Michael Scelfo to Take Over the Casablanca Space

Though he'll be at Russell House Tavern for a while to come, Scelfo has plans to strike out on his own.

We’ve emerged from our holiday hibernation with some thrilling news: Russell House Tavern chef Michael Scelfo will be taking over the just-closed Casablanca space for his first solo chef-owned restaurant, he confirmed to us this morning.

The closing of Casablanca (which you can read about on Grub Street) follows Locke-Ober as another iconic Boston-area spot to shutter in 2012. But, just as new Locke-Ober owner Jay Hajj told us that he respects the history of the downtown restaurant, Scelfo, too, has reverence for Casablanca. “It’s just an honor to be in that space, because it has such a legacy in Boston for food, and so many good chefs have been there over the years,” he says. Of course, he’ll be taking his own concept in a different direction. “I’m excited to get in there and re-imagine it and do my own thing,” he says.

Scelfo says that there’s no established timeline (or further details about the concept) as of now, which also means that he’ll still be behind the stove at Russell House Tavern for a good chunk of time to come. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more, but trust us—while you may mourn the closing of Casablanca, this is fantastic news for the neighborhood.

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