How do you get from Germany to America? Chef Jeremy Nolen is walking down South Street and around the corner.
Nolen - backed by his Brauhaus Schmitz and Wursthaus Schmitz compatriots Doug and Kelly Hager - is setting up a casual, regional American bar-restaurant called Whetstone at Fifth and Bainbridge Streets.
Whetstone (Nolen's mom's maiden name) will draw on his upbringing in Reading. Think chic but rustic, both in decor and in the in-house pickling and fermenting.
A summertime opening is expected.
Brian Leahy of Leahy Design is going for an old farmhouse look: provincial white colors, tin ceilings, tufted banquettes, butcher-block table, and chef's knives on the walls. A Berkel fly-wheel meat slicer behind the main bar, as well as a display counter showcasing the house-cured charcuterie and cheeses, will be the focal point of the dining room.
The bar will sell 20 draft beers and classic cocktails, wines and small-batch bourbons, by the bottle or glass.