The South End is one step closer to getting an honest-to-goodness Southern restaurant. Toro and KO Prime alum Jason Cheek’s plans for Southern Proper were bolstered on July 19 when the City of Boston’s licensing board approved the transfer of a liquor license from the defunct Williams Tavern in Southie to Cheek.
The forthcoming restaurant will be located inside a new mixed-use development called The Girard (600 Harrison Ave., South End, Boston), as previously reported. Per Cheek’s filings with the city, Southern Proper will feature more than 1500 square feet of dining and bar space, plus seasonal patio seating.
The menu will be “Southern, but not kitschy,” Cheek told Eater in September.
“I’m from Raleigh-Durham — I’m going to cook from my roots, inspired by the food I was born and raised eating.”
While Cheek said Southern Proper is likely to offer some smoked foods and some barbecue, he stressed that it “won’t be a barbecue joint.”
“There’s a misconception that Southern food is all about barbecue,” said Cheek. “I want to showcase Southern food. There won’t be any fusion. We might be hitting things at a slightly higher level as far as technique goes, but this won’t be a fine dining restaurant by any means.”
Cheek said the interior of Southern Proper will look like your grandmother’s house and that nothing about the experience will be stressful.
“I want it to be comfortable, easy, and relaxing.”
Cheek still isn’t sure when Southern Proper will open, and he said there’s no guarantee it will be during the colder months on the horizon.
“Opening a restaurant in the middle of a blizzard would be catastrophic.”
In the meantime, keep an eye on the Southern Proper Instagram account for updates.
• Southern Proper Coverage on Eater [EBOS]