Michel Wahaltere moving on

In this week's Bar Back, Jon Solomon reports on his visit to Lavish, the club that now occupies the former home of Le Rouge. That was the combo club/fine dining spot at 1448 Market Street (at 15th Street) that boasted a menu created by Eric Roeder, formerly of Micole and Bistro Vendome. But Roeder didn't last long there and Le Rouge itself shut down last year after a messy ownership spat. Now former owner Ray Jafari is back in charge at Lavish (shown on opening night at right).

At the same time Roeder was doing his thing at Le Rouge, Michel Wahaltere, the chef who helped come up with the winning formula at the 9th Door, was also creating a combo club/fine-dining concept at the nearby 5 Degrees, where Amuse by Michel debuted in the summer of 2007.

But Wahaltere recently sent out an e-mail noting that he will be ending his consulting duties with Lotus Concepts Group, which owns 5 Degrees: "Francois and I wanted to do a place in Cherry Creek (we have been looking for over a year and a half), but due to the economy status he wants to put that idea on hold and concentrate all his efforts into his three other places. These existing venues can't really support my position financially, due to the slower business we are currently experiencing. So, I will slowly step out and I am looking forward to new opportunities as a chef, as a manager, or as a consultant."

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