Southern eatery Tupelo Honey is still a few weeks from an opening date, but two features stand out already. The first is the location: At 1650 Wewatta Street, it will be the closest restaurant to the north platform of Union Station. Surrounded by an upsurge of new apartments, offices and hotels, the restaurant looks out onto a brand-new plaza and will have a 1,600-square-foot patio to tempt passersby.
The second is a table inside that could be one of the hottest tickets in town come late May. Why? The table in question is a twelve-top that will be available by reservation only and will sport a beer tap in the middle of the quartz tabletop that will allow guests to pour their own pints. The booth is tucked into a grotto with views into a high-tech keg room and onto Wewatta Street outside.
Aside from those, Tupelo Honey promises New Southern fare in a bright and expansive dining room, with room for 250 guests inside and out. The restaurant is part of a small chain that originated in Asheville, North Carolina, and now has offshoots in a dozen or so locations throughout the South. Standards like fried green tomatoes, okra, pimento cheese, biscuits and fried chicken fill out the menu, but much of that menu is modernized to meet current dining expectations (think small plates and clever reinventions — like pimento-cheese nachos).
Other draws will be a 54-tap bar, a row of two-top booths designed to evoke train seating, a massive art installation above the open kitchen, and modern decor with Italian tile and high ceilings — far from kitschy Southern-fried decor.
Within a biscuit's throw of Tupelo Honey, Tavernetta, from the owners of Frasca, and Citizen Rail will also open at the foot of the new Kimpton Hotel Born, creating a trio of the hottest dining trends right now: Southern cuisine, wood-fired cooking and regional Italian.
Keep reading for a few more construction photos of the site.