When Coppersmith brought on Chris Henry as executive chef back in March, the culinary endeavor seemed poised for a spring opening. This week, BostInno caught up with Red Door Hospitality's Travis "TBone" Talbot, who says not to expect the Southie restaurant-and-more before Labor Day. Coppersmith will announce an anticipated date on Facebook this week.
A fairly standard list of holdups has affected the venture, Talbot said, including construction and finding top-notch talent. The building, a 100-year-old copper fabrication plant at 40 West 3rd, has age and scale that "can turn the most basic tasks into more time consuming projects."
The scale of the project itself — the dining room will have two food trucks parked permanently inside, and a rooftop raw bar is being converted from an Airstream trailer, for example — may have led to some of the delays, too, though Talbot doesn't say so.
When it does open, Coppersmith will have a lot going on. "The concept [has] been a couple of lifetimes in the making and three intensive years in development," Talbot said. A cafe by day, there will be "chef-inspired," grab-and-go items, and at night, the two food trucks will operate as additional kitchens, expanding the globally-inspired, locally-produced menu. In addition to the raw bar and one of two outdoor patios, the roof deck will eventually be home to a garden, as well, Talbot said.
"Every aspect of our business has attached to it a cause or contribution," the restaurateur added. Currently, Coppersmith has about a dozen partner organizations, including Triangle and No Kid Hungry, and plans to offer programming around food education, homelessness, working with veterans and at-risk youth, and other causes. There will also be "Food Truck Throwdowns" with other area restaurants as well as chefs passing through Boston.
As far as the food goes, Henry isn't planning to "[reinvent] the culinary wheel," even though his restaurant sounds pretty cutting-edge. The main menu will be "fluid and fresh" and "accessible but innovative," Talbot told BostInno. Items range from small plates to family-style meals, including crispy pork belly with rum-soaked pineapple and jalapeño; and a lobster and crawfish boil with chorizo, corn, potatoes, and salad.