CORNELIUS, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A celebrity chef is taking over operations at a prominent Lake Norman restaurant. 

Internationally acclaimed chef David Burke has signed a multi-year agreement to take over the operations of Port City Club in Cornelius, the restaurant announced Thursday. The 13,500-square-foot, 350-seat restaurant features lakefront views, a beach area for patrons and a dock for those arriving by boat. 

It will be rebranded as Port City Club by David Burke and remain under the ownership of restaurateur Nick Lyssikatos. 

“Nick and I immediately hit it off and agree that my contemporary, whimsical style is the perfect complement to what he has built at Port City Club,” Burke said in the announcement. “We are committed to maintaining what so many people love about Port City Club while enhancing the experience and throwing in a few surprises. This Jersey boy’s love for North Carolina continues to grow and I couldn’t be more excited to be in the Lake Norman area. I have family here, and between that and my association with Johnson & Wales University’s Culinary Arts Program, expansion in Charlotte is an organic next step.” 

One of Burke’ signature dishes, Lobster Dumplings. (Courtesy: Gwen Poth)

It will be Burke’s third establishment in the Charlotte market. In 2020, Burke opened Red Salt by David Burke and Cloud Bar by David Burke inside the Le Méridien hotel in uptown. He has also announced plans to open a G.O.A.T. Pizza in Cornelius. 

The menu has already incorporated some of Burke’s touches, including Lobster Dumplings with tomato miso sauce and basil oil, and black pepper maple-glazed Clothesline Bacon.  

As executive chef of New York City’s River Café, Burke became the first American ever to win the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplome d’Honneur. He subsequently won Japan’s Nippon Award for Excellence, the Robert Mondavi Award of Excellence and two nominations for James Beard Best Chef. Burke was also awarded a coveted three-star New York Times review for the River Café and later became a familiar guest on Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Port City Club by David Burke plans to bring dockside service back to the restaurant like what was done amid pandemic-related restrictions in spring 2020. (Doug Coats)

Download the Pinpoint Weather app today!

iPhone and iPad users, CLICK HERE.

Android users, CLICK HERE.

The changes will extend beyond the menu and include an interior design refresh, the addition of a dockside “Grab ‘N Go” area for expedited quick snacks, and a renovation of the outdoor patio. These are intended to expand Port City’s ability to host private events, ranging from intimate dinners to large receptions. 

Lunch is served Friday through Sunday, and dinner Wednesday through Sunday. Brunch service is planned to begin in the coming months, and beginning May 2, dinner service will expand to include Tuesdays.