Roux (photos taken with an out of date iPhone) [Photos: J. Perry]
It won't be long now before Restaurant Roux opens in Fremont. Matt Lewis hosted an open house on Saturday just to get some butts in seats. He says between 6 and 10 pm, about 150-200 people showed up to a completely transformed Buckaroo Tavern space. Guests were treated to some cocktails, a few wines on tap, some Gulf shrimp, fried oysters with bacon marmalade, beignets (of course) and Roux's signature beer, which can be found on tap at Elysian. Gilded Splinters is described as a "garnet colored chicory ale that recalls the Wild Tchoupitoulas and the Night Tripper." Lewis still hasn't come up with the beer's house name yet, but Big Chief was previously in the running.
As far as finally being able to have a crowd of people in his (almost finished) restaurant, Lewis says, "It's been my vision, but sharing your vision with other people...a lot of people will just believe in it because it's your vision and they have the confidence in you. But to actually see it all come to fruition at the end is pretty amazing."
Construction delays have set back Roux's opening; it's a project Lewis is actually finishing himself. After some final kitchen installments and inspections, he says Roux should have its soft opening sometime next week. And that big plywood facade? It stays put, potentially up until the grand reveal: "I don't even know if we'll remove it for our soft opening."
Roux will be a daily operation, with brunch launching about 2-3 weeks after the grand opening. The weekend affair will be called "Roux Awakening," which begs for a killer menu to match the name.