You know how Facebook is really handy about reminding you where you were last year at this time? The other day, mine told me I was standing outside of the "coming soon" Upton 43. Since it's technically still "coming soon" I thought maybe I should pop over and see what's happening.
Good news: stuff is happening!
While chef/owner Erick Harcey has changed the concept and design of the place since first signing on, the current iteration is on track to be a modern Nordic/Swedish eatery inspired by the cooking of his grandparents. Harcey had a big epiphany when his grandfather passed away, so maybe this is the restaurant it was always meant to be.
Right now the restaurant space celebrates the good old bones of the former hardware store. The beams and ceilings are rough and raw, simply given a wash of pale paint to bring out that Swedish tone. "We want the place to be warm, but not the typical dark wood warm that everyone uses. Keeping the wood walls natural brings a warmth even when you brighten the place up with lighter colors", Harcey mentioned. To the immediate right of the entrance, the lounge will be framed in with bare beams and planks, sans sheetrock (though it is insulated from the other side, so no draft.) The bar will be small, with a sea-blue back tile.
The lounge area (yes, it's done) with a peek through to the bar, and kitchen beyond.
Peering from the bar into the lounge/front of the restaurant.
The main room dining area will have white tables with bright blue chairs, with a row of booths along the south wall.
The open kitchen has a Grillworks wood burning grill (also seen at Spoon and Stable, Black Sheep on Eat Street), so you can expect the wood smoke aromas to be real. In front of the kitchen will sit two chef's tables with versatility for different structures of group seatings.
The rotisserie chicken shop, Dirty Bird, is on track as well, balancing the old wood walls with bright white tile.
The back space is still under development, but it looks like there will be an entire wall of bright light from floor to ceiling windows.
Harcey is going in the main door for Dirty Bird, on the North side of the building facing a parking lot.
Upton 43 is hiring, the sign is up, and things are progressing for a (fingers crossed) opening still this year. Stay tuned for a peek at the menu!