Retail: Gluten-free restaurant Primal Foods to open in Durham in early summer

jmgiglio@newsobserver.comJanuary 16, 2014 

Primal Food & Spirits, a gluten-free restaurant and bar, is opening in Durham in early summer.

Owner and chef Tim Lyons, who also owns Blu Seafood and Bar, said he decided to open the place after noticing an increase in gluten-free food requests at Blu.

“I think there’s a big call for it, and no one else is doing it,” Lyons said of the gluten-free concept. “A lot of places offer gluten-free items, but there’s a lot of cross-contamination, and it’s tough to keep everything (separate). ... Our kitchen will be gluten-free.”

The place will have a farm-to-fork focus, and Lyons will get its ingredients from North Carolina farmers that include Heritage Farms in Seven Springs, Harris-Robinette Beef in Pine Tops and Hillsborough’s Tiny Farm.

Menu items will rotate seasonally.

“I’m really going to be focused on as many local farms as we can deal with,” Lyons said. “We won’t buy processed foods, and our soy won’t have wheat in it.”

The wood-fire grill restaurant will offer small plates such as deviled eggs, pork belly and baked mushrooms in parchment paper.

The à la carte dinner menu will consist of dishes such as steak, pork, mixed grill with duck, venison and boar, lettuce-wrapped burgers, seafood and salads.

The eatery will also offer some of Blu’s dishes, including shrimp and grits. Sides will include caramelized cauliflower, dinosaur kale chips and sweet potatoes with jalapeno compound butter.

The bar will carry signature drinks with seasonal ingredients that Lyons calls “Primal’s take on classic cocktails.”

The bar will also serve the only thing at Primal that won’t be gluten-free: Beer. Lyons plans to work with local breweries such as Fullsteam and Lonerider, but will also offer a large selection of gluten-free brews.

Dinner prices will range from about $16 to $20, and appetizers will be about $6 to $12.

The 4,000-square-foot place will seat about 100 and have a seasonal outdoor patio with room for an additional 16 to 20. The restaurant will be only open for dinner at first, but will eventually serve lunch and Saturday brunch.

“I want to get dinner service running smoothly,” Lyons said.

Primal will be at 202 N.C. 54 West.

Kamiya Furniture Gallery, a furniture and accessories store that offers one-of-a-kind items from Bali and Indonesia, has opened in Durham.

The store sells pieces such as coffee tables, dining tables, chairs, bar stools and buffets, along with sculptures, paintings, jewelry and batik scarves.

Jeremy Kamiya, who co-owns the store with his wife Irene, said all the the store’s furniture is made from teak, some of which is reclaimed, and is not mass produced. The Kamiyas work with businesses and artists in Bali to get items for their store.

Dining room tables are about $2,000; bar stools and dining chairs are about $350 each.

Oil paintings range from 2 feet by 2 feet to 3 feet by 4 feet and run from about $100 to $400. All pieces are originals, and most are signed and dated by the artist.

Kamiya’s sculptures are made from hand-blown glass that’s melted and cooled over teak tree roots to create pieces that can be used as vases, decorations or fish bowls.

“The villagers (in Bali) will go and scavenge for the teak root, which is the part of the tree when harvested that is left behind,” Kamiya said. “It’s knotty, curly and beautiful. Those things are easy to salvage and reclaim and turn into art.”

Customers can order pieces from the 1,200-square-foot showroom; however, each item is unique and will be similar but not an exact replica of what’s in the store. Orders take about three months.

Kamiya’s jewelry ranges from about $50 for earrings to about $299 for chokers.

Kamiya is at 2611 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.

Bombshell Beer Co., North Carolina’s first all-female-owned brewery, has opened in Holly Springs. The business is having a grand opening Jan. 25 with live music, food trucks, giveaways and, of course, beer. Bombshell is at 120 Quantum Drive.

There are some changes coming to Cameron Village in Raleigh. Women’s clothing and accessories store Lori+Lulu will be opening at the end of February in the former Benetton spot at 412 Daniels St. ... Anna & Alice, a women’s boutique in Lafayette Village, is moving into the Cape Fear Formal Wear space, next to Ivy and Leo, in March. ... Bailey’s Fine Jewelry is expanding into the former Globetrotter space. ... Sushi Gami restaurant, which closed last summer because of a fire, is expected to reopen in the next 60 days.

Denny’s is giving free Original Grand Slam breakfasts to the first 100 diners Friday at its grand opening. The festivities start at 9 a.m. and will include hundreds of other prizes such as free lunch and dinner. Denny’s is at 4380 Fayetteville Road in Raleigh. ... Elements Massage is having a grand opening Jan. 23 from noon to 2 p.m. at 3675 SW Cary Parkway in Cary’s Fresh Market Center. ... Tropical Smoothie Café, a smoothie, sandwich and salad franchise, plans to open 10 restaurants in the Triangle in the next five years. The first will be at 817 Bass Pro Lane, near the under-construction Bass Pro Shop in Cary.

Giglio: 919-829-4649 or; Twitter: @shoptalk_nando

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