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Out and About at WRAL.com

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— Whether it’s due to the pandemic or the growth of real estate development in the area, the restaurant industry in the Triangle area is very different than it was just two years ago.

Two popular restaurants – Raleigh Garland When St James Seafood in Durham – announced closure on Wednesday.

Owners Cheeti Kumar and Paul Sailer wrote on Garland’s social media pages on Wednesday: Garland said he shared a building with clubs Kings and Neptunes at 14 W. Martin St.

Garland’s last day of regular service is August 27, but there is hope for the future. The owner plans to host his pop-up dinners, shows, and other events on Martin Street. In an email to newsletter subscribers, Garland mentioned another upcoming collaboration.

Chefs innovate after pandemic challenges

“Our next project is a partnership with Anisette Sweet Shop on Bickett Boulevard. Once construction is complete, the bakery/coffee shop will reopen and we will be opening the full concept of the collaboration later this winter and early 2023. We are excited to continue to be part of Raleigh’s local independent entrepreneurial community that sets our city apart from many others.” email said.

For award-winning chef Vivian Howard, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked ideas for new revenue streams.

“I started wishing I could go to a freezer section somewhere and pull out a meal that I actually liked eating and didn’t have to cook tonight,” Howard told WRAL. Said… news earlier this month. “Something we could all eat with pleasure.”

Howard’s restaurants, including The Chef and the Farmer in Kinston and Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria in Wilmington, were closed at the time due to the pandemic.

“It was like, ‘For all the work I’ve done over the years, all I need to show is a great reputation,'” Howard said. You can’t do anything if you can’t serve people who are showing their butts in.”

Howard was already shipping hand pies nationwide through his mail-order business, Handy and Hot. She continued to deliver her food, but she knew she had a bigger chance.

“I can sell you a $15 pound cake, but it costs me $50 to get it, so I have to pay you $50. So I started trying to find a solution to these two problems. That’s where Viv is, the refrigerator was really born,” said Howard.

Viv’s refrigerator That’s exactly it. It’s a smart refrigerator that offers takeout and bake meals. Refrigerators are located on Bald Head Island, Emerald Island and Kinston.

With so much prep time required for several hours of service each night, projects like Viv’s Fridge are essential for Howard to supplement his income from traditional restaurants.

“Each of these Viv’s refrigerators holds about $5,000 worth of inventory. For many restaurants, it’s a good night’s service,” says Howard. “If the restaurant’s revenue could be supplemented by refrigeration, if the kitchen could be used during times when the restaurant itself is not open to customers, if the investment already made in advanced technology could generate revenue.” Kitchen, if it could. , can make your business more profitable. ”

Howard’s flagship restaurant, The Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, remains closed. Howard plans to unveil a new concept in the near future.

Increased business closures due to labor shortage

With restaurants reopening following COVID closure requests, the next challenge was a labor shortage.

The Circus Family Restaurant on Wake Forest Road announced earlier this year that it would close after nearly 50 years in business, citing a shortage of staff.

Carrburritos closed its Boxyard store in Research Triangle Park in May, citing a shortage of staff and supplies. Instead, the owners decided to focus on the original location in Carrboro.

Several other long-standing restaurants have closed this year, including Dos Perros on North Mangum Street in Durham and Margaret Cantina on Chapel Hill. The former operated for his 10 years and the latter for his 31 years.

Real estate boom leads to relocation

Not all closures are staffing or pandemic related. The real estate development market is booming with projects creating large mixed-use developments such as Raleigh IronWorks. Raleigh’s oldest craft brewery, Big Boss Brewing Co., announced last week that it was moving. Warehouse location at 1249 Wicker Drive. Brewery director Seth Adams told WRAL News that August 28 will be the last day for the brewery at its original location.

Big Boss’ Wicker Drive location is owned by Grubb Ventures and is also behind the sprawling Raleigh IronWorks development under construction nearby. According to project information filed with the City of Raleigh, Big Boss’ space is one of his three warehouses in the area being redeveloped.

After 47 years in business, the owners decided to sell the land on which Char-Grill’s original location, Hillsborough Street, stood.

1963 Char Grill.  Photo taken by News and Observer.

According to business partners Mahlon Aycock and Ryan Wilder, the site is in a prime location in downtown Raleigh that developers have been seeking for years.

“We’re interested in being there for a very long time,” Wilder said.

The latest developer hails from the region and was working with Char-Grill to secure its place in the community.

The burger staple is located on the bottom floor of a 20-story mixed-use development that occupies a sprawling lot on the corner of North Boylan Avenue, Hillsborough Street, and Willard Place.

Durham’s St. James Seafood will close in early October. The restaurant’s lease at 806 West Main Street had expired and the restaurant had to close by November 1, according to owner Matt Kelly.

Kelly said over the next two months, staff will celebrate the restaurant’s four-year tenure. He added that if anyone knew of the new location, they could contact him.

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