Chef Douglas Richey

You can’t keep a good chef down. At least not for long.

Seems that there may be a new tenant moving into the Fountaingrove restaurant space vacated by Santi. And don’t be surprised to see some familiar faces in the kitchen.

Though the venture is pretty hush hush right now, Chef Douglas Richey spoke to BiteClub from South Carolina and confirmed that he’s working on a new project with several Bay Area restaurant investors. Richey, who had been named executive chef at Santi just months before the sudden closure, wasn’t ready to hang up his toque just yet, and quickly got to work on a new project.

As to the concept, Richey is keeping mum, but it’s no secret that he’s spent the last several weeks eating his way through some of the best — and worst — restaurants from Savannah to Memphis. A possible link? Hmmmm.

“I’m building my secret weapons. This new restaurant is going to have everything to do with real food. It’s all about family and creating community. And far from esoteric food,” he told BiteClub.

There’s no opening date set, but Richey said he and his investors plan to get the concept completely solid before swinging open the doors. “Five seconds after we get it perfect, we’ll open the doors,” he said.