Restaurateurs Jeff Tonidandel and Jamie Brown will turn the former Bonterra spot in Dilworth into a surf-and-turf restaurant called Leluia Hall.
Why it matters: The current brick building was built as a church in 1915, and unlike many things being torn down around town, it has stood the test of time.
- “It’s an honor to have the chance to keep an old building like this for Charlotte,” Tonidandel said in a statement. “This city is growing so quickly, and we know old buildings help maintain a sense of character.”
Context: The original Bonterra opened in 1999, and is transitioning to a new location in SouthPark after closing in Dilworth last December.
- Former owner JD Duncan sold the property to Tonidandel and Brown, as Axios contributor Kathleen Purvis first reported. The restaurateurs said from the start the new restaurant wouldn’t be another Supperland or a Bonterra replica.
Between the lines: The name comes from hallelujah/alleluia, a nod to the building, but without religious meaning, according to the restaurant owners.
Details: Expect family-style, shareable dishes, a raw bar program and prime cuts of steak. Tonidandel and Supperland executive chef Chris Rogienski will create dishes for Leluia Hall.
- Mixologist Colleen Hughes will oversee the menu for the new restaurant’s cocktail program. Sommelier and wine director Michael Klinger will select a 200+ bottle wine list.
- The architect on the project is Peadon Finein, the same group that did Supperland, another one of Tonidandel and Brown’s restaurants that’s also housed in an old church.
- As for the atmosphere, Brown said to expect “early Art Deco meets coastal.” The couple will lead the interior design of their latest restaurant.
What’s next: An executive chef will be named at a later date, and construction begins next month on the building.
What they’re saying: “We’re looking forward to seeing the name, decor, menu direction and story all come together for a new, unique dining experience in Charlotte,” Tonidandel said.