Wherewithall, the second Avondale restaurant from the James Beard Award-winning team of Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark that opened in July 2019, is now open for dine-in and carryout brunch service, starting this weekend. Tables are first-come, first-served.
The brunch menu, developed by Kim and Clark in collaboration with chef de cuisine Tayler Ploshehanski will, like Wherewithall’s prix-fixe dinner menu, be small and change regularly, depending on the season and what’s available at market. The initial iteration will include soft scrambled eggs with truffles, a monte cristo sandwich filled with pork shoulder and aged gouda, and seeded rye with various sweet and savory accoutrements, such as cured fish, jam, and cheese. There will also be special brunch beverages, like a kimchi soju Bloody Mary and purple sweet potato-toasted grain lattes. But only the items that travel well will be available for takeout.
Kim and Clark always intended to have brunch service at Wherewithall. The space, with its large bay windows, was designed to let in lots of natural light. “It’s a bright place to be on a cold day,” says Clark. But the pandemic put that plan on hold, along with the bar, which unfortunately opened last fall at the same time as the omicron surge. Now that the number of COVID-19 cases has been falling, they’ve decided to move ahead, cautiously.
“We’re already behind three months of sales,” says Kim. “We can’t do three months like January. And it’s a downward spiral. There’s no word of mouth. You can read about a place, but what really draws people is hearing about it from five or six other people.”
Wherewithall is the successor to Parachute, Kim and Clark’s first restaurant, which won them a Best Chef: Great Lakes honor at the James Beard Awards in 2019. During the pandemic, Kim started up a nonprofit to support working mothers, and when Wherewithall reopened in June 2021, the couple handed over the restaurant’s day-to-day operations to Ploshehanski so they could concentrate on raising their three children and reopening Parachute.
Now that they’re slowly expanding the service at Wherewithall, they hope that customers will soon be comfortable dining out again. “We’re ready,” says Kim. “It will be so nice to hear the hum of people dining and chitchatting and laughing. When you don’t have that, it loses its magic.”
Wherewithall, 3472 N. Elston Avenue, Open 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.