Restaurant News: Alpana Singh To Open A Wine Bar, Fox And Obel Denies Problems

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jan 10, 2012 3:40PM

2011_11_30Alpana.jpg - Alpana Singh, the Check, Please host who left her post at Lettuce Entertain You last year, is back in the game. There was no way that she would stay off the restaurant world radar for long. She announced late last night that she will be opening a wine bar and restaurant in River North. Singh told Crain's that she has teamed up with the owners of Bistronomic, Matt Fisher and John Ward, and that they are currently searching for a space. The partners are considering an 1872-vintage building at Wells and Superior, but nothing is final. No details on the menu or concept are available yet.

- We reported last week that Fox and Obel seemed to be having some trouble. They'd fired their head baker, who told Steve Dolinsky that her paychecks were bouncing. Owner Bill Bolton insists now that everything is fine - and told Crain's that the rumors were "Categorically wrong." He claims that there was a system glitch that caused the check problems, that there is nothing wrong with their inventory (some say that it's been in decline) and that Fox and Obel is potentially planning an expansion for 2012. In a slightly more dubious claim of success, Bolton also bragged that they sold more than 10,000 Groupons last week. Each Groupon was for $50, which means, given Groupon's normal formula, F&O lost $375,000 in potential sales revenue last week to get a check for $125,000.