WILMINGTON — Chef Keith Rhodes of Catch Restaurant is taking over the kitchen inside Ogden’s new Seven Mile Post, where he’ll soon supply the bar’s customers with seafood options, sandwiches, wings, and other appetizers.
He expects to open Tackle Box Kitchen in time for March Madness, the annual college basketball tournament that begins March 17.
The kitchen will occupy about a fourth of the bar on the left side as you walk in. Rhodes said he is currently developing a phone app (aptly named Tackle Box Kitchen) for customers to order their food and be notified when it’s ready for pick-up at a glass window separating the bar and the kitchen. Once the app is ready to go, he said that he’ll send emails to roughly 5,000 of the bar’s members to explain how to sign up.
Ordering from a traditional menu wasn’t a good option, Rhodes said, because he didn’t want waiters to be on the constant lookout for bar customers who tend to move around frequently.
“It’ll be like you’re ordering Uber Eats, but you’re in one place,” Rhodes said.
Seven Mile Post opened late last summer, taking the place of a well-known Ogden bar called Beach House that closed several years ago.
The idea took shape when Seven Mile Post owner Trevor Rice asked Rhodes to start bringing his Catch the Food Truck to the bar’s parking lot to serve his customers. When Rhodes asked why he didn’t just use the kitchen inside the bar, Rice said he wanted to keep his focus on bar operations.
“So he just made me an offer to take the kitchen, and I said, ‘Sure, we’ll take it over,'” Rhodes recalled.
Rhodes partnered with a friend named Corey Scott, a former cook at the New Hanover Memorial Hospital who had recently started his own food truck called On Thyme Catering. With the food truck business slowing down in the winter season though, he thought Scott could help bring some young energy to help open Tackle Box and see where their partnership goes from there.
The food options will be simple and targeted toward the bar crowd, according to Rhodes.
“It’s just going to be some really good, solid food, and not punch-you-in-the-stomach kind of pricing,” Rhodes said. “It’s going to be something where you can come eat every day, a couple times a day if you want.”
Night specials will be offered to help compliment a new outside bar and music space currently going through remodeling work.
Rhodes said the idea to move into another bar’s kitchen is a product of a food truck industry that has flourished, but one that has perhaps reached its peak in recent years.
“A lot of bars and breweries have built with the idea of no food involved. They don’t want to get into that restaurant scene, so they figure, ‘Hey, we’ll put that on somebody else.’ And the food trucks can do that. We have a really good set of food options that are mobile right now in Wilmington,” Rhodes said.
But his own food truck and others around town have gradually started catering more to private events instead of hopping around from bar to bar, eager to take in more consistent income, according to Rhodes. So for him, setting up Tackle Box Kitchen is like bringing a permanent food truck to a bar’s customers, but without the wheels.
Tackle Box Kitchen is located inside the Seven Mile Post at 7219 Market Street, just to the south of the Ogden Taproom on the west side of Market Street. Like Seven Mile, the kitchen will be open seven days a week, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. (and from noon on weekends), according to Rhodes.
Keep up with future announcements at the Tackle Box Kitchen Facebook page.
Send comments and tips on Wilmington’s food scene to Mark@Localvoicemedia.com or (970) 413-3815