Rebel Sport co-founder Ian Dresner backing 300-seat restaurant, Firegrill

George Francisco has signed on as executive chef at Firegrill.
George Francisco has signed on as executive chef at Firegrill. 

Who says sport and restaurants don't mix?

Rebel Sport co-founder Ian Dresner is backing a 300-seat restaurant, Firegrill, opening early 2019 at the Barrack Place development near the Wynyard Station end of the CBD.

Dresner, an early investor in the early noughties mega-sized Wildfire restaurant, is involved in a Wildfire reunion at Firegrill.

A rasher move? Naked chef George Francisco baring all for Voodoo Bacon.
A rasher move? Naked chef George Francisco baring all for Voodoo Bacon.  Photo: Supplied

His partner in the start-up is restauranteur Dah Lee, who worked for Wildfire, and former Wildfire chef George Francisco, the hatted American chef who has since rattled the pans at Jonah's and in the Hunter Valley.

Francisco, who popped up most recently posing almost naked spruiking his Voodoo Bacon range, has signed on as executive chef at Firegrill where he'll presumably slip back into his whites.

If that doesn't sound like Wildfire rising from the ashes, a drop-punt away from Firegrill on Barrack Street Wildfire founder Tonci Farac is opening Seta – with a Michael McCann design – in the former site of the Athenian restaurant.

Dah Lee explains the Firegrill space is a design dream, with high-ceilings and a space that runs all the way from Clarence Street through to Kent Street.

The restaurant will have plenty of room for a bar, and it'll have some good pedigree behind it.

Lee confirmed sommelier John Clancy and mixologist Toby Hiscox (Kittyhawk, the Roosevelt) will be involved in the city start-up.