New Bryans Road Restaurant Fills Niche With Southern Cuisine

Posted by: Economic Development Team on Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A new restaurant  in  Bryans  Road, High  Noon  Southern  Fine  Cuisine  &  Seafood,  opened  in September and is already filling  a food gap in western Charles County.  Patrick  McKinnis  says,  “I  live  in  Indian  Head,  and when  I  would  go  through  Bryans  Road,  there  was  nothing  to  eat.”    Seeing  an  opportunity,  McKinnis  and business  partner  Michael  Odukoya  decided  to  start  a  restaurant  in  the  Bryans  Road  Shopping  Center, filling  a  niche  with  Southern  cuisine—crab  cakes,  chicken  wings,  and  sweet  potato  bread  pudding  to name a few--prepared  with  fresh,  high-quality  ingredients. Johnnie Graves, a Bryans Road resident, is a third owner and manages marketing for the restaurant.

Patrick  and  Michael  had  met  about  seven  years  prior  when  Michael  was  doing  a  food  safety  course  for Patrick’s  restaurant  employees.  “We  talked  then,”  says  Michael,  “and  realized  we  saw  eye  to  eye  on ideas  with  the  industry  and  positive  things  you  can  do.  We  kept  saying  we  should  do  something together,  and  when  he  contacted  me  about  this  location,  I  said  ‘I’m  all  in.’”

This isn’t  the  first  restaurant  for  either  of  them.  Patrick  does  consulting  with  two  other  restaurants  in Charles  County,  and  Michael  has  been  working  as  a  culinary  professor  at  Prince  George’s  Community College  for  the  past  five  years.  Prior  to  that, he  has  developed  and  managed  several  restaurants  in  the DMV area for  the  last  eight  years.

As  for  the  menu,  the  owners  do  a  lot  of  variations,  but  staples  include  fried  shrimp,  crab  cakes,  and  jerk chicken,  along  with  sides  of  sweet  potatoes,  greens,  fries,  mac  and  cheese,  and  more.  Their  sweet potato  bread  pudding  is  a  dessert  they  run  out  of  every  day.  Seafood  is  popular,  and  Patrick  learned  how to  make  crab  cakes  from  one  of  the  best,  while  working  for  Phillips  Seafood  Restaurant  in  the  90s.  High Noon’s  crab  cakes  use  lump  crab  meat  as  the  filler  and  jumbo  lump  as  the  main  meat.  “It’s  a  high-quality product,”  says  Patrick.  “All  fresh  ingredients  and  no  junk.”

According  to  Michael,  they  try  to  be  accommodating  to  the  tastes  of  the  community.  “We  keep  a rotating  menu.  We  have  a  few  items  that  are  staples,  but  for  the  most  part  we  try  to  rotate  them.  We get  food  in  small  quantities  and  everything  is  fresh.”    They  also  do  full-service  catering  for  weddings, barbeques,  and  special  events,  and  they’ll  work  within  the  parameters  of  the  clients  budget.  The  meals at  High  Noon  come  with  large  portions.  “Most  of  our  meals  are  two  settings—you  eat  some  and  save  the rest,”  says  Patrick.  “And,  that’s  the  benefit  of  having  a  fresh  product.  The  reheat  isn’t  bad.”

That’s  what  High  Noon  brings  to  the  table  that’s  a  little  different;  they’re  a  scratch  kitchen.  “We  use  all raw  ingredients,”  says  Michael.  “So,  we  don’t  use  pre-made  foods.  We  even  do  our  stocks  from  scratch, which  allows  the  customer  to  know  what’s  going  in  their  food.”  Patrick  says,  “We  don’t  use preservatives.  We  don’t  even  have  a  freezer  here.  I’m  not  a  frozen  food  guy.”

Giving  back  to  the  community  is  also  important  to  the  owners.  That  includes  using  local  companies  to  fix equipment  and  create  signs.  They  fed  the  homeless  on  Thanksgiving  and  are  looking  at  what  they  can  do on  a regular  basis.  And,  not  just  feed  them,  but  teach  them  to  feed  themselves.  They’re  currently  doing a  community  toy  drive  and  talking  about  doing  something  for  the  fire  and  sheriff  departments.    “They have  to  work  on  Christmas,  and  we  recognize  their  contributions  to  the  community,”  says  Michael.

They are also thankful for the people of Charles County in the short time they’ve been open. “They have definitely been supportive of High Noon,” says Patrick. “Their patronage is why we exist.” They estimate that 80% of their business is from repeat customers.

The High Noon owners are happy to be in Bryans Road and still getting to know the tastes of the community.  Patrick says, “Opening a restaurant, you gotta love it. Any new business is like a newborn. And, you have to be your own babysitter; you don’t turn your infant over to anybody. So, it’s a lot of hours.”  But like a child, they want the business to grow.

If traveling through Western Charles County, stop by for a meal in Bryans Road. Learn more about High Noon Southern Fine Cuisine & Seafood on their Facebook page.

Photo: Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq.  presenting the County Seal to owners, Johnnie Graves, Patrick McKinnis, and Michael Odukoya.

 

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