Sam Mason’s schedule for the past few weeks has been consumed with filming a new roster of episodes for Dinner with the Band, which will premiere on the IFC channel on April 27. But while it’s been fun teaching Rufus Wainwright to make schnitzel and making crazy-talk banter with Andrew WK, Mason’s thoughts have been straying beyond the cameras. Specifically, he’s got restaurants on the brain.
“I’ve got to open one soon, or I may lose my mind,” he says. He’s working on a new project that he describes as “under wraps,” but does say it will most likely open sometime this year, in Brooklyn. “The city was rough,” he says a bit wearily, the understatement conjuring vivid memories of Tailor’s sad demise. “And then there was that whole economy thing.”
Mason lives in Williamsburg, a neighborhood seemingly, ahem, tailor-made for the next restaurant of a chef who hosts an indie-rock cooking show. But Mason’s got other ideas. “I’m looking at Park Slope.” Park Slope?
“Everyone over there seems very nurturing of their restaurants and bars,” he explains. “They have kids but still like to have a good time; they’re still young.” His next restaurant, he says, “won’t be a far stretch from Tailor,” but will be “a lot more intimate…I want to do something sophisticated and mature.”
Is he wary of drawing the same scrutiny that accompanied his every move with Tailor, which he left last August, three months after it filed for bankruptcy protection?
“I don’t really mind that. I just don’t want people to start calling me a TV chef anytime soon.”