R.L. King can walk into an empty room and envision a concept.
The chef, who co-founded Untamed Sandwiches and has worked for il Buco, Hundred Acres, Five Points and the McKittrick Hotel, often consults on projects. And when he saw a bi-level space in Hell’s Kitchen last year, it took some time, but he pulled from a lot of different inspirations.
“I can walk in and figure out a concept pretty fast,” King, 39, said. “This one took a little longer because of the quirkiness of the space.”
Bar Gonzo, which officially opens Nov. 9 at 515 Ninth Ave. near the Port Authority, ranges from 1970s nightlife to coastal California vibes. The menu features takes on childhood staples alongside vegetable fare, with tiki cocktails and punches to drink.
“We’re very serious, but not taking ourselves too seriously,” King said. “This place is supposed to be fun.”
The executive chef and co-founder of Bar Gonzo walked us through some of his influences in crafting the new space.
1. 1970s nightlife
2. 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'
3. The Polo Lounge