Meet Justin Morris our Executive Chef and driver of the passion bus behind every menu item, every experiment, and every culinary tweak we master. Born and raised in a small town in Connecticut, and graduating top of his class at the Connecticut Culinary Institute, Justin embarked on a tour of fantastic restaurants and culinary masters in one of the great food capitals of the world, Boston. An 82 mile drive from Hartford each way to learn from the best and be among-st the best. Since the day he arrived he has embraced our motto of “anything but ordinary”. He approaches every challenge as an opportunity for growth, and truly believes mediocrity, if left unchecked, will be the vampire of our success. We believe he will change the game in this area, and if sold out Friday and Saturdays, sometimes weeks in advance, are any type of indication, he may have already. He is involved in every meal, so you may not see him roaming the halls, but if you do, grab him he’s sure to put a smile on your face.
Meet the guy in charge of smiles, our General Manager Eric Carter. To start talking about Eric means to first talk about his wife of 20 years and 2 beautiful daughters, an understatement is his devotion to their lives, success, relationships, future. Well-traveled, originally from D.C, his life experiences have taken him from the Nation’s Capital to San Francisco. Along the way, picking up hints of what has created his consistent quest for intentional, incredible, and unmatched exceptional customer experiences. His attention to detail is second to none and somewhat compulsive. He has been instrumental in helping sculpt our concept, culture, and vision many months before we even moved in. His relentless pursuit of excellence and our “Anything but Ordinary” approach, helps us continue to evolve everyday in every thing we do. If you’ve been in the restaurant, you’ve most likely had conversation, if you’ve been in and haven’t, make sure the next time you do, I promise, you’ll walk away with a smile.
If you’ve been in the restaurant you have most likely encountered Jade Finn our bar program manager/bar artist, either while he is lighting hickory wood chips on fire and smoking his famous old fashioned, maybe throwing dry ice in a pot of fresh herbs to push scent and dry ice smoke effects like a mellow Kiss concert, or perhaps just enjoying a specialty cocktail while having dinner. Mentoring under award winning bartenders from all over the world he learned the importance of the classics, what a balanced drink was supposed to taste like, and the intricacies of the chemical balance often overlooked. It was at that moment he was completely hooked on the old world apothecary style and adherence to the lost era of drink making. A connoisseur of the Hemingway and Kerouac vibe, he has taken the blank canvas I gave him, (a bar with some bottles) grown, developed, created, infused, and cultivated, a major metro cocktail program , in a 120 year old home on little old Main St in Cornelius North Carolina of all places. I sat at the bar one evening, a young couple pulled up a chair, stared widely at all of the bottles, intrigued, and overwhelmed. Maybe slightly nervous, with everything in front of them, they sheepishly asked Jade, “What’s the best drink”? Jades answer… “The drink you like the most, that’s the best drink, and the drink I’d love to make for you”. I knew at that moment I had found the perfect person for our little bar.