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William Peak and Erik Kinkade are preparing for opening day at Savor, slated for Sept. 6, when they will be under Food Network lights and cameras.
William Peak and Erik Kinkade are preparing for opening day at Savor, slated for Sept. 6, when they will be under Food Network lights and cameras.

Countdown to Opener

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Green restaurateurs Erik Kinkade and William Peak have a few out-of-town guests attending their opening dinner party.

Flamboyant restaurant consultant David Adjey and camera crews for his Food Network Canada television show will make their presence known Sept. 6, the opening night at Savor, Kinkade’s and Peak’s Commercial Street restaurant.

When Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Frantic Films began looking for restaurants to feature in new reality television series “The Opener,” representatives reached out to convention and visitors bureaus in the U.S. and Canada, looking for first-time owners with personality. The production company, which has at least 11 episodes scheduled to run on The Food Network Canada, found two such characters in Kinkade and Peak.

Kinkade said Frantic Films is scheduled to arrive in Springfield on Aug. 24 and shoot for three days at Savor, 234 E. Commercial St., followed by a return visit and filming Sept. 4–6.

“The show will be filmed in two blocks,” Peak added. “In the first block, David Adjey – he’s the host of the show – he comes in, finds out what holes are in your plans and gives you homework. Then, they come back about a week later.”

Kinkade and Peak are expecting some turbulence during taping but believe they have enough experience to make a go of the restaurant. Peak, the restaurant’s executive chef, was trained through the culinary arts program at Ozarks Technical Community College, has worked in the kitchens at Flame Steakhouse and Touch, and he most recently was head chef at Metropolitan Grill. Kinkade, who will serve as front of house and business manager, owned Springfield-based Rock and Water LLC, which created fountains, coral reef tanks and oversized lighting for hotels, convention centers, theme parks and zoos. He sold the company a year ago, and Savor is his first go-round in the restaurant business.

Dramatic exposure
Kinkade purchased the building for $130,000 three years ago. He and Peak are performing interior remodeling, with professionals, including John Moody Construction Inc., called in for structural work.

On the main floor of the 4,000-square-foot building, the goal is to maintain the original late-1800s look, using antiques and antique replica furniture and fixtures. Upstairs, in what will be The Loft Martini Lounge, there will be a more contemporary feel, utilizing stainless steel, a crushed glass bar top and 300-gallon coral reef tank, Kinkade said.

He estimated startup cost at $400,000, covered by a roughly $100,000 loan from Bank of Missouri and Kinkade’s savings and proceeds from the sale of Rock and Water.

Kinkade and Peak connected with Frantic Films through Donnie Rodgers, community development coordinator at Urban Districts Alliance, and Susan Wade, public relations manager at the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“I think companies like (Frantic Films) know CVBs are well-connected in that we know how to get the word out,” Wade said. “When we got the information, I posted it on our blog.”

From the CVB’s blog, the news spread to roughly 5,000 people through social media such as
Twitter and Facebook. Wade said the potential for TV exposure will be good for the city, and
Commercial Street especially.

Already, she said, Savor has received attention from local media.

“I know people are at least going to hear about this, and they’re going to check it out once,” she said. “Things have changed a lot in the downtown and especially the Commercial Street area, and not everyone knows that yet. This will get them to go there.”

Kinkade and Peak also hope the added exposure will be good for the restaurant and the area. Still, they’re bracing for the possibility that not all the attention from “The Opener” will be good.

“I’m sure they want drama for the show. I’m guessing they’re expecting some glitches,” Kinkade said. “I’m sure there will be some holes because I’ve never opened a restaurant before, and it’s hard to know what you don’t know.”

‘Unorthodox methods and tough love’

That’s where Adjey enters the picture. Adjey is a restaurant consultant who has worked as personal chef to Dan Aykroyd and was chief proprietor of Toronto-based Nectar restaurant.
During “The Opener,” which premieres Aug. 31 in Canada, Adjey will travel to different restaurants and offer his “unorthodox methods and tough love” to help owners launch successfully, according to a Food Network Canada news release.

“First-timers often don’t see past the glamour of owning a restaurant,” Adjey said in the release. “They’re in for a real shock if they’re not ready to put in 90-hour weeks, early morning setup and meticulous cash-flow management.”

Kinkade said he and Peak signed a contract with the production company agreeing to allow the company to set the date of the restaurant’s grand opening.

Already, the two have made concessions, agreeing to change the restaurant’s name to Savor from Savor Café & Bakehouse.

In return for giving Adjey free reign, the restaurant owners will get free advice.

“They made that clear upfront. The only value we get from them is the consulting from David Adjey,” Kinkade said.

Representatives at Food Network Canada and Frantic Films would neither confirm the scheduled taping nor comment for this story, but they did acknowledge a planned visit.

“Even though they’ve given us a date that they’re going to be here to film, they won’t commit to anything until they’re here,” Kinkade said, adding that there is a possibility that the Savor episode won’t run in the U.S. – or at all. Savor is not among 11 episodes described in a Food Network Canada news release.

“We believe what happens is that the show runs first in Canada, and then the U.S. has the option to pick it up,” he said. “If it doesn’t air, that would be a little disheartening, but we’re going to hope for the best. They’re still going to come shoot, and the consultation is going to happen.”[[In-content Ad]]

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