Restaurants open after a shutdown

correspondentJuly 7, 2010 

One door closes, another one opens.

The Rockford (320-1/2 Glenwood Ave.; 821-9020), whose closing in April after 15 years was lamented by many, has reopened under new management. New owner Jason Howard, who owns the nearby Brooklyn Heights bar, has added a small sheltered rooftop patio with a vegetable and herb garden. Asian tilapia roll and Pacific tuna melt are among the handful of newcomers to a menu that, for the most part, is a revival of the old Rockford favorites.

In Cary, Dalat Seafood (6404 Tryon Road; 859-9430) is afloat again in Wellington Park. Owner Thao Le says health problems forced her to close the restaurant three years ago to focus her energy on the original Dalat in Mission Valley Shopping Center. Like that restaurant, Dalat Seafood offers a Vietnamese menu - but as the name implies, with an extended seafood and vegetarian offering.

Rick's Diner (3710 Shannon Road; 419-0907; www.ricksdiner.com), a popular breakfast and lunch spot in Durham for more than a decade, has closed the doors on its original location and reopened at new digs in the suddenly foodie-centric Hope Valley Square (where its new neighbors will include Pop's Backdoor South and the soon-to-open OnlyBurger).

Meanwhile, the Chapel Hill location of Ba-Da Wings! ( www.badawings.com) has flown the coop and alighted in Carrboro (302-B E. Main St.). The Raleigh location continues to nest happily in Mission Valley Shopping Center.

Earp's Seafood, on the other hand, has not - repeat not - moved. Three weeks ago in this space, I reported that two members of the Earp family had opened a seafood market and takeout eatery called Saltwater Seafood & Fry Shack. Evidently, some readers took that to mean that the original Earp's location had closed. They'll be happy to know that the shop on South Saunders St. remains where is has been since 1963, and in the words of the owners, "we don't plan to go anywhere."

Finally, and of particular note to foodies: Herons, the five star restaurant in the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, closed Monday and will remain closed through Sept. 10 for a kitchen makeover. When complete, the new state-of-the-art kitchen will be glass-enclosed to shield diners from kitchen noise while affording a full view of executive chef Scott Crawford and his crew. In the meantime, hotel guests won't go hungry. They'll be able to indulge in a Herons-style buffet, three meals a day.

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