Little Dipper eyes Feb. opening
Fondue update: The timing depends on construction permitting, but the partners behind the plans for a new fondue restaurant in Brightleaf Square are now targeting to open the business before Valentine’s Day.
The eatery is planned to be a second Little Dipper location, behind the original fondue eatery in downtown Wilmington.
Kristen Gruodis, who is partnering with her husband, Pete Gruodis, along with Ben and Amy Neal, said they’re waiting on permits from the city to begin construction in the space, which previously housed Taverna Nikos.
Gruodis said the menu will be similar to the menu of the Wilmington location, except that they’ll have a local food insert.
“I think it’s going to be a great space, we’ve got all of our plans together, everything’s just ready to go, once we get those permits in hand, we’ll be ready to make a great spot,” Gruodis said.
New owner for Pop’s Backdoor South: The owners of Pop’s Backdoor South, the pizza place at the Hope Valley Square shopping center on Shannon Road in Durham, are selling the restaurant to the pizza eatery’s manager.
John Vandergrift, who owns Pop’s Backdoor South along with the downtown Parisian style restaurant, bakery and cafe Rue Cler and the downtown Italian restaurant Pop’s, said they’re planning to sell the restaurant to chef and manager Jefe Lubiano.
Vandergrift said Lubiano was chef de cuisine at Pop’s. He moved over to Pop’s Backdoor South about two months ago. He said the sale will give the new owner an opportunity to get started, and the current owners a chance to downsize their business.
“Nothings going to change, the door will never close during the transition,” Vandertgrift said. “We got our start, kind of (with) the same opportunity. Jefe’s been with us a long time.”
The restaurant will stay the same, Vandergrift said, describing Lubiano as a “great chef” who may add specials to the menu to “put his own touch” on the restaurant.
Refectory Café event: The Refectory Café is holding a fundraiser for NC Arts in Action, a nonprofit that provides in-school dance and performing arts programs for school children, on Saturday at their location on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard.
Children from the program will be performing at the café at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The café will be donating 5 percent of sales to the nonprofit.
The Refectory Café is located at 2726 Chapel Hill Blvd. in Durham. They also have a location at the Duke Law School.
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