Chef Sidney Coves is expanding his True Flavors Diner, making the vacant Lakewood restaurant space the second location of the popular brunch spot.
Coves said he was about to leave for vacation when he heard the spot was going up for grabs. That vacation is now off, at least for a year.
The new True Flavors Diner is shooting for a December opening.
Coves is also taking over the former Scratch Baking building next door, for a separate concept.
True Flavors Diner opened in 2015 in an unassuming red brick strip mall just outside Research Triangle Park on Highway 55 in southeast Durham.
Since then, it’s become a brunch destination in the Triangle, serving south Durham and RTP on the weekdays and even pulling folks from Raleigh with the promise of creative burgers, chicken and waffles, and updates to diner breakfast classics.
Expanding into the western side of Durham had been on Coves’ mind for a while, and he thought the Lakewood neighborhood could use a diner.
“I thought the area needed a neighborhood restaurant, that it needed a Lakewood diner,” Coves said. “I want to bring something a little different to that side of town.”
In July, Phoebe Lawless closed her restaurant The Lakewood and her flagship, Scratch Baking. The spot was a handsome renovation of the former Davis Baking Company building, and another restaurant seemed inevitable.
Coves said the second True Flavors Diner will move into the Lakewood space, keeping the bar. There’s a rooftop that Coves said he’ll use just for drinks.
The addition of booze is the biggest difference between the original True Flavors and the future one. There won’t be a full bar in Lakewood, Coves said, but expect brunch cocktails.
There’s the potential for future dinner service, Coves said, but True Flavors will open serving breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch.
Coves is also taking over the Scratch Baking space, but said he can’t talk about that concept just yet.
“I’ll say this,” Coves said. “It’ll be bird-tastic.”
Coves grew up in Fayetteville and started out in Durham as a caterer, working for a decade before opening True Flavors as his first restaurant. He has continued his catering and said production will move to his Lakewood kitchen.