Have you ever wondered why some restaurant openings are “events” while others are simply overlooked? The recent opening of Ze Kitchen Galerie Bis provides some clues about media coverage and what it takes to draw the hounds.
#1: Give us a name we can play with. No, I don’t mean this restaurant’s full name, which is just a longer version of the unfortunate original (bis means “second” or “again”) – I mean the abbreviated KGB. So much spy-themed headline potential! So much room for clever word play! See also Spring, Cul de Poule, and Mama Shelter.
#2: Give us the backstory. Second (or third) restaurants from known chefs have a built-in backstory. Any review of KGB will include a retelling of the mothership Ze Kitchen Galerie and its captain William Ledeuil. Instant filler, increased word count, easy story.
#3: Give us something new. The restaurant of my heart is not the restaurant of my pen. I may crave a perfect roast chicken, but really, is there anything new to say? By contrast, the Zors-d’oeuvres at KGB may be kooky and ill-conceived, but their presence on the menu gives me something to write about.
#4: Timing is everything. KGB opened during the rentrée when readers are shaking off the summer slumber and are ready for something new. Writers are back at work and hungry for material, and these “new/best openings of the rentrée” stories are easy to pull off. And finally…
#5: If Frank goes, we all go. Any mention by François Simon, the Figaro critic who always gets there first, ensures that everyone else will follow. Sometimes Le Fooding is first on the scene, but the pack principle remains. Nobody wants their editor to think they’re out of the loop.
For illustration and your reading pleasure, here are the three first weeks of KGB coverage:
- KGB: les premières photos ! François Simon, Simon Says (09/01)
- KGB (Kitchen Galerie Bis) Le Fooding (09/02)
- Kitchen Galerie Bis in the 6th: Two steps forward, one back John Talbott (09/04)
- Back in Ze Kitchen Again Paris Update (09/09)
- KGB (Kitchen Galerie Bis): FBI (fausse bonne idée)? Chrisoscope (09/15)
- Paris 6e: KGB L’Express (09/17)
- KGB : L’adresse de la rentrée L’Express Blog (09/17)
- KBG, a terrific modern bistro on the Left Bank Alex Lobrano (09/20)
- Paris Food & Wine Events August 29, 2014
- Café des Abattoirs in The New York Times August 26, 2014
- Word of Mouth: August Reviews August 26, 2014
- Lobrano swaddled at Le Chardenoux August 25, 2014
- Upcoming Food & Wine Tours August 24, 2014
- Happy hipsters eat hot dogs at Hutch August 21, 2014
- Pietro from Retro’Bottega opens a new wine Squatt August 20, 2014