New restaurant Curio opens in The Vestry's old space on Valencia Street

Photos: Hardy Wilson/Curio

Curio, a new eatery featuring small plates, craft cocktails and live music is headed to 775 Valencia St. The new business is taking over the space that used to be home to The Vestry, situated adjacent to The Chapel.

According to Eater, when news of The Vestry's closure broke earlier this year, the business posted a message to its website, hinting at a new venture.

"The Chapel's restaurant, The Vestry, has gone to heaven. But do you believe in reincarnation?" the message read in part.

The new project is the brainchild of Jack Knowles, the owner of The Chapel. He's joined by Mario Tolentino, who's in charge of running the kitchen and Darren Crawford, from Bourbon & Branch, who's developing the beverage program.

Less than six months later, Curio is ready to open its doors this Friday, June 28.


Michael Brennan, the artist-in-residence and interior designer, worked on the new space and incorporated design elements that are inspired by the building's history as a former mortuary. Brennan used the original wood and some steel and upholstered banquettes from the funeral home.

Inside, visitors can expect to see the Afterlife bar, the Hereafter dining room, the La Vida Futura private dining room for special events and an outdoor, all-weather courtyard. Its sister venue,The Chapel, is also available for private events.
Signature craft cocktails on offer.

On the menu, look for farm-to-table dishes like "Shut the Front Door Shellfish Tower," which comes with oysters, shrimp, little neck clams, tuna tartare, half of a lobster and crab; the "Holy Grail Burger" with cremini mushrooms, tomato jam, fried onion and raclette cheese; and whole-smoked beer can chicken with herbed truffle steak fries and seasonal veggies.

For libations, expect to see variations like the "Phoenix" with rye, mescal and Jamaican rum; "Chupacabra" with tequila, mezcal, passion fruit and habanero; and for brunch, a "Unicorn" with vodka, pisco, Szechuan Benedictine, Peychaud's bitters and egg whites.

Later this summer, the spot will open on weekends for brunch, with dishes like shrimp and grits with six-minute egg, fried chicken Benedict with poached eggs, jalapeno hollandaise and wild arugula, and many more.

The new venue debuts this Friday, June 22 and will be open for dinner, Sunday-Thursday from 5 -10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 5-11 p.m. The Courtyard is open until midnight and the "Afterlife Bar hours are subject to change based on needs of the Chapel per their live music schedule," said a venue spokesperson.
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