The recently rejuvenated Union Street corridor in Little Italy keeps getting bigger and better. Construction on new housing is nearing completion and several nascent businesses are poised to attract customers moving to the area.
One such enterprise is New Orleans-style restaurant North Quarter Creole. “NQC” – as is displayed on the illuminated corner sign out front – has become an anchor at the top of the block since opening in 2015. Business partners Mike Goodwin and Brady Harris have big plans for what NQC can deliver on your plate, in your glass, and to the Wilmington community.
Chef Mike started his culinary career as a prep cook for his grandmother – peeling potatoes and rolling dumplings at age 5. His Grandmom raised him on Southern food and, over time, he perfected many of her recipes. Chef Mike always knew he wanted to open his own restaurant, but formed his own catering service in the meantime.
Chef Mike eventually met B.J. Harris and the North Quarter Creole idea was born – a BBQ and Creole crossover restaurant. Unfortunately, B.J. passed away on December 28, 2014 from brain cancer and it served as great inspiration to Chef Mike to bring NQC to its full potential. B.J. was a leader and great person with strong family roots in New Orleans. Ultimately, B.J.’s brother Brady stepped in to fill the void, but B.J.’s passion and heart have driven the success of NQC from the start.
Brady runs the front of the house at NQC. While this is his first general manager position in the restaurant business, his background of running multiple successful construction and contracting companies has prepared him for the job. Aside from being the front man, Brady does a good deal of menu planning with Chef Mike as well as handle ordering, billing, and other business tasks.
Located on the corner of 9th and Union Streets, North Quarter Creole is a two-story establishment with the main dining area on the ground floor and the bar upstairs (access is from 9th Street). The separated restaurant sections allow NQC to create unique events where privacy and public inclusion merge.
For instance, on August 6 the Jameson Whiskey Club will hold a private jacket ceremony for its new Masters downstairs while a special Cuban barbeque paired with Bellefonte Brewery beers is served. The general public is invited to enjoy the meal and ceremony. Once the Jameson Club Masters ceremony is finished, the members and other guests will relocate via the staircase to the bar to enjoy the rest of the night. Diners and bar patrons are encouraged to join in on the camaraderie.
Alongside its budding partnership with Bellefonte Brewery, NQC offers a comprehensive whiskey catalog which includes selections unique to the bar. Rare, limited, and hard-to-find bottles of grain, blended, and pot whiskeys are available – some to the public and others solely to Jameson Club members. Contact Brady for more information on the club and the bar’s whiskey selection.
From seasonal weekly crawfish boils or “crab pickins” (Fridays) to the sponsored local softball team, Mike and Brady want to build a sense of community around NQC. All first responders plus Christiana Care employees with badges get a 10% discount on their bills. There are food and drink specials every day of the week. From Taco Tuesdays to Burger Night (Wednesdays) to Sunday Brunch, you can always find a time to get your Creole food fix. And don’t leave your kids at home on Saturday night, bring them to NQC where they can enjoy ½-price meals with Mom and Dad.
The NQC menu hits all the high notes of classic New Orleans cuisine – muffulettas, gumbo, po’ boys, etc. – plus adds Chef Mike’s take on mac & cheese, crab cakes, burgers, and more! The menu changes seasonally, but the constant highlight is the house chicken wings. Order these meaty smoked wings with your choice of Bourbon BBQ, sweet and smoked, Voodoo BBQ, hot, or chipotle sauce and wash them down with some refreshing Abita. Special menu items pop up whenever Chef Mike makes another delicious culinary discovery.
North Quarter Creole is poised to be a player on North Union Street, so be a part of the revival of Little Italy with some cuisine inspired by the Crescent City. Reservations are not required, but suggested. NQC is located at 837 North Union Street in Wilmington. Street parking is readily available for patrons.