Young and Hungry

Brasserie Beck to Open Second Location in Atlantic City

Robert Wiedmaier doesn't consider himself a gambling man, but the chef and owner behind Marcel's and Brasserie Beck is betting that Atlantic City will embrace his Belgian approach to a gastropub. He's planning to open a second Brasserie Beck in the massive Revel hotel and casino, a financially strapped project that has lately been looking for public hand-outs.

Wiedmaier is personally bullish on the hotel and casino, not only because of its scale (two gleaming towers of more than 40 floors each) but also because of its layout. The casino will be housed on a separate floor from the shops and restaurants, the latter of which will also include a second outpost of chef Jose Garces' Philadelphia-based Distrito.

"You won't hear any gambling in there until you go to the other floor, which I like," Wiedmaier told Y&H this afternoon.

The second Brasserie Beck will look and taste much like the original on K Street NW.  The CORE architectural group is designing the 10,000-square foot space, which will include a "20-foot keg tower" and "a soaring semi-transparent vaulted ceiling mimicking those found in European train stations." Wiedmaier has even lined up Beck executive sous chef Brian Klein to lead the kitchen at the Atlantic City location.

Wiedmaier doesn't expect to tinker with the food much at the new location, although he's toying with the idea of dropping some of the French terminology from the menu descriptions. "Instead of 'carbonnade,' I might say 'beef stew,'" Wiedmaier says. "Or not. I don't know."

"The last thing I want to do is intimidate my customers," he adds.

Which is why Wiedmaier says he "probably will" expand his beer menu beyond its Belgian roots to include French, English, and American bottles. The owner is not even ruling out the idea of adding — you beer geeks may want to stop reading now — mass-produced American beers to the menu. Like Budweiser and Miller. Wiedmaier said he included such suds to Marcel's bar when it first opened.

"I don't think it's a bad idea," Wiedmaier says. "I'm not in the business of saying 'no' to my customers...not when it's only a bottle of beer."

Look for the new Brasserie Beck, perhaps with Bud Light on the menu, to open in mid-2011.

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