When Robin’s flew the coop, Jenna Mooers and Andrew Flood quickly took flight and locked down the North Street location for a new restaurant.
“We jumped on the space before we even had a business plan because in place just because we wanted the space so badly,” says Mooers. Her partner, Flood, helped build the neighbouring Unfiltered Brewing, so they knew the space was ripe with opportunity.
Flood has worked on a lot of cool spaces in town in his time at Five by Five Renovations, including Stillwell and their beer garden and Good Robot. “He’s well-versed in the realm of building restaurants and bars,” says Mooers, who is herself well versed in operating them.
It didn’t take long to come up with the concept.
“Andrew and I lived together in Montreal for eight years. When we go back, one of our favourite types of food to eat is Portuguese charcoal rotisserie chicken,” Mooers says. “Romados is usually one of the first stops that we make.”
Portuguese chicken has the punch of piri piri sauce, addictively peppery, garlicky and tangy. The rotisserie chicken is kissed by charcoal heat, generally meaning it is moist as hell with perfectly crisped — hopefully singed! — skin since it bastes in its own tasty juices.
That said, Mooers makes it clear that her new place isn’t a Portuguese restaurant. It’s just about the chicken.
“It will be in that style and will have that influence, but we are not going to put a cultural tag on it,” Mooers says. “Obviously we are not Portuguese.” So, basically, when it comes to natas, expect nada.
It’s going to be a casual place. “A joint,” says Mooers. The menu will be focused on take-out, the chicken and fries or salads. Maybe sandwiches. The real focus is the eight-foot charcoal pit where the chicken will be roasting. “Other than that, it will be a pretty small menu,” she says. “We’ll have a couple of local beers and a couple a local wines on tap. And we’ll have a little patio out front and a little bit of seating inside, but it’ll primarily be a take-out restaurant.”
The name is still under wraps. “Every time I told someone I was naming my restaurant EDNA they looked at me and said ‘What?’” she says with a laugh. “So I’m keeping this to myself for a while longer.”
Mooers hopes to be open in July or August.