Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter: How It’s Looking, What It’s Cooking

Photos: Noah Fecks

A couple of months after its roll-down gate was painted by Chico, Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter opened at 94 Avenue C, near Sixth Street, last night. Keedick Coulter, the restaurant’s 33-year-old owner, said he hoped the menu would evoke the home-cooked meals he enjoyed at the family table while growing up in Roanoke, V.A.

Mr. Coulter described his menu as “more Old Dominion than deep south,” adding, “People come in sometimes and say, ‘Where are you from?’ and when I say, ‘Virginia,’ they have this disappointed look on their faces because they’re from Mississippi or Alabama and Virginia doesn’t count in their minds.”

Don’t expect to see barbecue and mac and cheese on the menu – at least, not very often. The specialty – executed by chef Amanda Beame, a recent graduate of the Culinary Institute of America – is fried chicken, made with free-range organic meat (white or dark) and paired with biscuits and a side salad consisting of produce from upstate farms.

Until last year, Mr. Coulter was a financial consultant at Deloitte. He said he became interested in the restaurant industry when he realized, a few years ago, that “all those things I’d taken for granted” – meaning the apples he picked on his grandparents’ orchard and the preserves he helped make as a child – “were becoming more and more cool in some ways, but also realizing they were more and more important.”

Having called “the NoLiTa/Bowery-type area” home during the three years he has lived in New York, Mr. Coulter began looking for a restaurant space nearby. He settled on Avenue C after discovering that the rents were “a whole lot more affordable,” but also upon realizing that the local clientele jibed with his intention to offer southern food at accessible prices.

“A lot of Manhattan is really a bit of its own beast, and the East Village – particularly the further east you get – is a little bit more like the rest of the world,” he said. “There are people with different backgrounds in terms of income and ethnicity.”

To cater to them, Mr. Coulter has created a casual restaurant where – somewhat like at Mama’s nearby – customers can either order food at the cashier and take it to one of the dining room’s six two-tops, or they can be served at a counter that will double as a bar when the beer and wine license comes in (it’s expected to arrive by the end of this month). There’s also takeout as well as delivery from the East River to First Avenue and from Houston Street to Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. Call (212) 228-2972.

Bobwhite will be open from noon till 10 p.m. daily, and likely till later on the weekends. The menu is below.

BWC Takeout Menu