DURHAM — Todd Whitney and Greg Demarchie are stepping out of the fancy French restaurant scene to build a casual space with a neighborhood feel for patrons looking for a good salad, a solid sandwich and a tasty adult beverage.
Whitney, a former chef de cuisine at Vin Rouge, and Demarchie, the former bar manager there, plan to open Oval Park Grille, named after a historic park near the 3,000-square-foot space once occupied by the Broad Street Café in Durham.
In addition to the casual menu, the pair will also offer a variety of appetizer and entrée specials that will vary based on produce availability.
“We kind of change with the moment and season, whatever is fresh and available,” Whitney said. “It’s a time and a chance for me to kind of take the gloves off and not be so cuisine-oriented and tied to one specific place.”
The duo also plans to open Tonic next to the grill in the 3,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by High Strung Violins & Guitars.
“Tonic is going to be an adult lounge,” Whitney said. “We are not really looking to cater to college kids.”
Whitney said they hope to open the bar and restaurant, which will offer meals for about $20 and less, in December, but it could be as late as early 2014.
Oval Park Grille will be at 1116 Broad St., near Broad Street and Club Boulevard.
Whisk, a kitchen store that aims to focus on being “intimate and local,” has opened at Cary’s Waverly Place.
The spot offers cooking classes, services, and more than 8,000 products that range from cookware to cutlery to small electrics.
In an effort to keep with the local theme, Whisk, which carries brands such as All-Clad, Le Creuset, Wusthof and Nespresso, sells products from other North Carolina businesses, including Durham’s Hog Heaven Barbecue and Carolina Candy Co. in Wilmington.
The 4,100-square-foot store is teaming up with 21 Triangle chefs for its cooking classes, which include an Italian-theme session taught by Sheri Castle, and a class with a southern focus by Debbie Moose, a cookbook author who writes a food column for The News & Observer. Customers can expect also to find other topics, such as holiday cookie baking.
Classes, which will change often, range from $25 to about $75, depending on the type of class and the amount of ingredients needed.
“We want to keep it fresh,” said Dan Saklad, who co-owns Whisk with his wife Diana. “We want people to always come back to something that’s new and fresh.”
Whisk is at 316 Colonades Way, Suite 214.
The Wine Feed, a Raleigh wine store that focuses on wine selection and education, is moving a few blocks north in early November in an effort to expand its in-store services and wine offerings.
The move allows the store, which initially emphasized online sales and deliveries along with a space for events, to expand its retail space, incorporate a wine bar and stay open later. Co-owners Philip Rubin and Phillip Zucchino founded The Wine Feed as an online wine retailer and event space in 2011 in its current location at 18 Glenwood South.
The new space will increase the store’s visibility and accessibility, and offer limited food items, Zucchino said.
The store will continue to host wine classes and other special educational programs in the space, and will incorporate new formats to create more interactive wine experiences.
The Wine Feed’s new location will be at 602 Glenwood Ave., in the recently opened Hampton Inn & Suites building.
Jimmy V’s Osteria + Bar will celebrate its grand opening with a reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The downtown Raleigh restaurant, at 420 Fayetteville St., in the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, is named for Jim Valvano, the late N.C. State University basketball coach. The restaurant will donate 2.5 percent of its revenue to fund cutting-edge research through The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
Burkes Outlet is opening its fourth North Carolina store Sept. 27 in Apex’s Beaver Creek Commons. The retailer, which sells off-price brand-name clothes, shoes, luggage, home decor and accessories, is owned by Florida-based Beall’s department store. The shop will hold a grand opening Oct. 3.
Little Guys Movers will hold a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 4. The company provides moving and packing services for local and long-distance, residential and corporate moves.
Little Guys opened in March, and is at 1313 Capital Blvd., Suite B, Raleigh.
Jessaca Giglio contributed.
Bridges: 919-829-8917, email@example.comTwitter: @shoptalk_nando.