Making Supperland

After building our businesses in NoDa for the past 12 years, Jeff and I are excited to be branching out to the Plaza Midwood neighborhood. We know these two side-by-side communities, NoDa and Plaza Midwood, are filled with the individuals who have kept our businesses afloat during the pandemic, and these are also the people who have helped us grow our restaurants over the past dozen years.

As we turn our attention toward Supperland, we’re beyond grateful for the teams we have in place at Haberdish, Crepe Cellar, Growlers Pourhouse, and Reigning Doughnuts. Our day to day staff promotes the vitality and health of each of these beloved places, and we’re hopeful that by opening a new location with Supperland, we are lifting our whole team and creating opportunities for all.

Supperland is a really unique concept, because really, it’s so much more than a restaurant. This is a restoration project – we’ve taken a mid-century church and turned it into a two-building restaurant and cocktail bar. The property is nestled at The Plaza and McClintock, right behind the Harris Teeter on Central Avenue.

It was in 1948 that the original Church of Christ congregation built the smaller of the two buildings on the property. The congregates were saving up to build the larger building, which they were able to complete in 1956. In creating Supperland in a restored space, we’ve been very intentional about a lot of details, greatly to be respectful and thoughtful about the original building itself.

Architecturally, we’ve held on to the structures of the buildings themselves, but also the tall windows in the large building, the center aisle in the main dining room (which we’ve intentionally stained a slightly different color), the staircase, and the wood floors in the larger building.

To me, restaurants are really unique places because each one you walk inside has the chance to be a living, breathing piece of art. There are so many sensory experiences that can offer a guest something special, pleasurable, and memorable. Supperland is a place designed to delight the senses, and I hope it does that for every guest who walks in the door.

Looking at the details, we’ve selected a floral wallpaper that contrasts elegantly against the rough walls on the interior. We’ve built all the tables ourselves in our garage, with our small team. The tables are almost caramelized looking, and made from North Carolina hickory. We’ve brought in 120-year-old pews from a church in Colorado, and we’ve adorned them with a lovely purple that mimics the tufted purple booths that surround the walls.

This building is undergoing a new transformation, and when I’ve thought about the differences between a church space and a restaurant, what often comes to mind is the idea that the back of a church is actually the front of a restaurant – and vice versa. We wanted to draw the eye forward in the main dining room toward our upstairs kitchen, so we’ve elevated the “show kitchen,” much like a “stage”. It brings attention to the far end of the space.

When seeing the large chandeliers, the wide aisle, and the stage-like show kitchen, a friend of mine said, it’s like “dinner theater.” I couldn’t say it any better myself.

The kitchen will be led by Executive Chef Chris Rogienski, who has been sous chef at Haberdish for the past several years. The menu will feel like a vibrant southern steakhouse with unusual inspiration from our church building itself. You’ll find southern touches because we’re rooted in the south, and it’s all woven together with whimsical inspiration from church potluck picnics and meat and three diners. We’re constantly measuring everything against the word “fun.”

The Bar at Supperland will be led by Head Mixologist Colleen Hughes, known for her creative, forward-thinking drinks – always brought to the table with attention to detail. To complete the beverage offering, we’ll also have a sommelier on staff, Michael Klinger, who will handle our wine program.

One really uncommon touch we’ve added to the dining experience are our custom-designed plates. Jeff and I worked with London artist Lou Rota to create colorful designs inspired by southern birds, foliage, and vegetation. The plates are manufactured by Villeroy & Boch, and they are for sale on our website, They’ll be a nice change up from the traditional white restaurant plate, and they’ll be a wonderful addition to the family-style menu we’ll offer.

There will be a lot to enjoy at Supperland, with a large main dining room, a more intimate space in the Bar at Supperland, a private dining space, a vibrant southern garden, and a wide outdoor patio. We’ve built this place for guests to enjoy a full evening on our grounds.

We’re proud to be a part of this building’s history going forward, and glad we could work with the property owners, Manor & Park, to protect and restore a tiny slice of Plaza Midwood. We also know none of it would be possible without the support of the NoDa and Plaza Midwood neighborhoods. We look forward to opening our doors and having these vibrant communities in to enjoy this one-of-a-kind place.