"I'm sitting in front of my computer trying to put together a business and marketing plan," says Sean Huggard, the former executive chef at Black Pearl and Encore. The business plan is for a new restaurant, but it won't be for Newport's, which was the LoDo restaurant Huggard had hoped to open in the SugarCube building on Blake Street sometime late this year or early next year. "I don't have deep enough pockets to take on that venture right now," Huggard admits. "Plus, downtown is just crazy expensive at the moment, so any plans that I had to go into the SugarCube building are probably not going to happen."
Which isn't to say that Huggard has given up. "I've been hitting the streets every day looking at properties. I never stop moving, but I'm going to take my time and not rush it," he says. "I still want to be a chef and I definitely want to open a chef-driven restaurant, but I also want full control over everything, including operations," he continues, adding that the lack of decision-making authority at Encore and Black Pearl led, at least in part, to his departure. "I wanted to make the final decisions, and it was either leave now so I could do that, or wait. And I knew that if I waited, it would only get harder as I got older and had more responsibilities."
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Huggard hopes to have a space solidified by the end of the year. "I want a casual neighborhood place with American food -- everything from burgers to seafood -- that's friendly and economical." A place, he says, that's "along the lines of Encore."