Scoop: Crepe Cellar is taking on a new Italian identity

Scoop: Crepe Cellar is taking on a new Italian identity
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Crepe Cellar Kitchen & Pub will have a new name, look, and menu, but the people behind the NoDa space will be the same.

Owners Jamie Brown and Jeff Tonidandel tell Axios that they’re ready for a new challenge. After toying with the idea of revamping the menu and freshening up the space, they’ve decided the best way to do that is start again.

    What’s happening: The beloved NoDa spot will slowly turn into an Italian restaurant called Ever Andalo. 

    • The name is a play on Tonidandel’s family name, originating from a small village in Northern Italy called Andalo. (Think Antonio di Andalo, which eventually became Tonidandel). 

    Why it matters: Crepe Cellar has been a neighborhood staple for a dozen years on North Davidson. It’s long been considered one of the best restaurants in Charlotte, evidenced by its dozens of accolades over the years. It’s been one of the establishments that’s endured amid other rapid development in the area.

    • Charlotte has lost several businesses to the pandemic in the last year and a half, but this is not the case with Crepe Cellar. In fact, Crepe Cellar has always been profitable, its owners say.
    • Simply put, for Brown and Tonidandel, “it’s time for a new adventure.”

    Flashback: Tonidandel, Brown and their business partner Paul Manley (who is now is co-owner of Ace No. 3, the Waterman and Sea Level) opened Crepe Cellar in 2009. Before that, Brown and Tonidandel had spent months traveling through Europe, where their idea of opening a European-style pub first took hold, as the Observer reported in February 2009.

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    At the time, the recession weighed on everything. NoDa’s business corridor only extended a couple of blocks. And the light rail was still years away. “It was actually kind of crazy,” Brown admits of their venture, seeing as neither of she nor Tonidandel had owned a restaurant before. They were persistent, and in an era before social media marketing, they grew organically.

    Crepe Cellar’s popular burger topped with gruyère and onion straws on a brioche bun (Photo courtesy of Jesse Soloff)

    What’s next: The transition to Ever Andalo will be gradual, and it’ll begin this week. Crepe Cellar will continue to operate normally while its owners put in new equipment, change the decor, and update the menu. Crepe Cellar’s 25 employees will help with the transition. Executive Chef, Steve Kuney (who has been at the restaurant since its opening), will move into a corporate chef position within Brown and Tonidandel’s business.

    • Therefore, they’re looking for a new Executive Chef for Ever Andalo.

    To start, Ever Andalo will only be open for dinner. Eventually, they’ll offer an Italian brunch menu, which will be unique to Charlotte, Brown tells me.

    • Most of Crepe Cellar’s dishes will not be on Ever Andalo’s menu. “But there are a few things we’ve gotten really good at that we want to bring forward. Homemade burrata is one,” says Brown. They’ll also continue to offer homemade pasta. 
    • Wine will be exclusively Italian, chosen by their Supperland Sommelier, Michael Klinger, who also serves as the Chianti ambassador.

    Crepe Cellar’s burrata will remain on the menu at Ever Andalo (Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/Axios)

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