Developer Steve Williams purchased a historic building located at 1037 Park Street in March of 2015 and is currently rehabilitating that property to house Hoptinger Bier Garden & Sausage House, expected to open in the first quarter of 2017. Nearly a year later, Williams purchased the former Richards Sandwich Shop building at 1030 Oak Street located directly behind Hoptinger. We reveal the plans to redefine that non descript Oak Street property into a modern, artisanal sandwich shop called The Bread & Board. The Bread & Board and recently announced Crane Ramen will soon join neighborhood institutions Grassroots Natural Market, Black Sheep, Corner Taco, Tamarind Thai, Hawkers Asian Street Fare and Brew as Five Points continues to transition into a regional culinary destination.

The former Richards Sandwich Shop, pictured here, will receive a dramatic, modern makeover when The Bread & Board opens in 2017.

As the first phase of construction is set to begin this week, Modern Cities sat down with Dwayne Beliakoff and Jonathan Cobbs to discuss Bread & Board.

Tell us a little about the new place.

The name of the restaurant is The Bread & Board, and just as its name suggests, we will offer our artisan sandwiches either built on locally sourced or baked in-house breads, or deconstructed and slightly larger versions plattered or “boarded” to enjoy (as individual sandwich & condiment components) served with our house-made rosemary focaccia rolls. It is in one a take-out and dine-in restaurant, with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating (including a unique picnic green space), call ahead orders, limited offsite catering, and a low key gathering place to enjoy well crafted food, American craft brews and wines by the glass or bottle. The concept is “fast-casual” in that full orders are placed at the counter, with expeditors that deliver food to our guests after ordering, and “running hosts” that circulate the dining room and outdoor seating to assist in additional food and beverage orders such as additional wine, beer, rolls, board components or side dishes. The kitchen is semi-open with counter seating, and guests can also order at an “add on” station at the front counter for additional beverage or food needs once their initial orders have been delivered. Guests are encouraged to bus and clear their own tables to a recycling center, with additional floor staff to assist.

It is inspired by our love for fresh made breads, artisan meats and cheeses, locally sourced products and vegetables, our passion for making jams and other preserves, vinaigrettes (and our varied list of condiments that we make in-house), and our tradition of slow smoking and braising of meats. Our recipes dabble in classic regional Americana (with intentional nods to the South) and also international flavors, especially those of the Mediterranean. We feature twelve daily “deli salads” from our display case to be ordered along with our entrees as sides, composed entree salads, soups, specialty entree dishes, and daily chef inspired specials.

The interior of The Bread & Board will feature roll up doors, modern furniture and will be defined by elements of reclaimed woods and vintage tiles

We are open for both lunch and dinner, and will feature a leisurely Sunday “hybrid” brunch with an a la carte menu ordered at the counter, and “help yourself” sides served buffet style on our family tables (breads, jams, seafood and salads).

Music will be lively and internationally influenced, and in we will not feature television. Evening lighting is lower and intimate, outdoor seating will be informal, and we will feature onsite parking for neighborhood bikers.

It is owned by partners Dwayne Beliakoff & Jonathan Cobbs who jointly run the kitchen and front-of-house as Chefs-GMs.

The Bread & Board will replace a surface parking lot with a unique “dining lawn”, transforming Oak Street into a lively extension of the Five Points commercial district.

Tell us a little about your background. What led you to pursue slinging sandwiches to the discerning masses?

I got my early restaurant start during my years at FSU, working for Ruby Tuesday and with a GM who I still consider one of my mentors. I was obsessed with reading cooking and trade magazines. After seven years with the company, the later four in management, I made the decision to leave Jacksonville to go to culinary school and headed west to Portland, Oregon. Like so many cooks at the time, I was inspired by the early farm-to-table movement forming there (more than any part of the Country). Chefs like Greg Higgins, Cory Schreiber, Vitaly Paley and Christopher Israel were putting together restaurants based solely on local and sustainable food products and wines before they were even buzz words or food movements, and I was obsessed with the romance and practicality of it all.

I made my way through a handful of Portland’s early “best” restaurants (Zefiro, Saucebox and Bluehour, the later two remain as busy as ever) with Israel and his partner, Bruce Carey (with whom I helped open Bluehour in 2000, and who remains my greatest inspiration and mentor). I met hundreds of talented, like minded chefs, made crazy good connections, and in what I call the “Portland Second Wave” struck with many of my cooking peers to open our own restaurants.

A Texas native, Jonathan spent the greater part of 18 years in Kenya, East Africa with his family as missionaries educating about, and literally living off, the land. It was there that he initially fell for cooking, farming and especially bread baking. He returned to the States and post college years, he worked in management for major food and market retailers in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

When we met, he had relocated to Portland and was an Operations Manager for an area fuel and hospitality company, overseeing a number of deli stores and specialty markets, but had an “itch” to strike out on his own. We had both independently (and with no knowledge of each others intent) made an offer on the same pub space. After talking through our various ideas, we decided to team with a few partners and worked together on the project. Within a year, he and I had opened a small but busy restaurant and catering company which we still own in Portland (and have a satellite crew overseeing).

A compilation of items commonly found on the menu at Beliakoff and Cobbs’ Portland venue, BOXED.

It’s at our shop BOXED that we developed our rustic sandwich style, and decided that we would one day expand to a unique concept. We have been developing The Bread & Board, off and on, over the past several years. Our focus has been on a finished product using high quality ingredients– made in-house as much as possible– and sourcing strong partners for the items we would not have the space or time to do ourselves (namely, our breads). Along the way, he and I have developed dozens of vinaigrettes, condiments, and pickled products that we will bring to The Bread & Board concept.

Next: A Look At What To Expect When The Bread & Board Opens In The Summer of 2017.