Just two weeks ago, chef Kate Williams confirmed her sudden exit from downtown's Republic Tavern. At the time, Williams expressed uncertainty about who would be selected as her replacement. This evening, Republic's general manager Lisa Carleton confirmed to Eater via email that former sous chef Sarah Welch has been promoted to executive chef. Carleton writes:
We are very excited to be entering this new phase of our development. We have been working with a consultant to ensure our success and he was instrumental in the selection of chef Sarah Welch as our new chef. chef Kevin Garwonski and I interviewed several chefs from the area to find just the right fit. We were looking for someone who, while carrying on in the same theme, could incorporate their own menu ideas. Chef Sarah was an excellent choice. She is creative in her menus and the guests have continued to enjoy the dining experience here. Chef Sarah has a business degree as well as a culinary degree. She is able to combine the two areas necessary for sustainable success.
We were pleased to look in our own house for our new chef. Sarah has been with us since before we opened. She was a sous chef during that time. Sarah has a great understanding of ‘farm to table' utilization of product, local growers, and tavern cuisine. The kitchen team is excited to be working with her as we move forward. Her skills in working with her crew was a major factor in our selection.
She and her team have produced a fun happy hour menu, which is served from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every week day. And development is in the final stages of our lunch in Republic. We hope to be open the week of June 9th. The diner menu is in it's early stages of development. A July deadline has been tentatively set for that opening. Chef Sarah sees it as an exciting challenge to get all outlets up and going as soon as possible.
We were very fortunate to have made a smooth transition. The entire staff at Republic look forward to opening the new outlets while maintaining the success of Republic dinners service
It's not entirely clear at this point what chef Williams' next move will be. In an interview immediately following the announcement of her resignation, the chef said she was departing to focus her attention on a new project in the Detroit area. When asked about her reasons for leaving, Williams said she was departing both G.A.R. projects on good terms. "I want the staff and the restaurants both to be successful," she said.