You will have ordered your bagels from Undercurrent Espresso at Optimist Corridor, any of the Nightswim Espresso places, or Central Espresso Co. Jeff McElwee’s Crust Punk bagels are in espresso retailers all through the Charlotte space.
McElwee, the previous chef at City Brewing Co. in Wesley Heights, has simply opened his personal kitchen within the South Finish.
Driving the information: City Brewing made the announcement of McElwee’s departure about two weeks in the past on Instagram. “Our complete neighborhood is so grateful for among the lasting results and affect Jeff will all the time have right here,” the submit learn.
- In the event you’ve ever eaten one among City’s flatbreads or their connoisseur popcorn, that is enormous.
My thought bubble: I nonetheless dream of the dinosaur nugget flatbread they’d on the menu for some time throughout the pandemic. Dino Nuggets on Flatbread – It was as scrumptious as you may think about.
- When City Brewing introduced McElwee’s departure, I had to determine what was subsequent for him.
- “Extra dinosaur nugget flatbreads, possibly?” I requested him in an e-mail. Sadly not. However she agreed to indicate me her new kitchen.
Why it issues: McElwee’s bagels are a pandemic success story. He began making bagels at Queen Metropolis Grounds in 2019, however honed his bagel-making abilities throughout the pandemic whereas working at City Brewing, as our information companions at QC Life lately reported.
- Whereas experimenting with bread making, he concurrently began a fundraiser for unemployed service staff known as “donations” when the world went into lockdown. He raised round $6K for native restaurant staff.
- “I obtained actually good at baking and bagels have been the most well liked factor,” he stated.
Context: McElwee has been within the restaurant trade for roughly 17 years and has labored as all the pieces from busboy to chef.
- Earlier than bagels, McElwee was making a splash along with his “Waffle-Wiches,” as seen on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” which he says he may deliver again in Crust Punk Baking.
By the numbers: McElwee’s bakes between 144 and 432 bagels on any given day.
- The bagels take about 24 hours to organize and he makes them in batches of 24 to 32 dozen.
Particulars: Crust Punk Baking has about 12 totally different bagel flavors and has simply launched bagel sandwiches, which include a facet of home fries.
Whats Subsequent: “That is the start,” McElwee stated.
- He envisions opening small brick-and-mortar shops round Charlotte in each neighborhood from NoDa to the Plaza.
- He additionally hopes to be a change agent within the restaurant trade, providing residing wages and healthcare to his future staff.
- “I need to deal with these folks from the start,” he stated.