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The concept will not offer non-meat options, Carron noted, saying, “Vegetarians will be in trouble.” Even the curly fries, made in-house from Idaho potatoes, will be fried in beef tallow, another step back in time.

“We’re doing it the way it used to be done, before about 1985, when people started going crazy about cholesterol,” Carron said.

In the mid-1980s, most quick-service chains began frying with hydrogenated vegetable oils, as they were considered more healthful than animal fats. Today, the trans fats found in those oils are considered unhealthful, so there is an argument to return to the old frying methods, he said.

Top Round will offer gravy, Provel cheese, caramelized onions and Round Sauce, its version of barbecue sauce, to top the fries.

“Extra-rich” frozen vanilla custard is on the dessert menu as the base for milkshakes, malts, sundaes or concretes, mixed with various toppings, fruits and syrups.

To add a modern touch, the restaurant also will have a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, Carron said.

Though beef prices hit record highs recently and commodity experts are predicting costs to increase through 2017, Carron said the concept will be able to keep prices reasonable because the menu is based on whole top round cuts, which are relatively inexpensive, at $2.25 to $2.50 per pound.

Top Round’s unit will have about 40 seats inside and out and be located in a former doughnut shop. The restaurant is designed with scalability in mind, Carron noted, though the group intends to get the first unit up and running smoothly before adding more.

“We created it with a simple operating model, so it’s franchiseable — if people like it,” Carron said.

Carron said he and Fretz will develop the menu, Ellis will manage the front of the house and Tiampo, a food stylist and video production expert, will handle marketing and branding.

Though Carron and Ellis are partnered with Adam Fleischman of Umami Restaurant Group on 800 Degrees and Red Medicine, respectively, Top Round is being developed separately, Carron said.

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout