Monday, August 10, 2009

Chef leaves Harper's; South End gets gastropub

   Longtime Charlotte chef Tom Condron has left the Harper's Restaurant Group to open a gastropub with more-occasional Charlotte dining stirrer-upper Matthew Pera.  Dubbed The Liberty, it's slated to open in early October in the former McIntosh's space in South End (1812 South Blvd.). 


   Says the British-born Condron, "We're going to have fun food, food that will allow you to have fun at the table." He says the fare will be "as much farm to fork as possible" -- one example: braised pork shoulder and belly, served with Bibb lettuce for wrapping and an array of accompaniments, such as pickled pineapple and Georgia peanuts, "assembly required." The menu will change frequently, and he plans to play off the 70-plus beer list. "When I was growing up, you slammed 'em back with your mates and didn't really appreciate it. ... Now there are these great crafted beers out there. In this economy, it's a lot easier to spend $6 for a well-crafted beer than $12 for a halfway decent glass of wine."

Pera, quoted in a release, says: "Tom and I have often discussed how there is a gap in Charlotte between fine dining and casual," and the pair will put an emphasis on "reasonable" prices, defined here as entrees between $14 and $22.

   Both partners plan to be on hand, Pera (who served as general manager at Marais, Upstream, GW Fins and more) running the front of the house and Condron (who's worked with such luminaries as Joel Robuchon and Paul Bocuse) in the kitchen. The place will seat about 200, with a patio and 50-seat bar, plus private dining space. Plans call for it to serve lunch and dinner daily; the Web site isn't fully operational now but it's  here. 

 

 

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

good luck! nice to see that space won't go empty for long!
Cheers.

par said...

Harpers has been good. Mimosa has been great. Hope he succeeds at the Liberty.

Anonymous said...

This is sure to be a success! Anything Chef Condron touches is something I want to eat.

Anonymous said...

Awesome, I can't wait, I know the food will be some of the best in town. Brillant Mate!

Anonymous said...

i worked at mimosa when they brought chef tom in. i learned so much about food and wine. what i was mostly impressed about was chef tom's passion for food - good luck! we'll def. check it out when it opens!

Anonymous said...

Good Luck Tom Condron & Matt Pera we will be your best customers.

Anonymous said...

Learned a lot from Chef! Attention to detail and a 'make it happen' mentality - his newest concept, The Liberty, will succeed!

Anonymous said...

Well I would be the only one to say I did not enjoy my dinner at either location. Tom good luck, but I am a better Chef...YOU Know it...

Anonymous said...

What's a "gastropub?"

Is that what we used to call a "restaurant?"

Anonymous said...

Chef Tom is the most talented Chef I have every been privledged to work work! With Matt and Tom this is without a doubt going to be a huge success! Cheer Gentlemen!!

Anonymous said...

I know Harpers restaurants will miss Chef Tom and I know Charlotte doesn't have to. I can't wait for this restaurants opening, please hurry guys.

Anonymous said...

Best of Luck you guys, we at BoA know you will be a huge success.

Anonymous said...

waiting with fork and knife in hand

Anonymous said...

Gastropub- great food and drink and this will be the spot, these guys know what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

Will be one of the first in line!

Anonymous said...

M5 will miss you Tom, good luck.

Anonymous said...

I have had the pleasure of working with both Tom and Matt throughout the past 9 years and know this place will be a success! Congratulations guys, we will see you in October!!!!

Mark Hibbs said...

Chef Tom has become a Great friend of mine over the years. He has built the culinary scene in this city. (almost on his own)I wish him and Matt great success. I am very happy to hear they both will get the opportunity to have there own restaurant. I will be there to help in anyway I can and to Cheer them on.
Great Success Gentlemen.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck to the both of you, don't let the haters get to you, success is the best form of revenge. Good Luck Matt & Tommy

Anonymous said...

I worked at Arpa and learned a lot about Food from Chef Tom Condron, he really enjoys his job.

Anonymous said...

Love it....Beer is finally going to get a place next to great food and two guys that are going to make it happen right. Thank you to both of you...

Charlotte Beer Club Member.

Anonymous said...

wow! wow! wow! Just flew in from NY and heard the news. Good luck boys, you both deserve this chance to shine on your own. Bill and I will dine often and wish you guys much success. This will become thee place to have a great drink and I know great food. Helen nice article and can't wait for the review in the paper.

Anonymous said...

Moved a few months ago from Chicago, great food town with great beer menus. Have enjoyed chef Tom Condron's food at many of his restaurants and can't wait for a real draft pulled beer with local fresh food.

Peter said...

Finally Matt & Tom, how long has it been since you two where going to open a restaurant together? All the best and we will be big patrons as you know.

John Hoffman said...

hope you will have cask beer engine! and exactly where will my bar seat be, hopefully next to the engine please! good luck you two.

Anonymous said...

Chef Tom & Matt...There is no doubt that you are going to be a sensation! I don’t know two people with a greater passion and/or work ethic then the two of you. With the love and support you both have at home from your wives Victoria and Lisa…which will be necessary on your path to success, the sky is the limit to your possibilities.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Tom and Matt! All of us here at Compass are being kept well informed by your wife (Victoria) of your progress! We can't wait for the grand opening! Compass needed a new great lunch location in driving distance. How exciting!

Call me Norm said...

Gastropub a term for a public house, I will be seating at the bar nightly..call me Norm.

CAMRA said...

Please, for the love of St. Arnold, give us a cask engine!! I cannot believe no bar owner in this city has installed one. Real beer, please!