If you follow Opus Co.’s detailed and vibrant social media, you already know the news: after more than 4 years as one of our few gastronome destinations, chef Mark Schroeder has decided to retire the concept and make way for a new eatery.
Taking over for the original Martino‘s in 2017, Opus Co. quickly became a citywide destination restaurant that focused on seasonal produce, wood-fired cooking, and “nose to tail butchery.” With their tiny space – both front and back of the house – Chef Schroeder was able to continually enchant and invigorate our palates, and pre-pandemic reservations were hard to come by. Opus Co. is also known for its generosity to the community, running frequent fundraisers and drives to make the neighborhood the best it could be. The final evening of service will be Thursday, September 2nd.
Longtime collaborator and Opus Co. chef Paolo Campbell will be taking over the space in mid-September to create a dream he has had since culinary school: a Filipino Fried Chicken restaurant. The Chicken Supply will feature dairy-free and gluten-free (dredged in potato, rice, and coconut flours) fried chicken alongside Filipino-influenced sides like coconut collard greens, Mongoo beans and rice, marinated vegetables, and housemade pickles.
“My favorite food in the world is fried chicken,” relayed Campbell recently, “I could fry chicken and eat chicken every day.”
Having worked with Schroeder in “fast casual fine dining” for so long – the two were together at Revel and Trove before they started out together at Opus Co. – has had an effect on Campbell. No longer wanting to work under the intense pressure of creating new and different dishes on a nightly basis, he is looking forward to creating a set and delicious menu to continually refine and improve. “I don’t need to prove anything at this point in my career, I don’t need to flex.”
It will be hard to lose the close family that Opus Co. created, and especially losing Schroeder who he considers his “big brother and mentor”, but at least it will not be sudden. Campbell and Schroeder have long been discussing this transfer, and Schroeder will also stay on as Sous Chef through the beginning of 2022. After that, Schroeder is planning on taking a long road trip with his family and then ending up in Illinois to reunite with relatives.
In the meantime, put Opus Co.’s garage sale on September 19th onto your calendar, and wander on by to say your farewell to the space. Expect The Chicken Supply to have a soft opening in mid-October.