On the heels of announcing his second restaurant, Jolie, Scott Crawford, who also owns Crawford and Son, announced plans for Crawford Brothers, a steakhouse slated to open in Cary in 2020. The restaurant will be located within Fenton, a ninety-two-acre mixed-use development that will include a mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment alongside office space and residences.
Crawford is the second chef attached to the project, along with Atlanta-based restaurateur Ford Fry who will open an outpost of Superica, his Tex-Mex concept.
Crawford says that though he previously shied away from working with large developments, he’s excited about being part of Fenton’s vision.
“This was the first time I could see the vision, for how they’re curating this and the care and the detail that they’re putting into [it]. It’s all about the experience,” Crawford says. “Food has become such a draw that it is almost more important than the shopping. And that’s why who they’re choosing to do the food is so important.”
Besides being part of the expansion and growth in Cary, Crawford is also excited about the impact that Fenton can have on the Triangle at-large.
“It’s a really underutilized area. With the location, it’s perfect for serving not only Cary, but Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. This is not a long way to travel for people to have all of this at their fingertips, including a Wegmans, which, in my opinion, is going to change the way that people in the Triangle shop for food.”
Crawford says he landed on the steakhouse concept after seeing that there was a need in Cary for a chef-driven, independently owned steakhouse. And as he was reminded during his most recent birthday celebration–he chose to dine with his family at a steakhouse—steakhouses evoke a certain warm, nostalgic feeling.
A steakhouse is also a natural extension for his group, Crawford Hospitality. For his restaurant concepts, Crawford has always gravitated towards putting his spin on classic dining experiences; Crawford and Son is his neighborhood restaurant serving up creative comfort food and small plates, and Jolie, slated to open next year, is modelled on a classic French bistro. The Crawford Brothers steakhouse experience will also walk the line between classic and contemporary.
“We’ll start with design. I think the way people feel about a restaurant always starts with design,” Crawford says. “We hope to create two feelings, one is a lounge that can be focused on small plates and cocktails and the other is a full, rich, classic steakhouse experience and feel.”
While the menus are still in the R&D phase, Crawford says that for the lounge menu, diners can expect to see influences from Crawford and Son’s comfort food and creative, technique-driven small plates (I put in a request for Crawford’s steak tartare, which he assured me will be happening). The steakhouse menu will specialize in house dry-aged beef complemented by an extensive wine program.
In line with his own tradition, Crawford named the steakhouse after family (Crawford and Son is named for his son, Jolie, for his daughter). The Crawford Brothers name was inspired by his tight-knit relationship with his brother, and is a subtle nod to their entrepreneurial roots. In high school, the Crawford brothers had a business selling firewood, which they made using scraps from their grandfather’s saw mill in their native Pennsylvania.
“When I name a restaurant for my family, it just feels right,” Crawford says. “I want my restaurants to be around for a long time and have a feeling that they’ve been around.”
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