The Goodyear House, a new restaurant serving “elevated comfort food,” is now open in NoDa.
It took years to transform an early 1900s mill home into a more than 5,000-square-foot, 165-seat restaurant, but construction is finally complete.
Chef and partner Chris Coleman tells the Agenda he considers The Goodyear House a neighborhood spot, where diners can come as they are, just like they would around a family dinner table. “We’re not (just) a special occasion restaurant,” he says. “We want to be that everyday restaurant.”
Menu: Coleman’s menu is inventive, but approachable, he says. For example, every meal starts with free pull-apart sour cream and onion brioche. Also, a classic burger will always be on the menu (called the “goopy burger,” $12).
Coleman, who recently won Food Network’s Chopped, also introduces a global influence. One dish he’s excited about is the grilled mountain trout ($50) on the “biggie” portion of the menu, which means the large dishes are meant for two to three people to share. The trout is from Sunburst Farms in North Carolina, and it’s served with a kimchi-spiked potato salad, a combination that merges his Charlotte roots with Asian spices.
The menu also includes an array of small plates, called “smalls,” for $6 to $12. Think smoked cashew mac-and-cheese (yes, it’s vegan), deviled egg toast, and beef short rib caldo.
Vibe: The Goodyear House name is borrowed from the Depression-era concept of working-class families adding rooms to their houses after a “good year.” That’s why the restaurant is broken into four distinct zones, where every room feels like a different point in time.
The main dining room closest to the street is like a portrait of the 1910s with grainy, black-and-white photographs on the fireplace mantle (original to the house) and recycled church pews turned into booths.
One room over is an L-shaped bar decorated with little knick-knacks that the family who once lived in the house could have collected while on vacation in North Carolina in the mid-20th century like a plaid thermos and a poster from the Tweetsie Railroad. This area is where craft cocktails ($11-$14) are prepared.
Outside, a 150-year-old Holly tree offers shade for the patio and bar, which resembles a backyard shed with tools hanging on the wooden frame. Coleman calls it the “working man’s bar” with $2 PBR for sale among other beer on draft and in cans.
The second dining space, called the “botanist room,” is the restaurant’s grand finale. Greenery fills the bright room, and it’s filled with natural light thanks to glass garage doors that open on warm days. The 1960s-style room is best for special occasions and can also be rented for private events.
Cluck Design, the same firm that designed Haberdish a block north, was the architect on the building. A lot of the decorations inside, Coleman adds, came from Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
Background: Partners A.J. Klenk, Sean Potter, and Chris Coleman wanted to retain the home’s original feel even after a renovation that more than tripled the building’s footprint.
“We are committed to preserving the spirit and history of the original 1900s mill house, and it took extra time and incredible attention to detail to restore, renovate, and expand the home rather than tearing it down and starting from scratch,” says Klenk, who purchased the property in 2012 as a family home.
Hours: The Goodyear House is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Brunch hours will be added later.