What defines the best meals we eat? Is it farm fresh ingredients, exquisite flavors, or an elevated atmosphere? More than all of these, our best meals are often made of memories – experiences we share around a table with friends, family, and (most importantly) good food. These are the experiences you can find at High Point’s newest fine dining destination: Earl’s Landing.
Setting up shop in High Point’s Congdon Yards, Earl’s Landing is the brainchild of Anthony Kearey and his team of business and culinary pros. Originally from South Africa, Anthony moved to North Carolina in 2000 and quickly fell in love with the state. With a knack for finding gaps in the restaurant world, Anthony settled in Charlotte where he discovered a niche he could feel with his bars and restaurants. It was also in Charlotte where he met Rachel Lindsay. Rachel, who grew up working in her family’s restaurant in Pittsburgh, would become his future business partner. The pair found common ground in what they both wanted to bring to the restaurant world: experiential concepts.
A private dining room at Earl’s Landing in High Point, NC.
In 2007, with the opening of Tilt on Trade, an energetic nightlife bar in Uptown Charlotte, Anthony and Rachel established the Mason Jar Group. Pulling together a crew of close friends, business experts, and culinary creatives, the Mason Jar Group has expanded to incorporate a family of bars and restaurants in and around the Charlotte area.
“We’ve opened quite a few concepts since 2007, but we wanted all our employees to feel like they belong to a team and a tribe,” says Anthony on the origins of the Mason Jar Group.
While the majority of the Mason Jar Group’s locations have been centered in the Queen City, the group decided that taking their foodie focus across the Carolinas was next on their culinary bucket list. And the first new stop? High Point.
When Congdon Yards opened in 2021, the Congdon Yards’ visionaries knew they wanted to incorporate food as an integral part of the campus’ live, work, and play environment. And when it was time to seek the right fit group to outfit Congdon Yards with everything from morning coffee to after-hours fine dining, the Mason Jar Group was contracted to provide the service.
But along the way, Anthony and his team have found the opportunity to be involved in the process of reinvigorating High Point just as exciting as planning their innovative menus.
“Our goal really is to make High Point the best it can be,” says Anthony. “That’s why we’re here – to raise everyone’s businesses, together.”
Earl’s Landing offers a wide vaiety of cocktails.
After first opening Lil’s Coffee Bar in the Congdon Yards’ Commons, Anthony and his team quickly took the next step for the incubator complex’s refreshments: a full service, fine dining restaurant. With the opening of Earl’s Landing, the organizers at the Mason Jar Group are thrilled to offer a new type of restaurant to High Point. Just ask Matt LaRose, executive chef for the Mason Jar Group.
“We’re excited because we literally have the opportunity to be the catalyst for high-end food and beverage in a town,” explains Matt. “How often do you have that opportunity?”
“We really want to offer a new experience to High Point,” adds Brendan Flory, Director of Operations at the Mason Jar Group. “We really want to raise the bar and keep our residents in High Point when they want to celebrate with a great meal.”
Earl’s Landing has a large selection of gourmet steaks that are cooked with their signature rub.
With these motivators in mind, the team has crafted every element of Earl’s Landing to not only provide the perfect evening meal for High Point residents, but also to benefit surrounding High Point businesses. And as with any restaurant, it starts with the food. Both Matt and Brendan take pride in the fact that Earl’s Landing is sourcing its produce from local farms and gardens.
“Being in North Carolina, we’re privy to some of the best local produce farmers that you can find,” beams Brendan.
With its unique menu masterminded by Chef Matt, Earl’s Landing is providing a new twist on modern American cuisine. Featuring upscale eats in a relaxed and welcoming environment, Earl’s offers steak, seafood, pastas, and craft cocktails, all with their own adventurous flair. Built around a changing, seasonal menu, the cuisine at Earl’s Landing is the heartbeat of the experience at the restaurant.
On top of utilizing fresh mushrooms, lettuces, and hydroponic greens from local High Point growers, Earl’s Landing is also excited to work with a number of local artisans and craftsmen, including the work of High Pointers in all aspects of their business. Case and point, the restaurant’s tables were made right next door at The Generator in Congdon Yards.
“We initially took a small proposal over to Walt Ruffier at the Generator, and as we started talking it became a conversation of adding new colors and wood strips, and then you could see his eyes light up,” recalls Brendan of the Generator’s Executive Director. “He had such a level of excitement.”
Earl’s Landing partnered with local designers and craftsmen to design their restaurant.
It’s not just the tables that were made close by. Earl’s Landing has also partnered with High Point interior design firm Barbour Spangle to create their sleek and fresh decor, bringing a new atmosphere to High Point’s restaurant scene. It’s local partnerships like these that fuel the Mason Jar Group’s excitement for working in High Point.
“Restaurants are like homes for their communities,” says Rachel, who is now the managing partner for the Mason Jar Group. “The relationships we’re building with customers and vendors creates a domino effect for the rest of the community.”
Community relationships aren’t only benefiting customers and tradespeople in High Point. The opening of Earl’s Landing brings new opportunities and jobs in food service, wine, mixology, hospitality, and culinary arts , ultimately leading to the training and recruitment of new talent to live and work in High Point.
“I really think the reason High Point is working so well is because everyone is rowing in the same direction and pushing forward,” adds Anthony. “It’s so cliche, but it’s so crystal clear that everyone has the same objective.”
As more community investments like these come to fruition, the team at the Mason Jar Group is eager to see their vision realized. As unforgiving as the restaurant business can be, the team looks forward to the satisfaction of being able to deliver on the experience their restaurant is promising.
With future plans for more Mason Jar Group restaurants to join the Congdon Yards family, Anthony and his team are keenly anticipating opening their doors to High Pointers, and giving them a dining experience to remember.
“When we walk into Earl’s on opening day and the place is jamming and the staff are excited, that’ll be the next kind of ‘aha’ moment for me,” smiles Anthony. “Every person who walks in the door should feel like family when they sit down, because we’re not selling a meal; we’re selling an experience.”
“Every person who walks in the door should feel like family when they sit down, because we’re not selling a meal; we’re selling an experience.”
Anthony Kearey, Operating Partner for Mason Jar Group
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