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Asterisk on Thames to Close, Relaunch with New Brand in May

Asterisk will be open until Mother's Day brunch on May 11. It will then reopen under a new brand.

The owners of Asterisk on lower Thames Street in Newport announced Friday that the restaurant "will be taking a sabbatical" and will be re-launched in mid-May with a new name, logo, website and brand.

The Asterisk brand "will be transitioning to catering and special events," according to a release from the owner, A&O Group.

“Call it a conscious uncoupling with our fine dining past,” said chef-owner John Bach-Sorensen. “The evolution of Asterisk has inspired my wife, Tracy, and me to reexamine the brand. We have built relationships over the past 19 years here and what we have done is listened to our customers while pushing ourselves to ride out ahead of the culinary trends.”

Asterisk will be celebrating its final days up until brunch on Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014. Reservations beyond that date will not be accepted.

“It is such an outstanding time in our lives for people who love food,” Bach-Sorensen said. “Not just for chefs, but for foodies and enthusiasts as well because so much has evolved in the U.S. Because of this, we can’t possibly operate the same way we did when we first opened our doors. Evolution is inevitable and change is very important. We see an opportunity to rebrand and will approach the restaurant industry differently.”

Asterisk has been a fixture at 599 Thames St. since 1995. It's well known for the 12-foot glass garage doors that open to the street in the summer.

Bach-Sorensen first came to the United States in 1979 as a Denmark high school exchange student.

The child of a hotel and restaurant owning family, Bach-Sorensen apprenticed with the Haeberlin family who own the Auberge de I'll in France.

The chef says his food is influenced by many great chefs from all over the world including Marcus Samuelsson, Thomas Keller, Alastair Little of Great Britain, and Pierre Koffman of France.

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