Restaurant News & Reviews

This week’s closings and shakeups at Triangle restaurants

Embered oysters were on the menu at Provenance, in downtown Raleigh. The restaurant closed Oct. 2, 2017.
Embered oysters were on the menu at Provenance, in downtown Raleigh. The restaurant closed Oct. 2, 2017. jleonard@newsobserver.com

After a year and a half in downtown Raleigh, ambitious and hyperlocal Provenance restaurant has closed.

The restaurant announced the closing on its Facebook page Monday afternoon, thanking its staff and patrons and calling Raleigh a city of “immense culinary taste and worldly experience.”

“It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to close our doors here at Provenance. Through the period of our adventure, you all have been with us thru the great and challenging times of opening this establishment here in the heart of downtown Raleigh,” the post said.

Provenance 2
Provenance, which opened in 2016, is closing in downtown Raleigh. Juli Leonard jleonard@newsobserver.com

Provenance opened in spring 2016, serving new Southern cuisine in a prime spot of Raleigh’s downtown on the bottom level of the SkyHouse apartment building on East Martin Street. News & Observer restaurant critic Greg Cox said it was a good restaurant that could be great, awarding three and a half stars and writing his review in the form of an open letter to Provenance’s talented chef Teddy Klopf. This summer, Klopf left and chef de cuisine James Miraglia took over the kitchen as executive chef.

The restaurant served a seasonal North Carolina menu, heirloom tomatoes in the summer, bone-in pork chops and the requisite deviled egg appetizer. But Provenance also offered three to seven course tasting menus tailored to the diner.

In its farewell address, Provenance advised the local restaurant community to keep its finger on the pulse of the city’s culinary needs.

“To all the surrounding culinary establishments keep you eyes to the ground, listen to what the community needs are, be affordable and approachable, be innovative and grounded and above all be North Carolina,” the post read.

Bona Fide Sandwich Co.

Hillsborough’s Bona Fide Sandwich Co. will close after a final week of lunch service. The small sandwich and salad counter from the team behind the Wooden Nickel Pub and LaPlace will close after about a year and a half on Churton Street.

Bona Fide announced the closing on Facebook and invited fans to stop in for a last sandwich or two.

The shop’s offerings were a lunchtime breath of fresh air in Hillsborough. To make up for the void, the Facebook post said the Wooden Nickel would be open for lunch seven days a week.

Bona Fide’s menu is made for sandwich lovers, with classics like an Italian on crusty bread but also creations like the Noble Pig, a pork triumvirate of smoked pork loin, bacon and ham, with a green apple slaw and bacon mayonaise. They also had a row of taps pouring housemade sodas and teas.

Devolve Moto

Devolve Moto on Raleigh’s Glenwood Avenue is shaking up the business. The owners announced on Facebook they would be closing the retail side of the Glenwood South business, while keeping the cafe and another evolution to be named later.

The shop, which sold apparel and accessories to the city’s motorcycle community, will close Oct. 31. A clearance sale of all remaining gear and clothing is already underway.

The post suggested a food and beverage component would remain amidst other changes to the space. Look for Devolve to resurface sometime in 2018.

Mel’s Commissary

In Carrboro, Mel’s will end its lunch service on Oct. 13 to move full time into catering, owners announced Monday.

Mel’s, which opened in March at 109 W. Main St., is owned by Melody and Al Bowers, who also own Al’s Burger Shack.

Al’s Burger Shack, on West Franklin Street, recently opened a second location in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village. On the restaurant’s website, Melody Bowers said the second Al’s led her and her husband to reevaluate the business and that meant closing the daily lunch service at Mel’s.

“When we decided to open Mel’s, it was because we needed more prep space for Al’s Burger Shack (Franklin Street location) and our growing catering business,” Melody Bowers wrote. “As the space came together, we thought we could also open and serve weekday lunches that would allow me to share my mother’s recipes. I hope I did her justice.”

After Oct. 13, fans will still be able to find Mel’s chicken salad, tomato pie and devil’d eggs through their catering.

“While we are sad we won’t see you daily at Mel’s, we are excited about this next chapter and have many more exciting things in store,” Bowers wrote on the website.

Drew Jackson; 919-829-4707; @jdrewjackson

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