Hibernian owner plans three new Raleigh restaurants

FROM STAFF REPORTSSeptember 27, 2012 

No one can accuse Niall Hanley of being pessimistic about the Raleigh restaurant scene.

Hanley, who owns Solas and the Hibernian Irish pubs in Glenwood South and in Cary, is planning to open three more establishments in Raleigh over the next six months. They include a Mexican cantina in Glenwood South, a brew pub in Mordecai and a third Hibernian restaurant in North Raleigh.

Hanley said he’s been working on the three concepts for a while and they just happened to come together around the same time.

“This market is a great market, and you’ve got to put it out there to make it, as they say,” he said.

The first to open will be a Mexican cantina called Dos Taquitos Xoco in Glenwood South. The restaurant will be in the 410 Glenwood Ave. space formally occupied by The Diner, which Hanley also owned. Hanley has partnered with Carlos Salamanca, owner of Dos Taquitos on Creedmoor Road, on the restaurant, which is expected to open by the end of October.

“It’s going to be very much like his North Raleigh store,” Hanley said. “The same sort of vibrancy and excitement to it. Lots of good tequilas, margaritas and great Mexican food.”

The next to open will be a Hibernian pub at 8021 Falls of Neuse Road. The space had been occupied by Duffy’s Tavern for the past 18 years. Hanley said the pub should open by the end of the year.

The third establishment won’t open until the spring. It will be at 701 N. Person St. in the space previously occupied by Rosie’s Plate. Although Hanley is still working out the details, he described it as a “neighborhood-style brasserie/pub” with great beer and wine lists.

Hanley has long been a champion of Glenwood South, and he said these latest projects allow him to get into new areas of the city that he believes have great potential.

“For me, it’s kind of about opening up the egg basket,” he said.

Hanley said he also remains very high on Glenwood South, which has lost some customers as the restaurant and bar scene around downtown’s Fayetteville Street has blossomed. He cited the hundreds of new apartments now under construction in Glenwood South, the opening of a new hotel in November and the six new restaurants and bars being developed.

“All of a sudden we’re slowly starting to build back up again, which we’re very happy about,” he said.

Save-A-Lot, a discount grocery chain, opened its new store at 812 Liberty St. in Durham on Thursday. The chain, which is owned by Supervalu, sells between 1,200 and 1,500 items, including fresh fruits and vegetables. The company owns or licenses more than 30 stores in North Carolina and operates a distribution center in Lexington.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Raleigh opened this week at 6552 Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh. This is the second Dickey’s franchise in Raleigh and the 11th in North Carolina. Another Dickey’s is expected to open in Morrisville later this year.

Staff writer David Bracken

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