Just 18 months ago, Darrell Langworthy was dishing out BBQ from a food truck in the Five Corners. Now, he’s on the verge of opening his second restaurant.
Langworthy recently announced he will again expand his growing food business, with plans to open a new “comfort food” restaurant at 34 Park St., the same building where he now runs Mark BBQ.
The restaurant, named “Heart and Soul by Mark BBQ,” will take over the space previously occupied by The Lazy Farmer and be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays starting the first weekend in December, Langworthy said. He expects to expand to five or six days a week early next spring.
The Lazy Farmer did not return a call for comment.
Explaining his inspiration for the new joint, Langworthy said travels during his dozen years in the military showed him that “comfort food is the one thing that every state, every country has.”
“It’s what people love to eat,” he said before listing off what he calls “inspired” comfort food: chicken-fried steak, buttermilk chicken made from scratch, bronze cod with crispy pork belly.
The new space will seat 35 people inside with an additional 20 or so seats on the deck in the summer. Langworthy said he will be hiring four or five new employees, while appointing a “chef de cuisine,” Shaun Trepainer, to oversee the kitchen under his guidance.
Langworthy noted recently approved plans to bring hundreds of new apartments in close proximity to his Park Street building put him in a “prime” spot for growth. But while the restaurant will indeed bring in more money to the business, “it’s a lot more about us expanding our love for the community,” he said.
“What food’s missing nowadays is that heart and soul: Making it from scratch, caring about what you do [over] profits,” Langworthy said. “It’s going to made just the way the name of the restaurant is.”
The sit-own of the new restaurant will be slightly different than the order-at-the-counter style customers have come to expect at Mark BBQ, where tables a handful of tables are set up to provide a community dining experience. But Heart and Soul, which Langworthy said will feel like “you’ve been traveling and you’ve come into your favorite restaurant,” will have that same “touch of family.”
“We want to know our customers by name and see them on a regular basis and find out what it is they want to see from us next,” Langworthy said.