Neomonde Deli has been looking for its first Durham location for several years, and they knew they wanted it to be special.
Friday, owners of the Lebanese restaurant announced it will open in the new Unscripted boutique hotel in downtown Durham.
“This opportunity came to us,” said Chris Saleh, Neomonde’s vice president of retail and marketing. “We learned about the project in this historic building and what they were doing.
“Because we’re an older company, we wanted to be in an historic building,” Saleh with a laugh. Saleh is the son of Neomonde owners Sam and Betty Saleh.
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The modernist hotel – which once was the Jack Tar Motor Lodge – is expected to open later this summer and was featured earlier this week in The New York Times in a story titled, “Why Boutique Hotels Are So Big in Not-So-Big Cities.” The hotel at 202 N. Corcoran St. is surrounded by other specialty hotels: the 21c Museum Hotel and The Durham.
Neomonde will occupy 3,000 square feet on the first floor of the building. Other first-floor tenants include Pour Taproom, which is expected to open soon, and the Jack Tar Diner, from the creators of Pizzeria Toro and Littler.
Saleh said the restaurant is comparable in size to its Morrisville location. The original site is on Beryl Road in Raleigh.
He said the new location will have newer technology and the capability for tablet ordering. They also will push ordering in advance, especially for hotel guests.
“You order and you can pick up,” he said. “You can bypass the line, just take care of it and get out quickly.”
Saleh expects Neomonde will open later this fall, with early November as a target.
The restaurant is celebrating its 40th year this year. This spring, it rolled out a new menu presentation, tweaks to how the popular sides are ordered and an emphasis on all-natural ingredients and healthier recipes.
In addition to the restaurants, Neomonde also has a bakery that produces pita bread, desserts and other products. Altogether, they employ about 200 people with family members leading the operations.
Jessica Banov: 919-829-4831; @JessicaBanov