Last February, co-owner Ferdia Doherty and his Farmhouse team held a popup during Cider Con. Doherty says the event went so well, it sparked an idea. "There might be something in this," he says. "We sell buckets of cider."
Flash forward to today. Doherty is finishing up lease negotiations somewhere downtown for a space to house his cider restaurant, named Nordcider, that will feature a "nano cidery" producing hard (and soft) cider made from 100 trees they're planting in Wisconsin.
Doherty hopes his concept will "change the perception of cider." It will focus on four styles similar to those from some main cider producing regions in Western Europe and the states: Normandy, France; Bayonne, Spain; Cornwall, England; and the Midwest.
Saying cider "goes extremely well with food," the ciders brewed on site and available on draft will be meant to pair with dishes indicative of the same region. Executive chef Eric Mansavage will cook them over an open flame—if the city approves.
The space under negotiation is somewhere downtown and small, holding 80-95 seats plus 20 more outdoors.
Cider concepts are officially a thing, as the Fountainhead team is planning a cider bar for the former Copper House space. "The more the merrier," Doherty says. "We hope we do ours a little different and make it wonderful."
They're previewing Nordcider at a popup during this year's Cider Con, of course, on Feb. 6 and 7 at 419 W. Superior. Tickets will be available soon; Doherty says the restaurant will be open "before the first harvest" in August or September.
· All Farmhouse Coverage [-ECHI-]
· Fountainhead Team Planning Cider Bar for Former Copper House Space [-ECHI-]
Chef Eric Mansavage and co-owner Ferdia Doherty [Photo: Timothy Hiatt]