Cracker Barrel Country Store is getting into the fast-casual business with the launch of its new brand, Holler & Dash. The first location for the new concept will set up shop in Homewood, Ala., and it's scheduled to begin service Tuesday, March 15. An answer to higher-end quick-service chains such as Panera Bread and Chipotle, Holler & Dash will serve a simple menu of biscuit sandwiches, along with breakfast-y bowls and sides.
Considering Cracker Barrel is a chain that has long represented the antithesis of youth culture, with its front-porch rocking chairs and old-timey feel, this restaurant is going in a totally new direction. Instead of opening off an interstate exit, Holler & Dash is moving into Homewood's pedestrian-friendly downtown. The space's interior is obviously directed at the coveted millennial demographic with a number of hot design elements found in many of today's trendy eateries. There's plenty of exposed brick, industrial lighting, and detail on the ceiling.
Exposed ducts contribute to the industrial loft feel. Points for the nice design touch below the counter, which is reminiscent of an old wooden barrel.
Subway tile, incandescent light bulbs, and mason jars all in one shot. It's the stereotypical hip restaurant in one image.
Holler & Dash further attempts to boost its credentials for the chain-averse with an actual executive chef in the form of Brandon Frohne. [Update: Reps for the restaurant say his title is actually "director of culinary."] Frohne isn't a corporate chef; he previously ran the kitchen at a popular Nashville restaurant, Mason's. He touts sourcing from such Southern favorites as Anson Mills and Harper's Country Hams, and with three chicken biscuits on the menu, including a Nashville-style hot variety, it's clear the restaurant wants to be part of the fast-casual fried chicken revolution.
Cracker Barrel CEO Sandy Cochran recently told Business Insider Holler & Dash is targeting urban customers, and the first outpost hopes to serve the Birmingham metro area's 1.1 million people. Further expansion plans have not yet been announced, but it's a safe bet this won't be the only location if the restaurant finds success.