Monday, September 30, 2019

Karen Carrier to open new Cooper-Young dining space, Back Dó at Mi Yard

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2019 at 8:07 PM

click to enlarge Karen Carrier's new "Back Dó at Mi Yard" - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Karen Carrier's new "Back Dó at Mi Yard"

Karen Carrier is ready to open her back door to an oasis where movie lovers and lovers of her signature cuisine can enjoy themselves in an outdoor Jamaican-style paradise filled with palms and bamboo in the heart of Cooper-Young.

She’s opening a new space, Back Dó at Mi Yard, sometime in October.

And it’s literally in her backyard. It’s behind her restaurant, The Beauty Shop Restaurant, at 966 Cooper.

“It’s a hidden Oasis in Midtown behind The Beauty Shop,” says Carrier, a veteran restaurateur who also owns Mollie Fontaine Lounge, Bar DKDC, and Another Roadside Attraction caterers.

And, like her other restaurants, it’s something completely different.

“I get bored every six or seven years,” Carrier says. “I want to create something. I was painting for so long. I like creating little places.”

She came up with the idea 10 years ago. “I wanted to open a place called ‘Back Do’ and it would be a place outside. We’d show movies and have food and have a bar.”

“Mi yard” means “my home” in “patois,” which is Jamaican slang. Carrier is saying, “Meet me at my back door at my home.”

She discussed her idea with her long-time friend, the late Ron Shapiro, who owned the legendary Hoka theater in Oxford. “I told him I wanted to show movies every night. But Ron was going to be a big part of it. He was the movie guy. We talked about all these movies we were going to show. Then he got sick and passed away. It’s an homage to him as well.”

Musician Harlan T. Bobo built most of the deck before he moved back to France, Carrier says. A neighbor named “Cowboy” then offered to help her finish it. “Man, he has helped me build all this stuff. It’s unbelievable.”

Artist Wayne Edge put wood from a mill Carrier found in Eads, Tenn. over the cinder block building, where Carrier keeps her walk-in cooler.

Allison Furr-Lawyer helped paint the black-and-white checkered deck as well as the planters and some of the chairs.

They transformed the area. “This place was just a hole. It was where we hung out. It used to fill up with water. And it was a problem. We put in all this gravel and sand.”

They put up a fence and a gate so people can enter “Back Dó” from Young.

“I just kept coming up with ideas. I wanted it to be like a Moroccan jungle. My son, Austin, went to Morocco and kept sending me photos. I was like, ‘Oh, my god. This is what I want.’ I went to Millstone Nursery. They had all these amazing tropical plants. Everything. We planted tons of bamboo, palm trees. All kinds. It’s like a jungle.”

They also have a thatched roof bar.

As for the food, Carrier says, “it’s all done on a rotisserie. That’s what’s really fun.”
The menu will consist of grilled meats, which will be served sliced on platters with different nut dusts, salsas, and “a different bread every week. You can slather up those hot meats coming off the rotisserie. A couple of fresh crudos. Really simple and really good.”

Austin got her an outdoor projector. Carrier also got waterproof speakers. She hasn’t decided on the first movie to show.

Customers will be able to enter from Young or from inside the Beauty Shop.

Carrier isn’t sure what she’ll do if it rains. As for winter weather, she says, “I’m going to get a fire pit. I’m doing all this shooting from the hip.”

Back Dó at Mi Yard probably will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays. When it does open, Carrier plans a big blowout. “I don’t do soft openings,” she says.

click to enlarge Karen Carrier's new "Back Dó at Mi Yard" - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Karen Carrier's new "Back Dó at Mi Yard"

click to enlarge Karen Carrier's new "Back Dó at Mi Yard" - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Karen Carrier's new "Back Dó at Mi Yard"

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