Nov 22, 2020 - Food and Drink

Halcyon will close, and a new restaurant with greenhouse pods will open at Mint Uptown

mint museum restaurant

mint museum restaurant

After 10 years in Uptown, Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth is closing in December. But cheer up: The restaurant group isn’t abandoning its perch inside the Mint Museum. They’re actually opening something new.

The new restaurant: 

  • Expect an international tapas-style menu with influences from Morocco and India through chef Jonathan Moore’s Southern lens. It’ll still source ingredients locally, including from the restaurant’s own “victory garden,” a new quarantine project funded by a grant from Charlotte’s Innovation Fund.
  • Safe outdoor dining in all seasons. On the patio, which looks out toward the skyline, diners can sit in individual greenhouse pods for warmth during the winter months.
  • A contemporary look with a colorful mural and modern artwork that tie in with the museum.
  • Timeline: The new restaurant will open by Valentine’s Day 2021.
  • The name? TBD.
These greenhouse dining pods will be available during Halcyon’s “last hurrah” and also at its new restaurant in February. Fern, Halcyon’s sister restaurant in Dilworth, currently has one in use.

Why it matters: With little to no foot traffic during the pandemic, Uptown restaurants need to innovate to survive. Halcyon’s closure may be a blow for fans of its farm-to-table dishes, but its reinvention can also offer hope to struggling restaurateurs looking for ways to draw in new, younger customers.

Why now? Halcyon’s brand of refined farm-to-table was trendy when it opened in 2011, even landing the team at the James Beard House. It was part of the wave of Charlotte restaurants focused on locally sourced ingredients and seasonal menus.

Ten years later, Halcyon was still really good — it landed on our best restaurants list this year.

But Jill Marcus, president of the Mother Earth restaurant group, says the pandemic showed her it was time for something new: “The world is changing, and it’s time for us to change with it.”

Halcyon was a go-to for special occasions, from business meetings to anniversaries, but Marcus doesn’t believe that’s what Charlotte needs in a post-Covid world.

Halcyon Flavors From the Earth burger
Halcyon’s burger landed on our best burgers list this year.

But, first: Halcyon will have a farewell tasting menu series over the first three weekends in December. Seating is limited because diners will be served in individual greenhouse pods — warm, safe, and Instagrammable. The dinner costs $85 per person. Reservations are required and can be made via OpenTable.

Saying goodbye to Halcyon is sad, Marcus says, but staying the course isn’t an option in Uptown during a pandemic.

“If you don’t change, people get tired,” she says. “They want new.”

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