Denny’s to open in Hope Valley Commons

Feb. 09, 2013 @ 03:41 PM

Another Denny’s in Durham: The franchise restaurant operator who’s planning to open a Denny’s in April in the Hope Valley Commons shopping center said he’s also planning to build a second Denny’s in a yet-undeveloped tract off U.S. 15-501.
Franchisee Donnell Thompson played football at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a defensive end for the NFL Indianapolis Colts. He also partnered to open the Zaxby’s in Durham.
Thompson is now partnering to open the approximately 128-seat Denny’s at Hope Valley Commons, which is located at the intersection of N.C. 751 and N.C. 54. He said the restaurant will have “refreshed décor,” with an open format where patrons can see the cooks working, and that’s also meant to be airy and bright.
Thompson said that although he said he believes Denny’s owns the breakfast business, it’s “not just a breakfast place.” He touted other menu options including pot roast, tilapia fish, as well as gluten- and health-conscious options.
Thompson said he “welcomes” possible competition with Waffle House. There’s a Waffle House on N.C. 54 near its intersection with Fayetteville Road.
“We’ll put the Denny’s brand up against those guys any day,” he said.
In addition to the Denny’s at Hope Valley Commons, Thompson said he’s signed a lease to open a location on a tract off U.S. 15-501 near Patterson Place, the development that includes The Home Depot, AC Moore and other businesses off U.S. 15-501. He said another developer is planning to build a hotel next to the Denny’s.

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Tastiest Town dinner: Chefs from Asheville and Durham are hosting a limited seating dinner at Durham’s Four Square Restaurant on Feb. 24 to promote Southern Living magazine’s Tastiest Town in the South competition. Contest voting ends Feb. 28.
Both cities were named in the top 10 “Tastiest Towns” in the 2013 contest, along with Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Charleston, S.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Louisville, Ky.; Memphis, Tenn.; Miami, Fla.; and New Orleans.
The dinner, hosted by chef Shane Ingram at his restaurant Four Square, aims to draw attention to the fact that Asheville and Durham are contenders for the top spot in the competition, and to encourage residents to vote, according to a news release from the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The six-course meal will also celebrate North Carolina’s food culture. Asheville chefs Jacob Sessoms of Table and Brian Canipelli of Cucina 24 are participating. Durham chefs will include Justin Rakes and Scott Martin of what was said to be a planned business called Salted Pig, Matt Kelly of Mateo, and Ingram.
The plan is for the chefs to prepare courses of their choice and to meet with guests after dinner to talk as well as possibly persuade guests why their cities should win.
The dinner will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 24. Tickets are $75, not including tax and tip. Wine pairings will be available. Reservations can be made on the website www.opentable.com, or by phone at 919-401-9877.

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