In 2017, Nolen Kitchen closed after 15 years in Myers Park, leaving open a vacant space on Selwyn Avenue. Last week, Rooster’s owner Jim Noble signed a lease to fill it.
Noble, who also owns King’s Kitchen and Noble Smoke, has worked with the owners of The Durban Group, who also founded The Suffolk Punch, on plans for a new restaurant for some time. They’ll renovate the space over the next several months.
“We are excited to begin work on our Noble Food & Pursuits expansion in the Myers Park community. While the concept and menu are still very much in the development phase, you can expect casual favorites with European influence,” Noble said in a statement sent to the Agenda.
Jason Neve, the executive chef at Rooster’s, will oversee culinary operations at the new Myers Park restaurant, too. Neve previously was the culinary director of four of Mario Batali’s restaurants in Las Vegas.
“It’s going to be good,” Noble said of his new spot.
Located at the corner of Selwyn and Colony, Nolen Kitchen was known for its zucchini chips and ample outdoor seating. It closed in November 2017 without giving many details about why.
Will Choate, a broker at New South Properties, has been marketing the 4,000-square-foot space. He told me a few years ago that the property owner is “very particular” about which restaurant takes over the Nolen space.
The right operator, Choate said, has the potential to drastically increase sales for other businesses in the shopping center. Tenants there include Reid’s Fine Foods, Shain Gallery, Monkee’s, and KK Bloom Boutique on Selwyn.
In a statement to the Agenda Monday, Choate reiterated that his team has been picky about selecting Nolen’s replacement.
“Jim and his team have expressed a few plans that we feel will really energize the shopping center, and provide a great amenity to the rest of the neighborhood,” Choate said.
Sybil Godwin, owner of Shain Gallery, said that the other tenants at the shopping center are looking forward to having a new restaurant.
“In my opinion, it is one of the best locations for a restaurant in town — and one of the best patios,” Godwin said. “I think I speak for all of us at Selwyn Corners when I say we couldn’t be happier for a new chapter.”
This isn’t the first time that Jim Noble has worked with the Durban team.
Some of the 36 taps at Noble Smoke currently serve Suffolk Punch beer. This spring, Suffolk Punch is also opening a 1,721-square-foot brewing facility adjacent to Noble’s restaurant on Freedom Drive, where they’ll brew sours and wild ales. The brewery operation will be called the Suffolk Punch Blendery.
Collin Ricks, co-founder and principal of The Durban Group, opened Suffolk Punch with his father-in-law, Dan Hyde, in summer 2017 on Griffith Street in South End.