After temporarily shuttering last fall, Craft & Commerce is now on track to reemerge in Little Italy by the end of July. The CH Projects restaurant, which opened in 2010, has been in the midst of a massive remodel by the hospitality group and designer Paul Basile, of BASILE Studio, that includes an overhaul of the kitchen, refreshed interior and enlarged outdoor space; the centerpiece of the new Craft & Commerce will be a custom-made wood-fired grill.
Originally, Ironside Fish & Oyster chef de cuisine Jose "JoJo" Ruiz was slated to take on the executive chef position, but Ruiz is departing soon to head up a new project in the Gaslamp's Pendry Hotel.
So please welcome Ted Smith, who will oversee the kitchen when the eatery reopens next month. Smith, who had a long tenure as chef de cuisine at Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant, left the 4th Avenue restaurant in March to join the team at Kettner Exchange before being snapped up by CH Projects. The group's corporate chef Jason McLeod says that Smith will be involved in the development of Craft & Commerce's menu, which will focus on the wood burning grill.