entire management team, including Helena Brown (formerly in development and operations for the Daniel Patterson Group), did indeed split with the restaurant's ownership.
Brown diplomatically tells Grub Street, "We were really excited about Venice and Barnyard, but unfortunately this group was not the right fit for us. We are leaving as a team to work on another project and look forward to sharing details about it."
In the meantime, Barnyard is still set to open, with a new chef. Obviously, the shakeup could be seen as an early blow to the restaurant's image**. We reached out to Barnyard this morning for its side of the story, but are yet to hear back.
As for Fox, no specific details are being offered on his next restaurant, though in August, we noted that he did have a certain little dream project in mind. We'll let you know the second we hear from Barnyard and anything on what's to come next for the chef, who must be pretty eager to get back in the kitchen by now.
**Earlier, we mentioned Julian Cox's involvement with Barnyard. He is not involved with Barnyard, nor does the restaurant have a liquor license.