Hungry? NoDa’s new Southern-style restaurant, Haberdish, is set to open in the next 10 days. Jeff Tonidandel, who owns Growlers Pourhouse and Crepe Cellar Kitchen & Pub on North Davidson Street, is behind this new, highly anticipated eatery on the same street.
The name Haberdish is inspired by the word “haberdashery,” in keeping with Charlotte’s textile mill history. You’ll immediately see a flash of that history when you walk in and take in the booths made with denim. And again behind the bar, where you’ll find a 1950s soda fountain, not to mention plenty of copperware and bitters to complement bartender Colleen Hughes’ innovative cocktail program.
As for the menu, Tonidandel’s wife and marketing guru Jamie Brown said, “The easiest way to say what we have here is fried chicken and bourbon.”
The Haberdish crew is still testing recipes, but the menu will boast a small list of traditional-Sunday-dinner-inspired entrees as well as sides. Everything will be a la carte.
There will be daily hot and cold seasonal veggies. Entrees will include fried chicken as the staple (“It’s a fun food, it’s a social food,” Brown said.), chicken tenders, pork shank with a sticky barbecue sauce, North Carolina trout, cauliflower steak and smoked chicken with Alabama white sauce. Sides will include a sweet potato dumpling with sage, brown butter and parmesan.
Behind the bar, one of the signature cocktails will be the Mint Julep in a copper cup with Copper Fox Rye whiskey, minty/complex Branca Menta, sugar and mint. (“How do I put this politely — it’s a Mint Julep for people who really like booze a lot,” Hughes promised.)
There will be four cocktails on tap that you can order for a group in a punch bowl, as an option. Also expect interesting non-alcoholic sodas, thanks to that soda fountain.
Outside, the patio features sliding barn doors, an adjustable pergola and a tile piece by Paul Sires, who is known for helping first establish NoDa as an arts district.
Inside, the ambiance of the space features understated mason jars with candles on the tables, which are all different and handmade. Some tables have stripes, some are natural. They’ll be lined with copperware instead of silverware.
“We’re trying to focus on giving people cool stuff to look at and experience on the tabletop,” Brown said. “The idea is to give people a different experience each time they come.”
Diners will also find dishes from the Homer Laughlin line that originated in 1940s, with the intention to create an intimate connection between the guest and the meal. Not to mention the opportunity for beautiful photographs.
And it all comes back to the food.
“The whole basis of this menu is around Charlotte food, what it once was, what was here,” Brown said. “We try to keep some of those memories and traditions alive through food.”
Photos: Katie Toussaint