SOUTHERN KITCHEN AND OYSTER BAR
Photo | Provided
The 4,000-square-foot, two-story former Sashio restaurant, at 455 Dauphin St. in Downtown Mobile, is currently in the process of morphing into Southern Kitchen and Oyster Bar by local native and Atlanta-based entrepreneur Erica Barrett. William Peebles with NAI Mobile handled the lease transaction for the tenant.
Reportedly Barrett’s first foray into the restauranteur field, her Southern Culture (SOCU) brand initially found acclaim through its line of pancake/waffle mixes, maple syrups, flavored bacon/chicken rubs and flavored grits. All of this has been facilitated through a thriving (and social media savvy) Atlanta-based production, catering, warehousing and distribution umbrella of businesses.
A LeFlore High School alum, Barrett attended Clark Atlanta University to pursue a business degree. After working in the corporate world for several years, she transitioned into the food world after initially winning a culinary contest in 2009. The shift from side-hustle to singular career path was completed after creating her company in 2012.
“I grew up in Mobile, a proud Alabama girl,” Barrett said. “I just really kind of established a love for cooking at a young age. I started when I was around 9 years old. That love for food and recreational cooking was always there.”
To date, Southern Culture has made the rounds on television (“Shark Tank,” “The Profit,” “Good Morning America,” “The View”) and in periodicals such as HuffPo, Essence Magazine, O Magazine and The Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper. Her company was also recognized as a 2015 Specialty Food Association (sofi) Award finalist and was included on Oprah’s 2016 Favorite Things list.
In addition to the restaurant expansion plans under her SOCU brand, Barrett and her husband have also quietly built up a small but growing Airbnb base in the area.
“My husband is a software developer and bought our first property online in the Toulminville area, only telling me about it later,” Barrett said. “After we renovated the property and posted it on Instagram, it has been booked up almost constantly. We are definitely looking for more sites locally to expand.”
She went on to say another long-term goal is to develop boutique hotel properties, akin to sites found in New Orleans or Charleston, with space set aside inside the blueprints for new SOCU brand eateries. Expansion plans into other markets across the state are also on the table.
Currently Barrett can be found around town working feverishly to get her flagship space up and running by the end of September. More information about Southern Culture or her Airbnb spaces can be found on her website and social media.
Business moves, transactions
Vallas Realty Inc. recently announced new tenants for Legacy Village at Spring Hill Shopping Center located at 9 Du Rhu Drive in Mobile. Panera Bread has leased some 3,580 square feet of space and will relocate their bakery-café from Airport Boulevard to Legacy Village. The new footprint will include a drive-thru, which will be their first in Mobile.
Local restauranteur Jeff LaCour will be opening Mobile’s first Pasadena, California-based Blaze Pizza franchise inside a 2,500-square-foot site in Legacy Village, adjacent to Panera Bread. With renovations just starting, both restaurants are anticipated to open in the first quarter of 2020.
Vancouver-headquartered Lululemon Athletica will soon occupy a 4,000-square-foot space and is expected to open early next year. Legacy Village collectively covers some 82,000 square feet and is managed by Inge & Associates Real Estate.
Maple Street Biscuit Company, the 1,500-square-foot site located at 5054 Old Shell Road directly across from Lavretta Park in Mobile, held a grand opening sponsored by the Mobile Chamber of Commerce this past Tuesday. The Jacksonville, Florida-based franchise had seen delays in construction after its development was announced nearly two years ago.
Inhabiting the former Rester Brothers auto repair shop building, the site had reportedly been the subject of blight complaints before build-out, as previously reported in Lagniappe. JLL represented the tenant in the transaction.
Erin and Ben Akey, local co-owners of 1031 Meals located at 744 Museum Drive in Mobile, recently held a grand opening sponsored by the Mobile Chamber of Commerce. The new space is 2,500 square feet, which includes a retail area, café space and kitchen. Lafayette Land Company handled leasing work for the tenant.
The business offers healthy meal preparations with dine-in, delivery, pick-up and catering services and employs 13 at their location. Expectations are to soon offer weekly delivery services from Birmingham to Slidell.
CSL Plasma, a plasma donation center, is leasing 15,265 square feet of retail space in the former Rite Aid building located at 1971 Government Street in the Loop area of Mobile. The company plans to open in early 2020. Nathan Handmacher with Stirling Properties represented the landlord in the transaction. Cushman & Wakefield EGS worked for the tenant.
The Mobile Planning Commission recently approved work on an existing two-story historic property that is located at 200 St. Emanuel St. in Fort Conde Village, part of the Church Street East Historic District. Mixed-use plans, pending review board approval, include creating apartment units on the second floor and possible restaurant space on the ground floor.
Local investors purchased the 107,593-square-foot Pollard commercial site located in Daphne for $216,500. Plans are in place for the development of a self-storage facility on the property. Handmacher with Stirling Properties represented the buyer in the transaction. Sandy Wise with Wise Living Real Estate represented the seller.
Baldwin Bone & Joint PC recently announced the opening of a new office located at 1400 N. McKenzie St. in Foley. This will be their fourth office location to open in Baldwin County. It is located near South Baldwin Regional Medical Center. Physicians on site include Doctors Rhett Hubley, John Todd, Matt Goldman, Michael Chamblee and Charles Gordon.
John Delchamps with Merrill P. Thomas Co. reported the sale of an 11,000-square-foot office/warehouse space located at 1508 Azalea Road to an owner/occupier and handled both sides of transaction. The former owners were in the data storage business and the building has been vacant for over a year prior to the transaction, per Delchamps.
Hancock Whitney has leased a site located at 504 Fairhope Ave., across the street from the Fairhope post office. The 3,000-square-foot building was renovated and will be a full-service branch. Jeff Barnes with Stirling Properties represented the bank. The landlord was represented by Matt White and Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty.
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