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James Beard Semifinalist Joe Kindred Aims for Another Small-Town Hit

Hello, Sailor is on deck for Cornelius, N.C.

Katy and Joe Kindred.
From left: Katy and Joe Kindred.

Chef Joe Kindred and his wife Katy made a splash when they opened their eponymous Davidson, N.C. restaurant in February 2015. After garnering national accolades, including a semifinalist nod for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Southeast award, the Kindreds are ready for another small-town venture: Hello, Sailor.

The couple's second restaurant will take up residence at The Holiday Marina on Lake Norman in Cornelius, N.C., about four miles southwest of downtown Davidson and 20 miles north of Charlotte. The waterfront space, previously home to a restaurant called The Rusty Rudder, covers 4,000 square feat with an additional 3,000-square-foot patio and tiki bar. Katy Kindred is in charge of the design (she also designed the couple’s Davidson restaurant), and while plans aren't quite finalized, she tells Eater "it’s definitely going to be a fun spot."

Considering there are nearly 20 slips in the marina that allow diners to arrive via boat, the team has a casual, family-friendly atmosphere in mind. The kitchen will focus on seafood, but ribs and similar barbecue fare will come from a smoker that’s being installed on the premises. That’s a step in a different direction from Kindred, which is more upscale and serves a modern cross of Southern American and Italian cuisines.

An early timeline calls for Hello, Sailor to make its debut by spring or early summer 2017. When it’s open for business, Joe Kindred will split time between his two restaurants, overseeing both kitchens while dedicated chefs run the day-to-day operations.

The couple had been eyeing spaces in Charlotte for their second project, but they felt the opportunity to take over the lakefront space was too good to pass up. Once Hello, Sailor has settled in and is running smoothly, Queen City residents may yet get a restaurant of their own. The Kindreds don’t plan on standing pat.

"We really like the business side of it; we also love the creative side of it, so we never really wanted to be a one-off mom-and-pop thing," Katy Kindred says. "You want to get everything to that self-sustaining place and get the right team in there ... and then when we feel good about that, we’d love to do something else."

• What Happens When Big-City Chefs Open Small-Town Restaurants [E]
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Kindred Resturant

131 Main Street, Davidson, NC 28036 (980) 231-5000 Visit Website