Lots of rumors have been buzzing about what restaurant would land on the ground floor of the innovative T3 brick and timber building being constructed in the North Loop. Well, for a structure that calls itself a brand new vintage building, celebrating stone and wood, this seems like a perfect fit.
The brothers Abdo (who are part of a restaurant family that includes MyBurger and Nicollet Island Inn) are launching Dalton & Wade Whiskey Common in the space. It will be a whiskey centric bar and restaurant, featuring over 225 varieties of American whiskey in a laid-back casual atmosphere. "My brothers and I were sitting around with a bunch of friends, and we started talking about the kind of restaurant we might all do together," Paul Abdo told me, "and it kind of hit us that we all had the different skill sets needed to really make it happen". I wonder if this chat happened after a few bumps during a classic cheezy '80's movie? Hmmmm.
They want this to be a comfortable hang for people, hence the description as a "commons". The food style will focus on the old Meat + 3 concept of dining, typically seen in the South and in small town mom-and-pop shops. Basically, it means that you'll choose your meat from a selection of ribs, fried chicken, meatloaf, steaks, etc. and then choose three sides to go along with it, maybe cornbread, beans, mashed potatoes and the like. "We're not trying to be Southern as much as 'country', because country is in every single state once you get past the city limits. We'll have dishes that speak to country eating in Wisconsin as well as Tennesse. You know we just want to have really good food that is simple, not deconstructed, and made with the best ingredients we can get." They are finalizing their hires for chef and bar manager, but are excited by their prospects.
The space will be modern in design, not kitschy country with wagon wheels and such, but comfortable. They plan on having a huge 20ft. couch with 7ft arms in the lounge area. Leather backed stools, and plenty of drink rails and dining tables should help pack in the the creatives from the neighborhood for a little decompression. "We want it to be comfortable and easy, not over baked." They'll also have a sweet patio, tons of parking, and underground valet after 5:30pm.
So what about that name?
Yes. It's Roadhouse. Come on, it's a classic! "We got to thinking about those guys," Paul chuckled, "and how Swayze's Dalton is this NYU philosophy major who drives a Mercedes and kicks ass while Sam Elliot's Wade is a grungy long-haired motorcycle guy who also kicks ass, and how they're still best friends and the heroes ... and it kind of set the tone for what we were going for."
So let's not think of this as a theme restaurant, just a place with a little high and a little low, which sounds fun to me. I am excited to go sip whiskey! Plus I'm super glad they didn't name it the Double Deuce in homage, because no. Look for them to open some time this summer if construction goes to plan If not, there's always barber college.