May 2, 2016
Nestled in Steele Creek’s Ayrsley Village is a new breakfast gem. Heavily focused on locally sourced products and innovative dishes, Chef and Owner Greg Collier and his wife, Subrina, have opened @Dawn. With a solid coffee program, brought to you by local roastery Magnolia Coffee, this is an ideal place to get lost in a mix of good food and business emails on a Tuesday afternoon. Bed frame-flanked tables line the walls of the cafe giving the illusion that diners are having breakfast in bed. Subrina’s creative touch shines through in every corner of the space, and hand-painted chairs at every table are little works of art. “My favorite is the Wu Tang chair I painted,” Subrina says when pulling out a brush stroked and spraypainted ”W” seat. So much attention to detail gives a real sense of homeyness to the space. It’s as if diners are coming into the Collier’s home to eat. “I want people to feel like they can come and stay in the space,” says Subrina.
Having taken training courses with Counter Culture Coffee at a “Counter Intelligence” learning center in Asheville, Subrina has really submersed herself into a stronger barista roll along with handling front-of-house management. Greg is a board member of the Catawba Farm and Food Council and a Piedmont Culinary Guild member. “I don’t do it because I think it’s cool. We are trying to push up from the bottom,” he mentions, speaking to the importance of his craft. The Catawba Farm and Food Council’s mission is to improve the food system in Chester, Lancaster, Fairfield, York, and Union Counties in South Carolina. As a business owner in Rock Hill with sister restaurant The Yolk, Greg finds the focus in these counties to be very important. Still, having been a Piedmont Culinary Guild member for a handful of years before opening a business in Charlotte, Greg agrees that the PCG mission is equally as relevant. “It helps connect us to farmers and suppliers for better products and how the camaraderie helps our food community as a whole,” says Greg. Maybe it is cool right now to be proactive in the financial carbon footprint that we make in our food purchases, but that’s not why the Collier’s are doing it. Farm to table? Sure. But not because it’s trendy. Greg and Subrina just seem to want to do what it is that they do… really well.
Here’s what you need to know about @Dawn. The food is amazing and is highlighted by seasonally inspired specials handwritten on the wall above the open kitchen you can’t miss! Order the Tennessee fries. And, no, Greg won’t give you the recipe for these little wedges of carb heaven (but you can buy the seasoning in a bottle). Enjoy the music: the staff takes turns picking their favorites. If you hear J. Cole overhead it’s not because this place needs fly music to carry their concept but because it was the dishwashers turn to play DJ. Wait for the Phil Collins switch up… it’s in cue. Know that you are spending your time and money with people who really enjoy providing not only a service but a memory, and maybe even a routine or tradition. With Ayrsley Village’s new breakfast joint @Dawn, Chef Greg Collier and his wife Subrina are looking to see how far they can push breakfast. Pay attention, Charlotte. This is what good food is.
At Dawn Cafe
2130 Ayrsley Town Blvd
Charlotte, North Carolina 28273
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