Brian Poe and Eric Gburski recently sat down with Eater to provide some juicy intel on their upcoming venture, Estelle's, which will be opening in the South End next month. The theme of the restaurant is Southern - more specifically "kind of Gulf Coast style" - and it'll be a dinner-and-weekend-brunch place. There are about 100 seats, including a bar. Here's a continuation of the interview, in which they describe the look and the feel of the space along with some more tantalizing details on the food and drinks. (Catch up on the first part here.)
What's the space going to look like?
Eric Gburski: It's pretty unique because of where it has come from; it was a pizza joint and a video store. When I grew up, those two items came pretty much hand in hand. You had to have your pizza joint next to your video store in the days before cable was as good as it is. So you walk in the door, and there's a 14-seat bar right in front of you. 30 taps on line. There's a small dining room over to the left, and then to the right, you'll walk through to find more seating. Kind of a common area, lounge-ish, and then there are some tables. The production kitchen is kind of hidden away a little bit in the back corner, and prep and everything is downstairs. So it's a very unique space since it wasn't an existing restaurant that changed over. This was completely gutted, started from scratch. These guys did a great job. The architect [David Rubino, Huth Architects], also did the Tip Tap Room and has worked with Gordon [Wilcox] on other projects as well.
Brian Poe: Yeah, it's kind of fun. There's a good vibe to the room. It's got some color, it's got some stone, it's got some wood. I love the tables. The tabletops themselves, you're like, "Yeah, that's Southern." It feels good to sit down.
E: Big windows. A lot of windows. It's going to be big and bright. I think that the room's going to look really great in the morning for brunch on the weekends, and at night, it's going to be very attractive with a lot of folks in the windows, hopefully packed full of people.
We've talked a bit about the brunch menu. What can you reveal about dinner?
E: Our menu is still pretty much in flux. There are some really creative items. You're going to see a shrimp and grits dish, I would say. It's not going to be traditional, but there will be one. And a braised pork shank.
B: He's got a kickass really unique Southern steak sauce on one dish.
E: At this point anything can change, so I don't really want to get into too much of the menu. I think it's all about the taps. 30 beers on tap. We're going to have almost 100 beers total. It's a beer bar as well as a dinner house, and I think that's a good concept. We're trying to be genuine and hospitable and keep that Southern flow.
How about cocktails?
B: We only have a beer and wine license right now, but there will be some fun things. We're not going to do mason jars! There'll be a fun play on sweet tea, kind of a Southern cordial sweet tea sangria if you will. But not with wine. Some nice touches like that. Some root beer.
E: Some beer cocktails. So just beer and wine for now, but hopefully that'll change at some point.
What's the price point?
E: For entrees, probably $16-$22, $25. And we're going to have bar snacks starting at $3 - deviled eggs, boiled peanuts, things like that. The entrees will be moderately priced but full portions. A couple sandwiches, things like that. The menu's still getting built - are we going to have to do a late night menu? We don't know. We're definitely going to have snacks at the bar. Entrees. A lot of appetizers. It's going to be worth the money. I can guarantee that.
Last but not least, how about desserts?
E: I'm not a refined pastry chef, but I'm classically taught, so I do know some things. I've been playing around with some ideas. East Coast Grill has a great chocolate pecan pie, and I really want to do it, but I know I won't. I'm building my own path here.
B: If he has red velvet on there, I'll be in the corner hoarding it for myself.
· All coverage of Estelle's on Eater [~EBOS~]