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Within the walls of the trendiest Chicago restaurants, behind the closed doors of private dinner parties, and on the banks of the Seine in Paris, OPEN TABLES explores true love, love lost, and the importance of a good main course.

Sam and Kate host a group of friends for dinner in hopes that sparks will fly between Kate’s younger sister Cassie and their friend Ryan. Joining them at the table is Jon (Desmin Borges, FX's You're the Worst) and Dana, a couple with a seemingly perfect relationship. 

The first act of OPEN TABLES embraces a world where true love prevails and where even the most complicated of people can find their soul mate, even when - and sometimes because - their circumstances are unique.  

As the group dines, stories emerge. To impress Cassie, Ryan boasts about his sexual conquests; Jon and Dana tell the tale of betrayal that led to their connection, and Sam and Kate share the story of their friend Hannah, who fell in love with Dean (David Pasquesi, HBO's Veep) - a man who has no memory. 

The meal ends and the friends go their separate ways, introducing the second act of OPEN TABLES, where the heartbreaking side of love surfaces. Cassie, though disinterested in Ryan's bragging, agrees to join him for an unusual first date; Jon and Dana deal with the realities of deception; and Hannah copes with the fallout after Dean regains his memory, no thanks to his doctor (Joel Murray, Mad Men).


Told in flashbacks but always returning to the warm glow of the dinner table, OPEN TABLES stars talent from Chicago theater and improv stages and was filmed on location in some of the top restaurants in Chicago, IL (Longman & Eagle, Publican) and Paris, France (Bistrot Paul Bert, Au Bon Accueil). 

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News & press


“His movies have employed some of the city’s top comedic talents, like T.J. Jagodowski, David Pasquesi, Susan Messing, and current SNL performer Vanessa Bayer.”
“Dinner parties, restaurants, and love: these are things that matter in Open Tables.”
“After filming around town at foodie haunts including Graham Elliot, Topolobampo and Sepia, Chicago-based writer and director Newell heads to Paris...”
“Newell has amassed an ensemble cast and joined up with Chicago restaurants to help film a romantic comedy centered around food.”
“Filmmaker Newell has made public his love affair with food.”
“...a lot of these restaurants are part of our lives,” said Newell. “We’ve had first dates there, breakups there. We’ve had great meals there.”
“...the story explores the connection between food, place, and memory in a series of overlapping love stories.”
“You know you’re on a Jack C. Newell film set when his producer offers you the best empanada you’ve ever eaten, from the Gourmet Food Truck that is crucial to the upcoming scene.”
“Le film s’intitule Open Tables, tables ouvertes. Un mercredi de septembre, sous le Pont des Arts. Une lumière de fin de journée nuageuse baigne la Seine. Sur le quai, la petite équipe est déjà au travail pour capturer l’heure magique du crépuscule. Tout est préparé, précis, calme.”