Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

FIVE makes dining decisions easy


The owners of Chuck’s Fish brought a new, simplified dining experience to downtown Tuscaloosa in January in the form of FIVE. Near the Bama Theatre, FIVE restaurant and bar offers a simple menu: each night there are five dishes, five appetizers and five drink specials.

Cris Eddings, Charles Morgan and a silent partner from New York opened the restaurant with hopes of providing a sophisticated yet simple dining experience for the Tuscaloosa community. Nine months later, FIVE has become a favorite of many students, and special twists like the Sunday Jazz Brunch keep FIVE one-of-a-kind. Cris Eddings shares his experience as a co-owner of FIVE, his history with the food industry and his plans for the future with the Crimson White:


The Crimson White: How did you get into the food industry?

Cris Eddings: I initially came from a family of restaurants in Tokyo. My family in Japan owns sushi restaurants throughout Tokyo, so I was kind of born into it. And though it’s not what I studied in college, I ended up finding myself in the business. My partner, Charles Morgan, owns Harbor Docks in Destin, Fla. I managed Harbor Docks for about five years, and then he and I started opening restaurants together. Professionally, I have been in the industry about ten years.


CW: What inspired you to be a part of Chuck’s and FIVE?

CE: I’m partner at Chuck’s, which was created by Charles Morgan. “Chuck” is his father. Charles owns a seafood market and charter boats in Destin. What we do is have the boats catch all of our own fish, and then we also buy fish from Charles’ seafood market. So between the seafood, great steaks, and then a sushi bar with sushi provided from my family in Tokyo, it created a partnership that led to Chuck’s.


For FIVE, we always kind of envisioned a sophisticated yet simple restaurant. We were really inspired by several different New York restaurants. One in particular, called “The Spotted Pig,” a tavern with really good food. We always envisioned having ourselves a restaurant similar to that. With countless trips to New York for him and me, we kind of studied and researched and threw ideas at each other and came up with FIVE.


CW: What was the goal you had in mind for the atmosphere of FIVE?

CE: It was actually pretty sporadic. We kind of had the vision of, like I said, a sophisticated but very casual place. And the whole basis behind FIVE is that we feel like the world today (and not only restaurants, but also things like picking out a car, deciding which TV shows to watch or which magazines to read), there are too many choices, and in a world filled with complicated choices, we wanted to provide a place for people to experience a small but phenomenal menu to choose from.  And instead of having a menu with thirty choices that probably doesn’t have five stellar choices on it, we wanted to create a menu that had five stellar choices on it.

And all the while, only having five items allows us to be particular on every ingredient in every item.


CW: What’s your favorite part about being in this industry?

CE: My favorite part about this industry is my passion to give people an incredible experience… At the end of the day, I’ll go home a happy guy if people come into my restaurant and tell me what an incredible time they have.


CW: What are some unique aspects of Chuck’s or FIVE you would like students to know about?

CE: Our Jazz Brunch on Sundays is a lot of fun, but we also have “Wine-down Wednesdays,” with half-priced bottles of wine. On Thursdays we also have a “ladies night” with specials for ladies. And we have live music Thursday, Friday and Saturdays. We call it “Live at FIVE,” and we have some really incredible bands from 9:30 p.m.-close. We stop serving dinner at 1 a.m., and our bar closes at 2 a.m.


CW: Why did you decide to open in downtown Tuscaloosa?

CE: We love Tuscaloosa, but we really love the downtown area. Everything from the Bama Theatre being here to the hundred-year-old brick buildings; it’s an incredible fit for what we were trying to go for with the FIVE concept. FIVE to us has a very vintage, retro feel to it, and it wasn’t particularly difficult to come into the style of building we’re in and make it fit. Our bar is from 1880s Cheyenne, Wyo., and every one of our 50 chandeliers are French or Italian antiques. It has a very throwback feel.


CW: What is your favorite movie, book or artist?

CE: My favorite movie is “The Shawshank Redemption.” My favorite book is “The People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn. Is that strange? And my favorite musician is harder to choose, but I like everything from Marvin Gaye to Mayor Hawthorne. Old to new. Black to white.


CW: Your prediction for the Alabama football season?

CE: Undefeated. National Champs. No question.

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