Chef Tim Groody is opening Fork!

Chef Tim Groody plans to open Fork! in the former Creole House in Cornelius. He and girlfriend Melanie McIntosh, plus his sister and brother-in-law, will be owners -- "It's really a family-oriented business," he says -- and he plans to "get back to my roots."

Those involve lots of use of local produce and products, a casual feel but upscale quality, and midrange prices. Charlotte-area diners know Groody from his time at defunct Sonoma, Town and other Pierre Bader restaurants, plus and Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse in Davidson; he's currently finishing a stint as corporate chef with Frank Scibelli's restaurants.

He plans lots of small plates and appetizers, running perhaps $5 to $12, and entrees served a la carte beginning at about $13. "I'll have some little pastas, entree-size salads ... lots of heirloom tomatoes. I'd like to get back into dumplings and little bites like that, even playing more into a lot of Asian stuff, which I like to cook."

The house at 20517 N. Main St., more than 100 years old, will seat about 30 to 35 outside (it's got a big wrap-around porch) and 50 or 60 inside.

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