Aunt Serafina's coming to southern Durham

Feb. 25, 2014 @ 11:11 AM

New planned pizza restaurant in southern Durham: Two partners with experience operating and owning franchise restaurants are planning to open an independently-owned pizza eatery called Aunt Serafina’s Pizza in southern Durham.

The restaurant is targeted to open in the Hope Valley Commons shopping center off N.C. 54.

The owner is Peter Turner, a franchisee of Dunkin’ Donuts locations in the Triangle. Turner said he owns 10 existing franchise locations in the Triangle, including two in Durham. He said he plans to open another location in Raleigh, sand wants to open one in north Durham as well if he can find suitable land.

For Aunt Serafina’s Pizza, Turner said on Tuesday that he was very close to signing the lease for the space next to the existing Dunkin’ Donuts store in the shopping center.

The restaurant will serve high-quality, artisanal pizza, he said, and will also have wine and beer on tap. He said they wanted to own an independent restaurant so they would have more control over the menu.

“When you go with a franchise, it’s their systems, their equipment, and some fairly significant fees and royalties, and we wanted to have a higher-quality pizza and menu,” he said.

His operating partner in the new venture is Alan Tyndall, a former owner of Domino’s Pizza stores in Durham. At the most, Tyndall said he owned eight Domino’s Pizza franchise locations at one time. He said he sold his last store in March 2011.

At Aunt Serafina’s, he said he plans to offer about 35 different toppings for pizzas with everything from pepperoni to Italian sausage to more unusual items like shrimp and lobster. He’s also planning on offering specialty pizzas from time to time that will be uniquely made.

“I’ve played with pizzas – weird combinations; strange, off the wall things that people wouldn’t normally put together,” he said.

Tyndall said he plans to use his own personal crust recipe at the restaurant, and will offer choices of different pizza sauces including red sauce, pesto, as well as garlic and olive oil.

“We hope and pray that everything will run as smoothly as we anticipate, and sometime by the end of April, we’re hoping to serve our first beer and serve our first pizza,” Tyndall said.


Downtown burger restaurant hosts ‘Exotic Meat Month’: For the third year in a row, the downtown burger restaurant and brewpub, Bull City Burger and Brewery, will hold “Exotic Meat Month” starting in March.

During the month, the restaurants will be featuring exotic meat burgers each day with meats such as caribou, python, elk, ostrich, iguana, alligator and edible bugs, according to a news release.

Throughout the month different types of burger meat are featured, rotating daily depending on the scarcity of that particular meat.

According to the news release, culinary manager Cece Lopez and owner Seth Gross work for months to source exotic meats for the month. Some of the meats are difficult to get and there are as few as 12 burgers available.

Customers who eat six exotic burgers in March will earn a free T-shirt printed with “I never met a meat I wouldn’t eat.” The T-shirts also will be for sale.

The restaurants will be posting exotic meat updates on its Facebook page and Twitter feed. This year the Twitter hashtag #BCBBEMM is being used to track posts.

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