Alec Bradford of Virginia-based Leaping Water Farms launched Herd Provisions food truck in fall 2017, and through various pop-up events since, we've gotten a taste of what to expect when Bradford opens his brick-and-mortar butcher shop and restaurant in the former Ark Lounge Bar at 106 Grove St. downtown.
All meat that will be for sale at the butcher counter and on the restaurant menu is raised on Bradford's land. Proteins available include goat, lamb, beef, rabbit, chicken, goose, and turkey.
"We own the animals prior to slaughter, so we can price the meats a bit lower and keep the quality high," Bradford says.
The butcher counter will be up front, with two-thirds of the building serving as a full-service bar and restaurant. The restaurant will seat 86 people inside and 20-30 outside, Bradford says.
Bradford describes the cuisine as "a rustic version of neo-American bistro fare" that the entire family can enjoy. Daytime offerings include Philly cheesesteaks, burgers, cold roast beef sandwiches, and salads. Vegetarian dishes, including a veggie burger, will also be offered. Evening dishes will include steaks and potentially a weekly fish dish.
"I don't want to characterize it as a steakhouse, and I don't like the word farm-to-table, even though we own a farm. I think it puts the food in a box when we do that," Bradford says. "We'll stand apart in terms of quality of meats, traceability of meats, as well as the cuts and creativity of preparation. There's no place like what we'll be able to do, especially with meats."
Vegetarian dishes will also showcase various vegetables grown on Bradford's farm.
Herd Provisions will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. With Christmas Day and New Year's Day both falling on Tuesdays, Bradford says he is now eyeing a mid-January 2019 opening after originally aiming for mid-December.