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Former El Arbol chef and GM to open The Hightower in old Karibu space

Matthew Odam

If you’ve driven down East 7th Street recently you may have seen a sign of change. Specifically: What once was Karibu Ethiopian Restaurant and Bar at 1209 E. 7th St. has started its slow transformation into The Hightower.

The restaurant is the new venture from chef Chad Dolezal and his partner Victor Farnsworth. The two men previously worked together at the short-lived El Arbol, the oversized treehouse restaurant specializing in Argentinian steaks that closed in 2011.

Dolezal, who named the new restaurant after his late mother, says The Hightower will have a fairly small menu of about 15 New American dishes. After working at the more high-end El Arbol, Dolezal said he and Farnsworth wanted to create a casual neighborhood restaurant with more affordable price points.

Owners are testing out an assortment of potential menu items, including carnitas, pickled mustard greens with beer cheese soup, fried boudin with charred carrots, carrot puree and an apple mostarda.

As with any new restaurant, the opening date is a moving target, but best case scenario would mean a November opening, though a 2014 open date is also likely.