On Wednesday, Magowan said he and his general manager, Andy Perno, hope to open the restaurant by late August or early September.
The 90-seat restaurant will take over the former location of Local Yogurt at 2501 University Dr. as well as the space that used to be occupied by a catering company behind the yogurt shop. The restaurant’s neighbors include several Durham food destinations, The Original Q Shack, Wine Authorities, Nana’s and Nanotaco.
Magowan described the menu as a fresher take on Italian-American classics. “This will be high-quality ingredients, sensible portions and as much local ingredients as we can do,” he said. Magowan envisions people being able to order two or three small dishes, priced accordingly, and enjoying the restaurant’s communal seating.
Magowan is a wellknown fixture in the Triangle restaurant scene. He worked as a chef at The Federal and then opened Piedmont restaurant, which he sold to Eno Hospitality Group in 2010. After that, Magowan opened Geer Street Garden, a popular beer garden-style restaurant next door to Motorco Music Hall.
Perno and Magowan have worked together before; Perno was a sous chef at Piedmont and helped Magowan open Geer Street Garden.
Local music fans may know Magowan’s work as a musician. He is currently the bandleader of D-Town Brass, a 15-piece self-described “friendly psychedelic jungle-jazz dance band.”