July 24, 2012 by Sarah M
// By Michelle Bruch //
WHITTIER — A Mortimer’s bartender and a Brasa baker bought a house in Whittier 10 years ago, but they haven’t yet found the perfect local late-night kitchen for the 30-plus crowd.
So they’re opening one themselves in September, at 2551 Lyndale in the former grocery space next to Treehouse Records.
“This is a bit more upscale than what the corner is currently offering,” said co-owner Carrie McCabe Johnston. “As a married couple, this is what we wished was in our neighborhood.”
The Nightingale restaurant will provide cocktails, wine and beer, rotating small plates, bar snacks and bruschettas. The restaurant will open Tuesday thru Saturday at 4 p.m., with a brunch on Sunday. The kitchen’s full menu will be available until about 1 a.m.
The 75-seat space is designed by Rachel Kate, a contestant on HGTV’s “Design Star.”
“It’s kind of a classic design with a modern twist,” McCabe-Johnston said, describing exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, and lots of half-moon and single booths.
The couple anticipates an easy split for the restaurant duties — Jasha has worked at Mortimer’s for the last 20 years, and he will handle the bar and front-of-house duties. Carrie, who has worked as a baker at Restaurant Alma and helped open Brasa Rotisserie as baker and front-of-house manager, will handle the kitchen management.
The couple is heavily involved in the Whittier neighborhood. Carrie works in neighborhood community gardens, and Jasha coaches baseball for Minneapolis Park and Recreation youth at Bryant Square Park — he’s become famous for a series of undefeated seasons.