It's been about two years since we first heard about Brannon Florie's new place, On Forty-One
(1055 Hwy. 41). And other than seeing the menu online
and knowing that the new Mt. Pleasant restaurant opened earlier this week, we hadn't heard much else. We finally got a chance to sit down and chat with Florie about his latest endeavor.
The biggest question on most people's minds is will he be leaving The Granary
(624 Long Point Road) or will he be splitting time between the two places? Florie was quick to respond to that question before we even asked.
"I want people to know that I'm the Executive Chef at The Granary and that's not gonna change. That's my food. It's me on plate — me staying current," says Florie. "At On Forty-One, I'm the owner. I haven't cooked a thing the past couple of days. I've got some guys in the kitchen that I'm giving a chance."
While Florie will oversee the everyday operations at On Forty-One, his partner, Cal Whitehead, spearheaded the renovation of the old drive-thru coffee shop at the corner of 41 and Highway 17. Eighty percent of the space consists of a large covered outdoor patio that includes the main bar, several tables, and an uncovered seating area.
"On Forty-One is all about cooking out — grilling, having fun with friends and family, and drinking good beer," Florie says. "The menu consists of simple southern food. It's seasonal, but the menu won't change as much [as The Granary]. We're not trying to reinvent anything. It's more approachable and family friendly. It's something this part of town needed."
With Florie overseeing the everyday operations, he brought in Dustin Baker to help man the kitchen. "He was working in the kitchen at Collective Coffee. The food there is good. I brought him in to help with a couple events and he was finishing prep work in no time, so I brought him into the kitchen to see what he can do, and he's been great," Florie adds.
Those that were fans of Florie's days at 17 North will be pleased to see some of his old dishes on the menu at On Forty-One — items like mac 'n' cheese, chicken livers, fried chicken, and collards. Then there are some carry overs from The Granary and The Rarebit like the smoked pork chop and short ribs. But Florie promises, "They're all different. We use different brines and preparations."
We asked Florie what's next and he laughed. "I'm gonna focus on these places for now and see how things go."
That's fine with us. We'll just sit at the bar and enjoy these deviled eggs.