Erwin Square restaurant changing focus

Sep. 30, 2013 @ 04:22 PM

Durham’s Vita to become Local 22 Kitchen and Bar: Vita, an Italian restaurant in Erwin Square on West Main Street in Durham, is planned to be transformed into a bar and kitchen with more of a focus on dinner and late-night customers called Local 22.

The business is part of a group of restaurants owned by Giorgios Bakatasias, CEO of the Giorgios Hospitality Group. The group includes Durham's Parizade, Vin Rouge and the Nasher Museum of Art Museum Café. In Chapel Hill, the list of restaurants in the group includes Kipos Greek Taverna and the Greek street-food eatery Kalamaki, among others.

Vita is about eight years old, Bakatsias said. Due to changes in the surrounding neighborhood -- with construction around Ninth Street of new apartments, a hotel and grocery store, and store renovations -- he said the restaurant concept needed to change.

“It’s becoming an urban neighborhood now,” Bakatsias said. “The concept is reflecting that.”

Local 22 will have a kitchen and a bar with a “warm, rustic atmosphere,” he said. The space will seat about 70 inside, he said, with additional seating on a covered outdoor terrace and at the bar.

The menu will have a focus on Southern table, he said, honoring seasonal and local ingredients. It will include bar and comfort food, he said, and will serve beer as well as liquor.

 “A Southern table has a global influence, but local ingredients,” Bakatsias said. “Vita had the focus more of a vibrant lunch café, I think this is going to be equally strong for dinner, late night,” he added.

Local 22 will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. for Sunday brunch, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner and late-night. Following Vita’s closure, Bakatsias said the new kitchen and bar concept is expected to open mid-week. It’s at 2200 W. Main St.

The news of the change was first reported on the Triangle Food Guy blog.

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Women’s shopping emporium coming to Southpoint: A line of stores described as “the World’s Fair of retail” by The New Yorker is opening its first location in North Carolina this fall at The Streets at Southpoint. Currently there are 15 stores in operation by C. Wonder, which first launched its first store in New York City in 2011.

C. Wonder stores carry women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories, housewares and home decoration items, as well as personal electrics and gifts, according to a news release. The average product costs less than $50.

Products are made with materials such as lacquer, enamel, calf-hair and suede, and some have monogramming for a personalized effect, according to the release.

The stores are designed as emporiums of rooms with different themes such as “contemporary prep,” “jewelry,” “typography,” “American dream,” “English garden,” and “pink geo.”

There will be multiple points of sale inside, allowing customers to buy items throughout the store.

The C. Wonder brand was developed by J. Christopher Burch, the founder and CEO of the capital investment firm Burch Creative Capital. He’s been an investor in multiple technology and luxury brands, and is the ex-husband of designer Tory Burch.

The C. Wonder at Southpoint will be on the first level of the mall next to Lilly Pulitzer. It’s taking part of the space that previously housed Eddie Bauer.

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Japanese restaurant adds sushi: The Koumi Japanese Restaurant in Durham has added a sushi bar.

John Ma, a restaurant partner, said the business has been serving hibachi and teriyaki-style dishes, and has hired a sushi chef in order to open the sushi bar.

The restaurant is at 3550 N. Roxboro St.

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Plaza Azteca coming to Chapel Hill: A contemporary Mexican food restaurant called Plaza Azteca is planned at University Mall in Chapel Hill early next year.

The restaurant will be one of several new tenants for the mall. A number of planned new tenants, including William Travis Jewelry, Peacock Alley and Fine Feathers, have announced new locations at the mall as they have to move out of the University Square on Franklin Street in advance of redevelopment of that site.

Other new tenants include TrySports and the Kidzu Children’s Museum, which is expected to open at the mall in the first quarter of next year.

In addition to those new tenants, one existing tenant has undergone a change. The Dillard’s department store location at the mall has been converted into a clearance center.

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