Tina Seay says she never had any interest in running a restaurant. However, an opportunity presented itself, so Tina and her husband Arthur decided to put their retirement savings into The Upper Crust, a Southern/soul restaurant, which opened on July 5th at 326 S. Cleveland.
A restaurant broker led them to the old site of Destiny Diner in Midtown. When Tina first saw the space, she said, "No way I'm putting a dime into this place."
Tina and Arthur spent three months renovating. Walls were taken out to increase the seating from 35 to 75. The green marble tables were found online, and the walls were painted a mellow yellow. Decor from the Seays' home was repurposed at the Upper Crust.
"I wanted something soothing, calming," Tina says of both the atmosphere and the menu. "I want a home-y feel."
The dinner menu declares "where soul meets class..." and includes crispy duck (half a duck served with sweet potatoes, turnip greens, and a fried green tomato garnish); shrimp and grits (topped with tasso ham); and Southern pecan-encrusted tilapia (served bacon-infused mashed potatoes).
The Upper Crust will have live music on most Fridays and Saturdays, and Clarence Covington will play jazz and gospel saxophone this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For hours and more information, call the restaurant at 435-6264.