Located in the heart of downtown Belmont, Nellie’s Southern Kitchen serves locally sourced southern food and great music. Owners Kevin and Denise Jonas (parents of the pop rock band the Jonas Brothers) opened the restaurant to pay homage to Nellie, Kevin Sr.’s mother, a Belmont resident famous for her incredible cooking and gracious hospitality. We helped bring their vision to life by overseeing the redevelopment of a 1930s-era retail store into a restaurant that serves comfort food in an industrial-chic setting. We balanced down-home, traditional style with an upbeat, modern vibe in pairing warm wood tones and cotton-colored walls with exposed ceilings and concrete floors. A house band performs nightly on a dedicated stage and a beautifully stylized floor-to-ceiling portrait of Nellie hangs on a wall. The historic site presented a number of interesting technical and engineering challenges, such as adding a second-story rooftop deck and bar and converting the old gas station next door into a takeout annex. Since its opening in 2016, Nellie’s has become a signature spot on Main Street in downtown Belmont.

9,369 SF

The result

Redeveloping a 1930s-era store into a modern southern restaurant presented many challenges, including creatively connecting two separate and unique structures. With perseverance and skill, we pulled off the concept in a seamless manner, making Nellie’s Southern Kitchen a successful example of the adaptive reuse of a historic building, in a small town setting.