Saturday, December 31, 2016

Gospel Bird's Eric Morris nixes Concrete Jungle concept, opts for seafood, seafood and more seafood at his new restaurant at 324 E. Main in New Albany.

Right here. 

Speaking from personal experience, it's preferable to be comfortable with your concept before the money's all spent.

With this in mind, I saw a Facebook post ...

 ... and after chatting with Gospel Bird's Eric Morris, he offered this generously detailed and updated summary of what's to come at 324 E. Main. It was to have been an eatery and craft distillery, but as Eric explains, there has been a change in direction.

However, I couldn't coerce Eric into telling me the name of his (and Garrett Petters') forthcoming seafood restaurant, so we're going with Working Title until further notice.

Take it away, Eric.


For the past few months, I’ve been working on a new restaurant in New Albany, to be housed at 324 E. Main Street in a post-WWII commercial building just a block down the street from Gospel Bird.

I love the space, and the restaurant’s still going to happen, just not exactly the way we’d imagined. Here’s an update for 2017.

Most importantly, I’ve decided not to go with the original idea, which was going to be called Concrete Jungle. Mixing genres with global street food tasted great in theory, but it’s an ambitious concept, and in all honesty it defied every effort to build a menu capable of doing it justice.

At the same time, it’s been a wonderful experience getting to know the city of New Albany, and being a part of its continued growth at Gospel Bird. Taking all these lessons into account, I’ve decided to shift gears

So, what’s coming to 324 E. Main Street in 2017 is (WORKING TITLE), a fresh seafood grill with a raw bar, including a rooftop bar overlooking the Ohio River.

Think of it as a comfortable niche between fast food and the high end. It’ll be a family-style approach and a very casual place, with most dishes served in baskets and buckets, with a price point to match. The same goes for great beers and the sort of bar program you’d expect from us.

There’ll be crab legs, ceviche, and peel and eat shrimp from the open-kitchen raw bar. From the back kitchen, expect fried, blackened and broiled fish platters, ahi tuna dishes and mussels, as well as staples like lobster bisque, clam chowder, crab cakes, lobster croquettes and smoked fish spreads.

We’re planning on three types of grilled oysters: Fernet Branca Rockefeller, roasted garlic and habanero, and Thai chili with sesame.

A signature line of fresh seafood from either Honolulu Fish Company or Bluefin Seafoods will enable unique chef-driven items like a blackened grouper Reuben sandwich, lobster pot pie, halibut cheeks, frog legs and gator.

We’ll also offer non-seafood options: Smash burgers, chicken, nachos and dips.

I’d also like to introduce my new business/managing partner Garrett Petters, a New Albany native and Providence High School graduate whose extensive work history with seafood includes Whole Foods and Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse and Raw Bar. Most recently, Garrett helped open Brooklyn and The Butcher, our neighbors in downtown New Albany, and he was General Manager both at Doc Crow's and Brooklyn.

Our licenses and permits are waiting for the build-out, and Resch Construction will be starting soon. Stay tuned for further details, and we hope to see you in downtown New Albany soon.

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