The Upstairs will call it quits; Brookeville coming to town
If you’ve been meaning to eat at The Upstairs on the Downtown Mall, Dish suggests you make reservations soon, as the high-end steakhouse, which opened its doors in April two years ago, is planning to close its doors in June.
“It’s not because we’re going out of business or anything,” says chef/owner Jaison Burke. “It was just time to do something different.”
In the meantime, Burke says The Upstairs will continue to bring the passion. In fact, about a month ago Burke started serving a farm-to-table lunch that Burke is particularly proud of, featuring foods from all your favorite local farms.
“We’ve leaving on our own terms,” says the chef. “We’re proud of the amazing work we’ve done with this place, and we’re passing the torch to someone passionate.”
In fact, Burke was just about to meet with that passionate someone, one Harrison Keevil, a ’05 UVA grad who had planned on being an investment banker but went to cooking school instead, and who plans to open a place in The Upstairs space this summer.
Meanwhile, we suggest you make your reservations at The Upstairs before the crew heads downstairs and out the door and Brookeville comes to Cville.
As for Brookeville Restaurant, named for the town in Long Island, New York where Keevil’s parents and grandparents grew up, foodies can expect what the chef/owner characterizes as “new American cuisine” to arrive on the Mall August 1.
“It’s using local, seasonal foods,” he says, “that are approachable to a wide array of people. Eventually, we hope to source everything from the State of Virginia.”
After graduating from UVA, Keevil says he worked as a research assistant for a member of British Parliament in London, which was where he decided to become a chef.
“I fell in love with food there,” he says, “and decided I didn’t want to work a desk job.”
When he returned to the States, he enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York City and worked in San Francisco before returning east. Since last September, he’s been cooking at the Clifton Inn under Chef Dean Maupin.
Keevil plans on making a few changes to The Upstairs space, like putting in a large communal dining table–- in addition to traditional two- and four-tops, and installing a bookshelf filled with all his cookbooks.
“It’s an opportunity to express my passion about cooking with my customers,” he says. “And make it a comfy atmosphere where people can enjoy a great meal together.”