The Buzz

Café, restaurant, wine lounge coming
Oct. 18, 2013 @ 04:34 PM

More on the Straw Valley plans: Adam Rose, executive chef at Chapel Hill’s Italian restaurant Il Palio, said the dates are still tentative for when he and a partner are planning to launch a café and juice bar, restaurant, wine lounge and beer garden at Durham’s Straw Valley.

If they hit their deadlines, the café and juice bar would open in November, the dining room and lounge would follow in December, and the beer garden would come online in the spring, Rose said.

The plan for is for the café and juice bar to serve lighter fare such as sandwiches during the day and into the early evening, Rose said.

Then, he said, the dinner menu would start in the evening in the dining room and wine lounge in the former artist-residence-turned-restaurant behind the café.

The restaurant is planned as a farm-to-fork eatery. As far as specifics of the menu -- he didn’t want to nail them down. He said he’s going to “feel free at this point to explore global flavors.”

“I’m not a huge fan of the term ‘fine dining,’ but there’s definitely going to be a consistent quality throughout the property as you go into different feels and styles of cooking for different menus,” he said.

The beer garden on the property could serve items such as sausages and peppers or burgers or a lobster roll, he said.

He said he’s going to remain full-time at Il Palio, the restaurant at the Chapel Hill hotel The Siena, until the space is ready for him to start cooking or he can start at the café, he said. Kitchen renovations are being done to the space.

Straw Valley is the cluster of mid-century-modern-style buildings sandwiched between Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard and the New Hope Commons shopping center. Hidden from the view of the road behind the commercial building that houses the café are a courtyard and the former artists' residence.

The residence, known as the Straw Valley Craft House, was built on land once used as a dairy farm. The home was used as both a studio and a shop, and artwork was displayed in the outdoor courtyard.

“We came at it from the approach of, how can we do as little to the property as possible and not disrupt what he’s got going on, which is this cool, Zen-like vibe, with meandering paths you can get lost on,” Rose said. “It’s not a box restaurant, and that’s what I’m embracing at this point.”


Vert & Vogue to hold trunk show: Vert & Vogue, a clothing boutique in Brightleaf Square, will host a Raleigh Denim Workshop Trunk Show Friday and Saturday.

During the event, the shop will showcase Raleigh Denim Workshop jeans.

According to the Raleigh Denim website, Raleigh Denim founders Victor Lytvinenko and Sarah Yarborough were recently accepted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

They started Raleigh Denim in 2007 after learning history and techniques
of traditional American jeans-making, according to the website.

They have a workshop in downtown Raleigh where they produce jeans which “marry old-school methods with modern fits.”


Watts Grocery voted Durham’s ‘most sustainable:’ The Nature Conservancy has announced that the restaurant Watts Grocery was the winner of the 2013 People’s Choice Nature’s Plate Award for Durham.

The other four finalists were Bull City  Burger and Brewery, the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club’s Fairview Dining Room, Piedmont and Toast.

Nature’s Plate is a people’s choice contest for top green restaurant. This year 18 Nature Conservancy chapters across the country participated in Nature’s Plate.

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