When Eater broke the news that The Hairy Lobster would open in the Pearl, readers wrote in with veritable exclamations, mostly about name choice, but also about what on earth The Hairy Lobster would serve. Now The Hairy Lobster is just a couple weeks from opening at 900 NW 11th Ave., the space formerly home to famous Fenouil and the now-shuttered Jamison.
"We haven't taken a day off since Thanksgiving," says David Root, who owns The Hairy Lobster with his wife, the well-known pastry chef, Mellisa Root (Per Se, Madera, World Culinary Olympics). Having updated the dining room with white tiling on the walls and removed two 400-pound refrigerators by taking out an entire window in the front of the restaurant, The Hairy Lobster is looking "about 80% done," estimates David. March 3 will mark a sort of soft opening, and the restaurant will open in earnest March 8.
The interior of the casual restaurant has shaped up to seat 110 downstairs, and as announced, Mellisa Root's
pastry counter dessert bar will be located near the entrance—for those hopping in for a quick dessert and cappuccino or cocktail. A nearby lounge area will have a couch and a few small tables, and the dining room and bar area will comprise the rest of the ground floor. The upstairs will be a private event space for banquets and corporate meetings.
The executive chef of The Hairy Lobster, David Root shared some food updates, and while he's keeping tight-lipped on most of the specifics, two things are for sure: The Hairy Lobster will focus on shared plates and will be a heritage restaurant. "What that [heritage] means, as far as the food side, is we're utilizing farms producing rare breeds of animals and produce—breeds that are close to being lost," he says.
The menu will also reflect America's place as one of the world's most diverse melting pots. The Roots have been consulting cookbooks from the 1800s, and David says he intends to update the historic flavors with contemporary cooking practices and plating abilities. In other words, don't just come expecting chargrilling: You'll find sous-vide items, too. Stay tuned for more details coming soon.