Architect Chris Schmidt and designer Anne Parker are directing the makeover of Southward Fare. Manager Brad Whiteside and sous chef Arlie Walters are pictured below.
A few days ago I stopped by Southward Fare & Libations to get a peek at Ryan Trimm’s new restaurant. Southward is opening in early August in the Regalia Shopping Center space formerly occupied by Circa, but there’s little left of John Bragg’s fine dining restaurant in the new makeover.
The most striking changes are the spacious marble top bar in the front, and the restaurant’s rustic ambience. Directed by Chris Schmidt of CS Studio Architects and designer Anne Parker, the restaurant is bright and comfortable, but still sophisticated. For instance, rough-hewn plank wainscoat and soft white walls create a lovely showcase for Oxford artist Bradley Gordon’s large scale paintings of iconic Southern animals.
“We are hoping to open August 1,” said Ryan Trimm, who was on-site Friday with carpenters, Southward managers Johnny Lawrence and Brad Whiteside and sous chef Arlie Walters, who most recently worked at the Hills of Hernando Country Club.
Overall, the restaurant will seat 138 people, including a shared patio with Paradise Café and an upstairs room for private parties. A large farm table will anchor the main room to accommodate communal dining and special event dinners.
The Southward menu will highlight traditional ingredients that are indigenous to the South.
“I like to explain it this way,” Trimm said. “Think Southern staples dressed up for a night on the town.”
He used fried chicken to explain his concept. “Instead of just frying chicken, we will rub it first in chicken mousse, roll it in house-made bread crumbs and then fry it.”
Trimm also will continue the focus on locally-sourced food that he follows at Sweet Grass and
Next Door, his popular restaurants in Cooper-Young. “Frankly, I can’t possibly imagine running a restaurant any other way,” he said.
6150 Poplar in the Regalia Shopping Center