By CHRISTINA RITCHIE ROGERS
The large, old house on North Main Street that has sat vacant more than a year will get new life this summer, with Meatballs on Main. Restaurant owners Kelly Oyama and Ann Quagliato plan an early July opening, bringing a new culinary concept to the area.
Inspired by New York City restaurants like The Meatball Shop, Meatballs on Main will offer quick, easy meals for everyone – lunch and late-night crowds alike, Ms. Oyama said.
“This concept is kind of geared toward a younger, late-night crowd,” Ms. Oyama said. “But we just want it to be a fun, friendly space for everyone.”
The former owners of Wineup night club in Charlotte, Ms. Oyama and Ms. Quagliato have wanted to open a restaurant for years. They were thrilled to find the 105-year-old Victorian house at 20517 N. Main St., which once housed Creole House.
“It’s a very cool space,” Ms. Oyama said.
Creole House closed in March 2011. Ms. Oyama and Ms. Quagliato have completely renovated the house, creating several small dining rooms with custom-made tables, a full bar, and front porch seating. And they did all of the work themselves.
The restaurant seats about 60 people, and will be open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Ms. Oyama will be head chef, and Ms. Quagliato will handle the front of the house and bar.
A culinary school graduate, Ms. Oyama aims to redefine the way people think about meatballs.
“Meatballs are not just Italian,” she said, and plans to offer meatball dishes with flavors form many different cultures and regions. And, meatballs aren’t just for meat eaters, either – in addition to her different beef, chicken, and pork meatballs, Ms. Oyama will offer vegetarian options, like her eggplant and onion “meat” balls.
All of the dishes and sides will be cooked to order, and all made from scratch, she said. In addition to a la carte meatballs, patrons can order meatballs on everything from pasta to sandwiches, with different options for starches and sauces.
The women expect to open in the next three weeks or so – all that remains to be done is finalizing permits, finishing a website (www.meatballsonmain.com) and a few finishing touches on the building.
“We’re very close, and it’s getting really exciting,” Ms. Quagliato said.
The women expect to open the week of July 4.