Wine shop to open

Staff WriterMay 20, 2011 

In March, I wrote about the Raleigh Wine Shop, a store being planned by local wine aficionado Seth Hoffman.

Hoffman, who was a manager at the nearby Seaboard Wine Warehouse for seven years, wanted to have his own place that focused on wines that were not mass-produced.

The store opens Saturday at 126 Glenwood Ave., the building with the red door across the street from the purple Turkish Delights house.

Hoffman has brought in two partners: Jeff Bramwell, another former Seaboard manager, and Ryan Fulkerson, who is familiar with the wholesale side of the wine business and is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

The Raleigh Wine Shop also will offer beer and a select variety of "provisions," including cheese, olives, chocolates and other items that would make good pairings with the wines he sells.

The store will be closed Sundays.

Nearby, the former Blue Martini at 116 N. West St. is becoming Mantra, an Indian bistro.Chef partner Gamer Rawat may be familiar from his time with the Saffron restaurant. Mantra will open in July.

In Chapel Hill, the Ladies Fitness & Wellness center at 1728 Fordham Blvd. in Ram's Plaza is under new ownership. The business has been revamped and renamed Women's Only Workout.

In Durham, the former Pao Lim restaurant at 2505 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. is under new ownership and will become a sushi bar and restaurant called Happy China. The proprietors are Min Zhu and her family, who also own The Asia Cafe on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. They are targeting mid-June for their opening.

Other items: In Raleigh's Triangle Town Center, Tea vana is now open. ... In Raleigh's Five Points area, the salon Beauty Lounge has opened at 229 Bickett Blvd. ... And not too far away, it appears the Bellini Ristorante Italiano at Oberlin and Fairview roads in Raleigh has closed.

Finally, a couple of housekeeping notes since this is my final column.

I want to thank you for reading so loyally over the years.

Moving forward, the Retailing column will change with my leaving, but it is not being abandoned. An openings and closings column will run Fridays, but in the business pages instead of in this space. Please send store opening and closing announcements to Amy Rue at Other retail business related news can be sent to business editor Mary Cornatzer at My blog, Taking Stock, will live on as well.

Amy Dunn, whom some of you may remember from our Dollar Diet blog in February, will take up the frugal torch. She also will maintain the coupon database and compile the weekly Wednesday Deals post., 919-829-4649 or

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