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Signage: Hello Sailor sign will have a retro look

The Cornelius Planning Board has granted a variance for Katy and Joe Kindred’s new restaurant “Hello Sailor.” It means a retro-looking 31.1 square foot sign will go up at the intersection of West Catawba Ave and Henderson Road. The long-awaited opening of Hello Sailor, located in the old Rusty Rudder space, is now projected for the first week of December.

The Kindreds, who operate Kindred’s in Davidson, had requested the variance to allow for an off-premise, ground-mounted sign to replace the existing non-conforming sign for the old Rusty Rudder. This is something approaching mayhem in the world of Cornelius sign and banner rules.

The Planning Board tabled the case at their October meeting and asked them to reduce the height of the proposed sign. Of course, the Kindreds complied.

Enough on signs, right?

Craig Deihl

Craig Deihl, who grew up on Lake Norman, has been named Chef de Cuisine. He spent his summers going to a small fish camp called Jack’s, which is the location of Hello Sailor, and predates Rusty Rudder and before that South Shore Grille.

Deihl was the executive chef at Cypress, a well-established, fine-dining establishment in Charleston. He oversaw culinary operations for Hospitality Management Group, a force in the Charleston restaurant industry.

He was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Southeast” award in 2012 and 2013.

Hello Sailor will offer dockside dining and cocktails with an outdoor tiki bar on the deck. The menu will feature well-sourced seafood with a fish camp feel and a little “mid-century Palm Springs” thrown in.

A farmer’s market for Cornelius?

A farmers market called Cornelius Faire has been proposed for property on the south side of Knox Road behind Fresh Market.

Entrepreneur Howard Kaplan, who previously owned the local Sea Tow franchise here, hopes to have the facility open on Saturdays from 8-4, possibly expanding to Wednesdays.

The 1.5 acre site, which includes one private home, is vacant. The one major impediment is working out a parking agreement with Fresh Market so patrons can use the paved parking lot behind Fresh Market which is adjacent to the property.

“Fresh Market and their manager, Mark Catapano have indicated some interest, but have not made any commitments thus far,” said Kaplan. “If Fresh Market jumps on board, it will be a go. If they don’t participate, it will be difficult to have parking available.”

Entrepreneur Howard Kaplan

Kaplan’s vision for Cornelius Faire is to create a small-scale county fair type retail environment with themes and offerings adjusted seasonally. “Merchants would include produce vendors, craft vendors, food trucks, street performers, Christmas tree sales, craft breweries and wineries. We would include a demonstration/performance stage and common area,” said Kaplan, who was a friendly presence in Cornelius business back in his Sea Tow days.

No additional impervious surface would be added to either of the two parcels, but a decorative fence would be added to the front of the property. During the holiday season, more space would be devoted to Christmas Tree displays and holiday crafts.

During times when produce is in season, more space would be devoted to local growers.

Kaplan made a preliminary presentation to the town’s pre-development committee at their October meeting. His proposal was greeted warmly and committee members instructed him to come back once he had a chance to speak with Fresh Market management.

Goodbye Santa

Birkdale Village and Our Towns Habitat for Humanity have cancelled​ this year’s Breakfast with Santa. Held ​each year at Red Rocks Café, the event was cancelled because of a fire in their kitchen. “While they have been working diligently to reopen, it will not happen in time to hold the breakfast,” Birkdale officials said. A manager working in Red Rocks said the​y could reopen in four to six weeks.

In lieu of the funds raised at the event, Birkdale Village is donating $3,000 to Our Towns Habitat for Humanity for its affordable housing programs.

Hello Clean Eatz

Clean Eatz, a healthy alternative to fast-food places, has opened at 17111 Kenton Drive in Kenton Place. They have dishes like pita and hummus for snacks and turkey, black bean and bison burgers  as well as wraps and flat breads—all with calories spelled out. Franchise owner, Sarah Conrad​ says pre-packaged meals can be purchased in-store, made at the counter, or ordered online. www.clean-eatz.com/custom

Eat This Up is our new column on  food-related things in and around Cornelius. Do you like the name? Let us know: corneliustoday@vgmail.com Look for news about farm markets, restaurants, healthy food and food trucks.