Four Raleigh restaurant & bar owners expand concepts to Wilmington.
The beach is calling… and answering that call are four Raleigh restaurateurs and bar owners opening new locations in Wilmington. Seasing the opp to expand their brands to the coast (and gain a whole new audience) are fan faves Dram & Draught, Kipos, Bull City Ciderworks and Olivero—aka just one more excuse to hit the beach. Shell yeah!
Dram & Draught
The Dram & Draught empire is taking NC by storm. The uberpopular go-to neighborhood bar (and perennial voted Raleigh Mag Best Bar Overall) boasting three current locations already (Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro) has—wait for it—four other locales in the works in Cary, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and, of course, Wilmington. The new two-story (!) Port City location—which opened in early June—features the same vast whiskey collection and seasonal craft cocktail menu as all Dram sip spots. And though all of Dram’s drinkeries differ, the thread woven through each is that same cool, comfortable and sexy style and vibe that we all know and love. @dramanddraught
It may come as no surprise given his range and bountiful growth (he’s got 14 restaurants under his belt—and counting) that legendary restaurateur and NCRLA’s 2022 Restaurateur of the Year Giorgios Bakatsias of Giorgios Hospitality Group is expanding his popular Kipos to Wilm. Slated to open in July or August, Kipos Hellenic Cuisine will celebrate the food of Bakatsias’ homeland of Greece—with an added focus on the sea, natch (think spanakopita, moussaka, raw oysters and seafood entrees). And, promising to “Greek” you out, not only will the food transport you straight to the Mediterranean, so too, will the atmosphere, what with a lush partly covered patio, an intimate herb and flower terrace, and romantic gazebos. Opa! @kiposcuisinewilmington
Bull City Ciderworks
An apple (cider) a day keeps the doctor away. … And bringing a little bit of liquid medicine to Wilmington this summer is Bull City Ciderworks, whose Port City location (opening this summer!) will be the first cidery by the coast (!)—and its fifth location in NC. The roughly 7,500-square-foot taproom will include 24 taps, fire pits, green space, lounge seating and an expansive bar—NTM Bull City Ciderworks’ award-winning ciders, cider cocktails, beer, wine and nonalcoholic options. And in the summertime, you’re gonna wanna cool off with one of their signature cider slushies. Cheers! @bullcitywilmington
James Beard Best Chef Southeast semifinalist Sunny Gerhart is taking the Nawlins cuisine for which he’s known next-level by showcasing the nontraditional Spanish-Italian flavors of The Big Easy at his second establishment, Olivero, slated to bow in Downtown Wilmington in early 2023. Inspired by his mother’s side of the family—of Spanish and Italian descent—and his great-grandfather Jose Olivero (aka a sailor from Seville who immigrated to New Orleans, for whom the restaurant’s named), Gerhart will feature housemade pastas; fresh local fish, meat and vegs; and more. @olivero_ilm
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