Jamie Brown and Jeff Tonidandel, husband and wife owners of NoDa’s Haberdish, Crepe Cellar Kitchen & Pub, Reigning Doughnuts and Growlers Pourhouse, have now begun making their mark in Plaza Midwood. Supperland, their newest project located across from Whiskey Warehouse, is anticipated to open in spring of 2020.
“I knew the building’s bones had to be preserved but modernized, updated and opened up,” property owner Jacob Norris said. “Stars aligned and fast forward 3 years later, we rezoned the property, leased the space and are fully under construction, working daily with Jeff and Jamie to make Supperland a reality.”
The 1952 historic church building will serve as Supperland’s main dining room, and a smaller 1930s building connected by a covered walkway for food and drink transportation will serve as the craft cocktail bar.
The property will also feature patio seating and a garden.
“We are excited to be a part of Plaza Midwood and this neighborhood,” Tonidandel said. “We are excited for that to happen and to get building.”
According to Brown, the process of deciding on the restaurant’s name was roughly a nine-month journey of in-depth brainstorming, researching and playing with different words and phrases.
The duo decided on “Supperland”, as it incorporates their vision for the overall customer experience. It pulls from the southern idea of eating and encompasses the feeling of communion within the 7,500-square-foot property.
Restaurant-goers can anticipate meals that mimic traditional church potluck picnics, such as Southern meats and sides. But there is a kicker: The upstairs cooking space will have no gas or electricity.
The dining area will feature a 13- to 14-foot, hickory-wood grill, positioned openly at the far end of the restaurant and viewable from a chef’s counter.
The rest of the meal preparations will take place in the basement, along with a private dining area (which will seat about 12-15 people), wine storage and the restroom area.
Like Haberdish, all food will be served family-style, where large portions are brought to the table and passed around. Supperland will feature high-quality cuts of steak, along with other meats and farm-fresh produce. Brown and Tonidandel believe in the power of a chef’s creativity and want to serve colorful, fun menu items for customers to enjoy.
“It is this Southern environment of cooking that we really enjoy,” Brown said. “We love sharing around a table and that communion with one another. It makes for a strong community and an even better time.”
Supperland’s team, which includes Chef Chris Rogienski, the current sous chef at Haberdish, is still in the exploration process and is heavily focusing on research all while taking a deeper dive into Southern culture. The goal is to take southern ingredients and produce and put a unique and flavorful twist on them. As of right now, there is not much that is off the table — new techniques are being explored, and seasonal produce will remain on the radar.
The cocktail bar, which will be run by expert mixologist Colleen Hughes, will most likely have a simpler, yet similar food menu. As for beverages, imagine the craft cocktails at Haberdish but taken to the next level, constructed with a bigger toolkit. Soda water carbonation, drink temperature, types of ice cubes, garnishes and glassware — all these technical nuances will be strategically dialed-in to take craft cocktails to a whole new level.
Supperland will also have an extensive wine list. Tonidandel is currently working with a sommelier to choose products that, according to Brown, are both fun and thoughtful. “I’m personally excited to see how this part pans out,” Brown said. “It will be our most extensive wine program to date.”
The main dining space will still resemble a traditional church building. Brown and Tonidandel will work together on the overall design of the restaurant’s interior. All tables are being built in the couple’s garage, and customers can anticipate beautiful chandeliers hung from the ceilings. They plan to preserve the original walls and two-toned flooring but will tweak certain areas, such as the color of the exposed rafters.
From menu to decor, Brown and Tonidandel both enjoy the concept of highbrow-lowbrow features. They want to make Supperland approachable, yet special. Their goal is that people will come and have a great time for birthday celebrations or other special occasions but also will visit on a regular Tuesday night.
“In creating this [Supperland], we want to make sure everyone can find something they can eat, afford and enjoy while spending time around the table,” Brown said. “Being a part of the food scene in Charlotte is an honor, and you really see what it does to the tapestry and culture of Charlotte.”
1212 The Plaza