Law Bird's Owners are Opening Boxwood Biscuit Co. in the Short North
Boxwood Biscuit Co. started out as a pop-up survival mechanism for Law Bird, the cocktail and wine bar founded by Luke Pierce and Annie Williams Pierce. By slinging scratch-made biscuit sandwiches and brunch bowls out of Law Bird’s back door in the Brewery District, Boxwood helped the young bar keep money coming in during the pandemic. “It helped us offset the rent over the summer when things were really kind of in an unknown stage,” Pierce said via a phone interview. “The idea was, if the brand kind of took off and had some traction, we would take it from there.”
The pop-up biscuit company certainly gained traction, boasting recipes developed by their friend and business partner, chef Tyler Minnis (most recently of The Market Italian Village). Now, the trio are preparing to open Boxwood’s first brick-and-mortar location at 19 W. Russell St. in the Short North. The space, leased by The Wood Cos., was most recently home to the Belgian Iron Wafel Co., which closed in the fall of 2019.
Law Bird’s owners found the pop-up a permanent home while searching for a new location for their other pandemic pivot: a grab-and-go cocktail/wine market that operates out of Law Bird at 740 S. High St. Williams Pierce describes the venture as “if Law Bird and a Japanese 7-Eleven had a baby.” Once Law Bird can safely transform back into a lively bar, the plan is to relocate the grab-and-go market, dubbing it The Law Bird Supply House. The couple are still searching for a space for that concept.
When it launched in August 2020, Boxwood started off as a weekend brunch pop-up, emphasizing egg-and-biscuit sandwiches. The Russell Street location will tweak the menu’s focus and offer expanded hours. “We’ll showcase Tyler’s fried chicken. So, it’s gonna morph more into a chicken and biscuit concept,” Pierce says, adding that the eatery plans to be open during breakfast, lunch and dinner hours. In the future, the trio plan to add vegan chicken and biscuits to the menu, as well.
Chef Minnis said he experimented with several methods of frying chicken during Boxwood’s early days, but it was a Korean-style fried chicken with a dry brine that really captured his imagination. “I started testing that, and it just seemed a little bit different from what other people are doing around town. [It’s] really crispy, [and] it’s done with a batter, versus the traditional Southern method,” Minnis says.
Pierce said that funding the new venture amid the pandemic hasn’t been as straightforward as it might have been in the past. “It’s next to impossible to get bank loans right now. Banks literally are just saying, ‘I’m sorry, you’re a restaurant. We can’t lend to you,’” Pierce says. To raise capital for Boxwood, the team launched a new crowdfunding campaign on Monday, hoping to raise $40,000 for the new business.
For now, the new restaurant won’t have a liquor license, but that could change in the future. Look for Boxwood to open in early spring.