Mel’s Burger Bar Founder To Debut New Restaurant Concept

The Mel's Burger founder is finally moving downtown.
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An exciting new restaurant is coming from celebrated restaurateur Steven Kay. Tentatively titled & Son, Steve’s latest restaurant is scheduled to open up at 62 West Ninth Street, between fifth and sixth avenue.

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As the founder of Mel’s Burger Bar, Steve has been working in the industry for over two decades. A graduate of the prestigious hotel school in Lausanne, Switzerland, Steve has been deeply entwined with hospitality for as long as he can remember. After graduating from school and finishing his job at the Fitzpatrick Hotel Company, Steve was able to start his very first bar on the Upper West Side called The Gorge Bar. After successfully selling The Gorge Bar to an interested party, he ended up joining the management team at the prestigious Tao restaurant where he accumulated all the experience he needed to open up a restaurant of his own.

Starting out in 2004, Steve opened up Philly Slim’s Cheesesteaks and then a second one in 2007 before selling them once again. Then in 2011, he reconnected with a colleague from Tao and the two partnered up to create Mel’s Burger Bar. Founded as a casual neighborhood restaurant in honor of the chef’s grandfather Mel, Mel’s was famous for bringing people together from all walks of life.

Between eager Columbia students and local Morningside Heights residents, Mel’s quickly became the go-to hangout in the neighborhood thanks to its eclectic and diverse menu. Featuring over 20 different styles of burgers, Mel’s was designed to have something to offer everyone no matter their tastes. As Stephen says on his website, “The fact of the matter is Mel is every man or woman who appreciates the simpler moments in life, and it is those individuals for whom we built this restaurant.”

Now it appears that Steve and his team are preparing to launch a brand new restaurant concept called & Son. The cheekily named restaurant will be moving into the space at 62 West Ninth Street, replacing Casa Apicii. Casa Apicii was a popular Italian restaurant that served a rotating menu of seasonal plates and pasta alongside a robust selection of beer and wine. Sadly, their once-temporary closure during the recent pandemic turned out to be permanent, and at the moment there are no indications that the Casa Apicii team plan to relocate any time soon.

Thankfully, & Son is an exciting new concept that should be a welcome replacement for the now-shuttered Italian restaurant. While Steve could not comment on the intended timeline for opening, his new restaurant will be styled as a neighborhood restaurant focusing on steak, salads, and burgers. At the time of writing, both of Mel’s Burger Bars are currently open, and curious customers are strongly encouraged to give them a visit.

Jake Rogers

Jake Rogers

Jake Rogers is an author and playwright based out of Brooklyn, New York. A lively performer who is deeply passionate about history and literature, outside of his reporting he also produces short films and plays with his theatre troupe, the LSTC. He is currently producing a web series about a butterfly and moth who are roommates that will be released later in the year.
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