Restaurant News & Reviews

The wait is over as Brewery Bhavana brings beer, dumplings to downtown Raleigh

Brewery Bhavana – a restaurant in downtown Raleigh with craft beer, dim sum, flower shop and book store – is opening March 29, 2017. Patrick Woodson, one of three owners, is the brewmaster who is making Belgian-inspired beers.
Brewery Bhavana – a restaurant in downtown Raleigh with craft beer, dim sum, flower shop and book store – is opening March 29, 2017. Patrick Woodson, one of three owners, is the brewmaster who is making Belgian-inspired beers. JULIA WADE

What started as a collaboration among new friends and has evolved into Brewery Bhavana – a unique restaurant in downtown Raleigh with craft beer, dim sum, flower shop and bookstore – is opening tonight.

Vansana Nolintha, one of the three owners, said Brewery Bhavana will open at 5 p.m. with limited seating in the dining room to allow the kitchen time to ease into its menu of dim sum.

But, he said, the taproom is ready to go and will serve almost all of the beers created by owner and brewmaster Patrick Woodson. There also will be beers from Triangle breweries Trophy Brewing, Fullsteam Brewery and Ponysaurus Brewing.

“I’m feeling great,” said Nolintha Wednesday morning. He and his sister, Vanvisa Nolintha, own Bida Manda, a Laotian restaurant, next door. She is the third owner of Brewery Bhavana.

“We’re excited, we’re nervous, all the feelings,” he said. “It’s an important, meaningful project for us.”

The hours for the Blount Street restaurant are 5 to 10 p.m. today, Thursday and Sunday and 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. The restaurant will be closed Monday.

The bookshop and floral shop inside will operate according to those hours as well and eventually will be open during the day to coincide with the brewery and restaurant’s expanded hours. Limited reservations can be made on Open Table. Walk-ins are welcome.

Earlier this week, three Buddhist monks came to the restaurant to bless the space with staff, family and friends present. Two of them came from Greensboro, where the Nolintha siblings lived before moving to Raleigh.

“It’s a way of marking a beginning of something, to breathe out some positivity into the space as we get started,” he said.

They did the same thing with Bida Manda. Then, and now, the day began with rain, but then the sun peeked through the clouds.

Van Nolintha called it a “blessing from the sky.”

“It really endorses the space,” he said.

The spot occupies the former Tir Na Nog space, the Irish pub on the border of Moore Square that closed in late 2015 after 11 years.

Dim sum will be the star of the restaurant with 20 kinds of dumplings. There also will be regional Chinese dishes and soups along with classic Peking duck.

On the far left side of the restaurant is the taproom. Twenty taps will pour Belgian-inspired beers crafted by Woodson along with a few “guest” taps pouring local beers from Bhavana supporters.

The flower shop will sell custom pieces and bouquets, single stems and smaller bouquets for gift giving.

The bookstore in front has a collection of 400 to 500 books about art, food, travel, literature and nonfiction.

On the back wall is an expanding library of books from people in the community. Vansana Nolintha estimates there are 2,000 to 3,000 books. People who visit the space are encouraged to bring a book that’s meaningful to them and include a note in the book to explain why.

The owners see the space as a collaboration between its “makers,” or the creative forces that are behind the restaurant coming to fruition, and as a connection with the community who has supported them for years.

“We have a phenomenal team,” Vansana Nolintha said. “We have a lot of challenges to come. Our community is so eager and generous.”

And he added about Brewery Bhavana, “It’s true to the heart.”

Info: Brewery Bhavana is at 218 S. Blount St., Raleigh. brewerybhavana.com

Jessica Banov: 919-829-4831; @JessicaBanov

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

  Comments