Cathead’s Diner, a “love letter to the South” from chef Donnie Ferneau and baker Kelli Marks, is close to being opened, Marks said today. City inspection is tomorrow; she says if all goes well, those big cathead biscuits will be ready to be served in a couple of weeks.

The diner will open at 515 Shall St., in the Paint Factory building renovated by the Cromwell architectural firm for its “East Village” office. East Village is the name given the area east of Interstate 30 that has seen new business in recent years, starting with Lost Forty Brewing’s craft beer brewery and restaurant at 501 Byrd St. Now, Shall and East Sixth Street are pulling in development like a magnet, with The Rail Yard, The Bike Shop, the 12 Star Flats in the Paint Factory and a new eSTEM charter school campus.


Marks said the menu won’t be finalized until Ferneau is able to “get in the kitchen and fire everything up.” Whatever the two concoct, it will be Southern-style comfort food. Cathead’s will serve breakfast and lunch weekdays and brunch on weekends. Weekend dinners likely will be specialty affairs, Marks said. Saturday brunch will be traditional, with a menu; Sunday’s will be served all-you-can-eat, cafeteria-style, Marks said, with servers coming to tables to “dish out extra food.”

Cathead’s will serve alcohol, but Marks said the restaurant is not pushing itself as a booze hangout. It will also have a small patio with a bar that will accommodate up to 30, which should appeal to its bike-riding clientele, she said.


Cathead’s will have a week-long soft opening, followed by events for nonprofits The Heart Hospital and CARTI.