Strano! Sicilian Kitchen & Bar is moving.
The restaurant, which opened in 2014, at 948 Cooper, will move to the site of the old Jim’s Place Restaurant & Bar at Poplar and Perkins, said chef/owner Josh Steiner.
Steiner is excited about the move. "We're moving to a bigger and better spot."
He plans to give “a nice facelift” to the old Jim’s restaurant. “Clean up the bar. Bring in a management team to help with the front of the house to compete with Houston’s and Fleming’s (Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar).”
As for the facelift, he said, “We’re keeping the mahogany wood because it’s beautiful in there. Everything in that restaurant is beautiful. It came from the previous owners. So, we’re going to emphasize the beauty and elegance.”
The name will change slightly. “It’s going to be ‘Strano by Chef Josh,’ not ‘Strano! Sicilian Kitchen,’ so I can express my creativity more.”
The food won’t just be Italian, he said. “I’m internationally culturally trained in every type of cooking. And I want to show Memphis everything I can do. Not just my Italian style.”
Steiner is going for a quick turnaround. “This is kind of ambitious. We’re going to do Valentine’s (Day) in Midtown and try to open the new place in a month. But it might be longer. It’s going to be a nice move.”
Steiner, 26, opened Strano in Cooper-Young when he was 22 years old. He wanted a traditional Sicilian restaurant that would pay homage to his family, but also express his education and his passion. He wanted to cook with modern techniques, including sous-vide machines, to add to the taste of his food.
“Strano” - his mother’s maiden name - means “strange” in Italian.
Steiner recently was chosen to be a featured chef on the celebrity James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour dinner, which will be held in May at the Memphis Zoo.
His TV work includes appearances on “Guy’s Grocery Games” on The Food Network.
Steiner recently was selected as a member of the 20 under 30 Class of 2018 by the Memphis Flyer. Each year, the Flyer honors the best and brightest Memphians under 30. Twenty candidates were selected from more than 50 young people nominated by Flyer’s readers.