Restaurant News & Reviews

Soca opening in former Faire space in Raleigh’s Cameron Village

The churrasco that may be served at the new Soca restaurant opening January in Cameron Village. It includes grilled ribeye filet, charred baby sweet potatoes, roasted chayote, aji dulce and espazote aioli.
The churrasco that may be served at the new Soca restaurant opening January in Cameron Village. It includes grilled ribeye filet, charred baby sweet potatoes, roasted chayote, aji dulce and espazote aioli. Courtesy of Soca

The owners of bu.ku are opening Soca, a new Caribbean and Central and South American restaurant, in the former Faire space in Raleigh’s Cameron Village shopping center.

Sean Degnan and Tony Hopkins, partners in bu.ku restaurant, say they hope to open the 5,500-square-foot restaurant on Jan. 17. The pair say they have been looking for a space for a new project when Faire, a seafood and steak restaurant, closed in June.

Degnan said Soca’s menu will be modeled after the menu at bu.ku with its small plates and big bowls section that offer global street food tastes. While bu.ku’s big bowls are often Asian noodle dishes, Degnan said Soca will serving curries and seafood stews.

Chef Hopkins said he’s aiming to show there is more to this region’s food than tacos and enchiladas loaded with jalapenos, cheese and sour cream. Hopkins said he and bu.ku chefs Amanda Haisley and Drew Smith are working on a menu that will highlight dishes like curries, ceviches and other dishes from Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Peru and others. Prices will range from $5-$15 for small plates and $20-$30 for entrees.

“I believe the next food trend is going to be upscale Latin food,” Hopkins said Tuesday.

The bar program also will inspired by the region’s cocktails but not those that come out of a blender. “Your pina colada won’t be like the one at the resort,” said Degnan, who explained they will use shaved ice. “It will be like the one on the street.”

Degnan and Hopkins worked for a decade together for Rocky Top Hospitality, which owned the now-closed Michael Dean’s and now operates Dean’s Seafood in Cary and Twisted Fork in North Raleigh.

Soca will start serving dinner only and expand to include weekend brunch. Degnan said they may eventually add lunch. It will be at 2130 Clark Ave., Raleigh, 919-795-8123, @socaraleigh, facebook.com/socaraleigh/

Weigl: 919-829-4848;

Twitter: @andreaweigl

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