EXCLUSIVE — The restaurant that will occupy the former HUE Restaurant space in downtown Orlando’s Thornton Park will be known as Soco. The name is a reflection of the restaurant’s Southern contemporary cuisine with the menu designed by executive chef Greg Richie.
Richie is a partner in Thornton Park Restaurant Group (TPRG), which is developing the restaurant. The space is currently undergoing extensive renovations (see photos below). A date for completion has not been announced, however a late-summer or early fall opening is anticipated.
Richie is best known locally as the front man for two celebrity-chef restaurants. He was the opening chef/partner for Roy’s on Sand Lake Road and then took over at Emeril’s Tchoup Chop. But he spent many of his early professional years in the kitchens of well-known Southern restaurants, including Magnolias in Charleston; the Abbey, Atlanta; the Lark and the Dove, Roswell, Georgia; and Atlanta Athletic Club.
According to Richie, Soco will be chef-driven and food-focused and will feature a menu of traditional Southern dishes with contemporary flourishes — don’t expect the usual Southern fare. Richie will be participating in the May 10th Chef’s Gala at Epcot, which will be the first preview of the cuisine that will be featured at Soco.
Richie is also executive chef of neighboring Cityfish Restaurant, which was acquired by TPRG in December.
TPRG is a client of Scott Joseph Company’s consulting services.