A couple with one restaurant success is trying again. The new restaurant would be the first of its kind in Rochester. YNN's Cristina Domingues has this week's in-depth Business Profile from North Goodman Street.
Mike Corsan and his wife Kristen Flores-Fratto had been in the culinary and restaurant industry for years before finally going out on their own four years ago. They opened the Gate House, a restaurant in Village Gate where even on an average weekday afternoon, you'll likely have to wait for a table.
Kristen Flores-Fratto said, "We kept coming back to my husband saying burgers, and I saying pizza and somehow we compromised like any married couple should on this concept that really took off."
While they say they feel blessed with the bustling business they've grown here,
"They'll be skewering the meat and taking it out and walking around the restaurant," said Flores-Fratto.
another restaurant idea was always being planned in the back of their minds.
Flores- Fratto added, "My husband and I have been dining at these Brazilian steakhouses across the country throughout the years and frequently said, 'Why does Rochester not have one of these?!'"
That's how the idea for Espada was born. Brazilian steakhouses, or churrascarias as they're called in Portuguese, use meats that are cooked on skewers. Waiters walk around to your table and cut slices of that meat directly onto your plate. It's a kind of restaurant that requires very specific cooking and knife skills.
Flores- Fratto said, "The grills are hard to come by, training is required, culinary chefs have not been trained in that in culinary school. I takes a lot of effort to do it right. We decided to we could do it."
I'm from Porto Alegre, Brazil where churasscarias really a way of life. I asked Mike and Kristen how they would appeal to a client like me. They say they did their homework.
"We found a class in LA. We brought our chef with us, our general manger. The four of us went through a weekend of butchering, skewering and marinating and learning how to use this grill,” said Flores- Fratto.
Mike says the time was also right to launch the idea because things at Village Gate are on the move. The place is getting a makeover, with new hallways, entrances and stores. Some businesses moved out.
Corsan said, "It was something that was presented to us by the landlord. He came to us came to us and approached us and said here’s my vision; here's what I'd like to do. And if we didn't take the space someone else was going to take it."
This is a $300,000 dollar investment for Mike and Kristen that they say will create 50 new jobs. They plan to offer lower price points than some other churrascarias in big cities that can charge up to $50 a person. They also plan to offer options for vegans and vegetarians.
Espada is expected to open this fall.
"We're so excited. We think people are going to love it. Again, we have to do it right but I think we will."
Cristina Domingues YNN.