Jonathan Weathington has been a presence in Wilmington for quite a while.
He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and has lived in the city on and off since 2005. He is most well-known for his role as the CEO of Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar – a position he’s held for nearly 10 years – and for taking the local brand national.
In his latest venture, Weathington aims to embark on a wider community effort. Out of the Weeds is a commissary kitchen slated to open in downtown Wilmington in late spring.
“We see this as two-fold,” Weathington said. “The space will not only work as the test kitchen for Shuckin' Shack but also will serve an immediate need in the area.”
The new space will take on many roles as a production kitchen, a health-department-approved service kitchen and a spot for chefs, photographers, food truck owners, caterers, event planners, product testers and budding restaurateurs.
The location will offer a commercial kitchen space open 24/7, which can be leased monthly or hourly along with on-site parking and storage behind a locked gate for food trucks.
"This is all within just a couple of blocks of downtown,” he said.
Plans are also in the works for an approved service window that food trucks can rent and use to serve out of the kitchen. Weathington is quick to point out that, “this will be different from a standard ‘hub’ or ‘rodeo’ area for food trucks,” he said. “It really is a quite unique concept.”
Weathington has worked in various positions across the local restaurant and retail industry over the years. Weathington said he considers himself “from Wilmington at this point.” His team members, which include Chad Wouters, Matt Piccini and Sean Cook, are also locals.
Weathington hopes the new kitchen space on North Third Street will help other downtown businesses. He envisions steering patrons of the area’s surrounding bars and clubs that don't serve food to the new kitchen, or perhaps, increasing the draw to downtown businesses.
"We are so excited for the opportunity to bring an innovative concept to the food service space in Wilmington. Having been in Wilmington for over 25 years, I have seen a lot of growth and evolution and am excited to be a part of that,” Weathington said. “We feel this is the next evolution for food service and [are] excited to see the new opportunities a space like this provides, for both food providers and consumers.”
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