Stewart Penick’s Terrace Restaurants began in 2009 when Stewart and his wife, Cindy, decided to join nephew Jacob Penick to create a new restaurant concept in the booming South Park area of Charlotte. Jacob was studying culinary arts at Johnson and Wales, and Stewart and Cindy had decided to find a second home in the area; they wanted to migrate between Charlotte and their hometown of Boone to enjoy the best of both regions.

“I knew Jacob wanted to run a restaurant,” Stewart says, “and he, Cindy, and I shared the same love for Southern dishes. We all like good food that offers comfort and flavor, so we decided to create a really different restaurant experience!”

In fact, if there was one thing the Penicks all agreed upon from the beginning, it was to be “different”. Stewart especially wanted absolutely everything to be unique, from curved beverage glasses (“easier to hold and interestingly different”, he says) to a handy little piece of paper (“we welcome families and often there is a need to remove gum before the meal”, Stewart explains). Even diners having a business meeting find convenient note pads for jotting down those mega merger and acquisition details!

The Penick Difference is most apparent when you browse the menu! Jacob and Cindy have created savory Southern offerings unlike any you’ve seen, with scrumptious feature selections for breakfast/brunch, lunch, and dinner. At breakfast or brunch, be sure to try the sausage gravy from a recipe proven for generations in the kitchen of Stewart’s own mom and dad, Nancy and Cotton Penick!

“My dad, Cotton Penick, was a no-nonsense plant manager who believed in two things: hard work and church,” says Stewart. “I was raised to spend most of my waking hours earning a living. Since meal time was my only chance to relax, I’ve always associated good food with pleasure and ‘down time.’ I loved the Southern cuisine I grew up on—biscuits and gravy, waffles with plenty of syrup, green beans with ham hocks and fried chicken with mashed potatoes and sausage gravy. And holidays always meant surrounding ourselves with family and friends—and endless servings of mouthwatering dishes.

“The Lord has been so good to me,” Stewart continues, “and I’ve been blessed with a wonderful life’s companion who shares my love of good food. Cindy and I have enjoyed traveling together throughout this great country and overseas, always adding to our knowledge of food. We learned to appreciate great cooking and to find ways to add a ‘twist’ to our dishes. But we always came back to Southern cookin’. To us, it’s home. It’s the best there is.”

Fortunately for the Penicks and for Charlotte, folks responded, saying, “We just love your food!” Stewart Penick’s Terrace at South Park was an instant hit, and the Penicks soon opened a second location in Ballantyne.