Since he was a 19-year-old pantry chef working at what was then Red Agave, Mikey Lawrence has been telling anyone who would listen that the restaurant spot at 454 Willamette Street would one day be his. Twelve years later, his prophecy is about to come true.
Lawrence, the owner of the popular new food truck Buck Buck, is working with Belly Taqueria owner and head chef Brendan Mahaney to remake the restaurant into the Black Wolf Supper Club. Belly Taqueria’s last night will be Labor Day, and Black Wolf Supper Club will open its doors Oct. 1.
Mahaney, who has been a fixture in the Eugene food scene for the past two decades, is moving up north but will stay involved as the co-owner of the new restaurant. He describes the run at Belly Taqueria as a fun time in a space with a warm family atmosphere, but says, “I will be able to rest easy up in Portland knowing there’s something there for Eugene to enjoy.”
The new offering will definitely veer from the taqueria in style and substance. Lawrence describes the cuisine planned for Black Wolf Supper Club as a “New Orleans and low country Southern cooking love child.” The “South by Northwest”-styled menu will be a melting pot of cuisines with a focus on seasonal vegetables, small plates and big sharing dishes.
As for the aesthetic, Lawrence says, “there will be punk rock and rap all day and we’ll make dank food for the homies.” He quips, “Maybe we’ll bomb because we won’t play Norah Jones.”
While the new vibe may challenge the sensibilities of some diners, the track record of Mahaney and Lawrence as chefs is sure to draw a crowd. Between the veteran Mahaney’s steady hand and Lawrence’s exuberance, many will be lining up to meet Buck Buck’s big brother.
Located at 454 Willamette Street, Belly Taqueria is open 5 pm to 9 pm Monday through Thursday and 5 pm to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. It will close its doors Sept. 4 and re-open as Black Wolf Supper Club Oct. 1.