Mouthful

Mason Jar Tavern now open in Holly Springs

Jonathan and Maggie Pierce have opened The Mason Jar Tavern in the former D’Andrea’s space in the Holly Springs Towne Center retail complex. The couple describe their family-friendly neighborhood pub as “a modern take on Southern hospitality."

Jonathan Pierce is a restaurant veteran who worked his way up from bussing tables as a teenager to, more recently, manager at Ruckus in Cary. Pierce hired chef Chris Tucker, a fellow Ruckus alum, to give edible substance to the “modern take” part of the concept.

Tucker has responded with a menu that includes pan-seared NC trout over parmesan risotto, chicken and waffles with bourbon-infused maple syrup, and shrimp and pimento cheese grits with country ham. The chef delivers the family-friendly pub goods, too, from entree salads to sandwiches to burgers made with a blend of ground chuck and short rib.

“We must have tried 15 different burger blends,” says Pierce. “This one cost the most, but it was hands-down the best.”

An eclectic appetizer list goes beyond the usual pub suspects to include the likes of corn fritters with a smoky honey dipping sauce, Buffalo chicken egg rolls, and hand-cut fries topped with smoked beef brisket, fresh jalapeños and melted cheese, served in a Mason jar. For those whose thoughts turn to liquid refreshments at the mention of the words “Mason jar,” the bar’s 22 taps dispense a mostly local selection of craft brews.

The Mason Jar Tavern (114 Grand Hill Place, Holly Springs; 919-964-5060; themasonjartavern.com) is open Sunday-Wednesday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Thursday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, also covers restaurant news. Tune in to hear his radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF. Reach him at ggcox@bellsouth.net.

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