Irish pub to replace Porter’s City Tavern on Raleigh’s Hillsborough St.

jmgiglio@newsobserver.comAugust 22, 2013 

Irish pub McDaid’s is taking the place of Porter’s City Tavern, which closed its doors on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street Sunday.

McDaid’s owner Robert Beebe hopes to open the new spot in the next three to four weeks, and aims to keep much of the Porter’s menu but add Irish dishes.

Beebe is co-owner of other area restaurants, including Trali Irish Pub in North Raleigh and Morrisville.

The closing of Porter’s, an upscale restaurant set in a strip of fast food pizza joints and hipster coffee shops near the N.C. State University campus, will allow its owners to focus on opening more eateries under the Vivace name.

“(Porter’s) had been there 10 years, and the lease was up. It was decision-making time,” said Kevin Jennings, co-owner of Urban Food Group, which owns and manages Porter’s, Vivace, Chow and Coquette. “… Our primary focus is duplicating Vivace and opening another restaurant in the Triangle.”

Jennings has several potential projects in the works, including ideas for restaurants in Cary, Raleigh, Southern Pines, Tampa, Fla., Atlanta and Denver. Each project’s fate, however, depends on how the others come together.

“Because of our limited funds, if something happens, it will knock out another project,” Jennings said. “We will see what comes together and scrap others.”

Porter’s opened in 2003, and aimed to serve professors and professionals who wanted a high-end meal in a university center surrounded by low-end eateries. The menu included foods such as coriander spiced tuna, roasted chicken and filet mignon.

“The Irish pub that’s coming in will backfill Porter’s,” Jennings said.

McDaid’s is at 2412 Hillsborough St.

Raleigh’s Berkeley Cafe is shutting down this fall, but not for good. The venerable downtown restaurant will close Oct. 1 for a three-month period of renovations.

“We’re doing a massive upgrade,” owner John Blomquist said Thursday. “New ceilings, floors, tables, chairs, equipment, bathrooms, patio out back and a bigger kitchen. It will probably be a good $100,000 to do all this.”

Reopening is tentatively set for Jan. 6. Meantime, the Berkeley will still be a venue during September’s Hopscotch music festival. Blomquist is also donating 15 percent of September sales to a melanoma research fund, the Amanda Wall-Corey Haddon Memorial Walk.

Jibarra, known for its empanadas, guacamole and tacos, will close its doors Sunday night and reopen Sept. 2 as Jose and Sons, a Mexican restaurant with a Southern twist.

“It will be Southern-inspired Mexican food that’s oriented around our upbringing,” co-owner Charlie Ibarra said about his family’s restaurant.

Ibarra also hopes the new concept will be a good fit in the expanding downtown Raleigh community. Jibarra first opened in North Raleigh seven years ago and moved to the Raleigh Depot in 2008.

“Jose and Sons will be a more appropriate concept (now that downtown) is much more neighborhood and community oriented,” Ibarra said.

Jose and Sons will offer dishes such as shrimp and grits made from masa, homemade cheeses, poblano pepper cornbread, chicharron and waffles and chile rellenos filled with local market-sourced ingredients. The restaurant will keep some of Jibarra’s menu items, including its seasonal guacamole.

Ibarra hopes to use fresh ingredients in drinks that include citrus cocktails and an “Ole’ Fashioned.”

Jose and Sons will partner with other area businesses to create items for its menu. Videri Chocolate Factory is providing homemade mocha bitters and neighboring craft beer store Tasty Beverage is adding a few of its favorite beers to Jose’s menu each month.

Jose and Sons is at 327 W. Davie St., Suite 102.

Crabtree Valley Mall news: Lady Foot Locker, a shoe and clothing store for women, has opened in the former CCS spot. CCS, a skateboard clothing and accessories shop that’s part of the Foot Locker brand, has closed. The store is upstairs, across from New York & Company … Athleta, a women’s athletic clothing store, has opened upstairs near Apple. Aldo, a shoe store located on the lower level near Coach, is closed for remodeling. It’s scheduled to reopen Sept. 19… Build-A-Bear Workshop, a make-your-own stuffed animal store, has also shut down to remodel. The place, located next to the Disney Store on the lower level, is expected to reopen in October.

Hamrick’s, a clothing, shoe and home accessories store, is moving its Raleigh location. A grand opening for the new spot at 4221 New Bern Ave., in the Wilder’s Grove Shopping Center, will be held Sept. 12 … Thrift ’n Gift, a nonprofit thrift store that sells clothes, furniture, books and other household items and takes donations, has moved into a new space at 900 E. Chatham St. in Cary… Pop Up Ice Cream Parlour, a downtown Raleigh temporary ice cream shop with two locations, will be staying at 131 S. Wilmington St. longer than expected. According to the business’s Facebook page, the company’s lease, which was originally supposed to end this month, has been extended through October 31.

Mad Hatter, a boutique and gift shop that sells soaps, lotions, teas, teapots, hats and custom wine glasses, has opened at 107 S. Main St. in Fuquay-Varina … LongHorn Steakhouse has opened at 194 Brucewood Road in Southern Pines … Harris Teeter will open at Creedmoor Village Shopping Center in Wake Forest at 8 a.m. August 28.

Staff writers Greg Cox and David Menconi contributed.

Giglio: 919-829-4649, or @shoptalk_nando.

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