Another reason to look forward to the end of summer: It will be around Labor Day when Lincoln’s Haberdashery, the new South End food-and-things market, will be open on South Boulevard near Bland Street.
“I”m not in a rush, I just want to do it right,” says owner Michael Shortino. The owner of Futo Buta, the ramen restaurant around the corner, Shortino grabbed the space in the Factory South complex to create a commissary kitchen, allowing him to have more room for his ramen noodles and to make a place he wants himself as a resident of the area.
“If I need a bottle of wine or a loaf of bread, I’ve got to drive to Publix and take an elevator,” he says. While South End is bristling with restaurants, places to get bread, a bottle of wine or a sandwich are more scarce.
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“There’s no bodega around this neighborhood. This place is saturated with apartments.” He envisions most of his customers walking or riding bikes to stop in.
The menu will focus on breakfast sandwiches, salads and sandwiches, mostly in the under $10 range. (One surprise: There’s a small blast-chiller in the kitchen, where he’s already playing around with ice cream flavors. We got to sample a really nice lemon-lavender when we stopped by.) He expects to open in late August or possibly right after Labor Day.
Shortino announced his plan in March, and now the space is almost ready: The looks includes lots of shiplap (horizontal old-wood paneling), white subway tiles and brick. The wine shelves, coolers that will eventually be stocked with N.C. craft beer and ready-made foods, the barista bar and the cold cases at the front counter are all in place.
Also in place: An upper area with a couple of couches for hanging out that includes a large American flag over a neon word: “Inclusive.” (A worthy message. More fun touches that are already in place: A carving of a horse’s head on one wall and a picture of a tattooed woman that Shortino calls “a woman ahead of her time.”)
His vision for the place: “A fast-casual restaurant that doubles as a grocery.” There will be tables, but no table service, so you can perch with a bottle of wine and some charcuterie.
“Just a local neighborhood place. Whatever the people in the neighborhood want it to be.”