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Chef Cleophus Hethington Joins Charlotte Tasting Menu Restaurant Counter

The former Benne on Eagle chef lands in a new kitchen

A Black man wearing a white chefs jacket.
Chef Cleophus Hethington will join the team at Counter.
Clay Williams
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas.

Last August, Charlotte-based Bayhaven Restaurant Group announced its newest venture, 3rd & Fernwood (1100 Metropolitan Avenue), with James Beard-nominated chef Cleophus Hethington in the kitchen. While the meat-and-three restaurant hasn’t opened yet, Hethington has moved on to another project in Charlotte. He will join the team at tasting menu spot Counter (2001 West Morehead Street) as the chef de cuisine.

“Joining the team at Counter feels like a natural shift for me and aligns with my long-term aspirations to open my own establishment paying homage to the history and the foodways of the African diaspora through a fine dining lens,” says Hethington, “I’m looking forward to being a part of the unique creativity that Sam and their team have brought to the diverse Charlotte restaurant scene and growing both individually and as a team.”

Hethington gained national acclaim while at Benne on Eagle in Asheville. When he left the restaurant in 2022, he told Eater that he was considering moving to Charlotte.

“At Counter, one of our core missions is to be an incubator for chefs on the rise and provide them with a place to showcase their cuisine and guidance to open their own concepts in Charlotte,” says Sam Hart, executive chef and owner of Counter, “We’re absolutely thrilled to have Cleophus joining our team. His incredible talent and passion for sharing stories of the past, while working towards creating a better future for the industry, aligns closely with our values.”