South End is about to welcome its first oyster and rooftop bar at 2729 South Blvd., Suite D — right near the new Harris Teeter. Paul Manley, the co-owner of Sea Level, and the same investment and operating team from the Uptown seafood restaurant expect The Waterman to open in late July or August.
Manley, who was also part of the team who started Growlers Pourhouse in 2010, wants The Waterman to be a neighborhood spot where everyone is comfortable.
“Growlers kind of became a neighborhood institution in NoDa,” Manley said. “And I feel like we have the opportunity to do the same and set the same standard down in South End.”
So what does the name Waterman mean, exactly?
“On the coast, a fisherman, a shrimper, an oyster farmer — all those guys are considered watermen,” Manley said. “The idea here is that the guy who works on the sea all day would come in, hang out and blow his paycheck.”
The restaurant will have a different feel and vibe from Sea Level, but Manley hopes to still tie in the same Carolina coast theme.
“South End is a very different market than Uptown,” Manley said. “We thought it was the perfect opportunity to build something a little more casual.”
Inside, Carrie Frye Interior Design will be in charge of the slightly industrial but welcoming vibe with soft furnishings, plus there will be a large mural of a waterman. There will be both inside and outside seating along with a 2,000 square-foot rooftop bar. And Instagrammers, get ready; Manley said there is a clear view of Uptown from the roof.
The Waterman will serve neighborhood pub-type food, including oysters, steamed oysters, fish sandwiches, burgers and more, along with a fun cocktail program.
“There’s a lot of beer and a lot of fun in South End,” Manley said. “And we felt like there was an opportunity for our restaurant.”
The Waterman is scheduled to be open seven days a week. During the week, they will only be serving dinner, starting at 4 p.m. They’ll be open for lunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays.
Images: The Waterman, Aston Properties