Opening one new restaurant during a pandemic is a major feat. Adding a second location? Practically unheard of. But that’s exactly what Jeremy Faeth, owner and executive chef of the popular, scratch-made Covington brunchery Cedar, now has in the works.
Building on the success of Cedar, which opened last summer, Faeth is already working on plans to open a second location just 10 minutes east in the former The Fairfield space on Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue.
Similar to Cedar, the second location, called Yuca, will be open for breakfast, brunch, and lunch, but will focus on Latin American–inspired dishes and drinks, including a few of the most popular items served at Cedar.
“We looked at our menu at Cedar, at what has done well, and a lot of them are the Latin American–influenced dishes,” Faeth says. “We thought, Wow, we can really do a whole menu like this—who has Latin American breakfast?”
The menu will include highlights from Cedar’s menu such as the Fat Zach (chicken, chorizo, and scrambled egg in a corn gordita with avocado, pineapple pico, and sweet and spicy potatoes), The Hangover (breakfast potatoes, chorizo, avocado, eggs, crema, cilantro, jalapeño, and house pico), and, of course, tacos.
But there will also be a slew of new menu items. Look for a twist on Cedar’s Biscuit Bowl, switching out buttermilk biscuits for a corn-based variety, but still slathered in the house-made lamb chorizo gravy. You can also expect a maize-made recreation of fried chicken and waffles and a full taco menu available in meals or a la carte. Expect your standard coffee and brunch drinks but with an added variety of housemade margaritas and palomas.
Faeth says he and his team will finalize Yuca’s menu in the coming months. Faeth will take on the role of executive chef of Yuca, leaving Zack Schnu to head up Cedar’s kitchen.
As to when we can indulge in this Latin American–inspired brunch goodness, Faeth says he aims to open Yuca by at least Mother’s Day. That spring weather will be the perfect time to take advantage of the pandemic-friendly planned outdoor spaces, including dining on the adjacent sidewalk and marked-off street area.
Why Bellevue? Faeth says he was looking in Northern Kentucky, viewed several buildings that required extensive work, but drove by The Fairfield and was immediately interested in securing the space. “It caught our eye from the street,” he says. “We went to see it and it was very much right in our wheelhouse. The relationship is good as well; the building owners are just really good people.”
Plus, Faeth says, Yuca will now be able to utilize the old vault of the former bank space to feature a full-fledged tequila showroom. Like Cedar, beyond breakfast, brunch, and lunch service, Yuca will also offer private events at night for celebrations such as rehearsal dinners and birthday parties, complete with the custom menus.
As to taking on the challenge of opening up not one, but two restaurants during a pandemic, Faeth says it’s all about building a strong team and being willing to continuously adapt. “Right now it’s a pretty crappy hand of cards for everyone,” Faeth says. “It stinks, it’s not ideal, but you have to adapt, you have to change. Luckily I have some amazing staff here. When we’re thrown a set of challenges we take it head on and find the best way to solve the problem, together.”