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As development comes to Seaboard Station, one of its oldest restaurants will close

Raleigh’s Seaboard Station set for $250M development, after William Peace sells property

Developer PN Hoffman purchased the property to develop into a mixed-use project.
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Developer PN Hoffman purchased the property to develop into a mixed-use project.

As redevelopment looms for the Shops at Seaboard Station, one of its oldest restaurants will depart.

Early next month, 18 Seaboard will close, chef and restaurateur Jason Smith told The News & Observer Thursday.

Smith opened the Raleigh restaurant 14 years ago in the Seaboard development on the north edge of downtown. He named it after the building’s address, 18 Seaboard, in case diners needed help finding it. In the early years they did, he said, but as the city’s restaurant scene grew, 18 Seaboard became a local staple.

“It’s time for a new chapter,” Smith said in a phone interview. “After 14 years, we decided to close. ... We’re not going anywhere, though. We’ll continue to serve the community. We’re just really thankful for all the support from all the guests and purveyors over the years.”

The Washington development group PN Hoffman bought the Seaboard Station property in December for $34 million and plan to invest $250 million in its redevelopment, according to a News & Observer story.

Smith said PN Hoffman offered him a buyout of the lease. Initially, Smith said 18 Seaboard would remain open, but said the timing was right to close. His restaurant group also owns two locations of Cantina 18 (in Cameron Village and Morrisville) and Durham’s Harvest 18.

“The Cantinas and Harvest are busy,” Smith said. “I’m proud of the work the staff has done at Seaboard over the year. The decision to do this, it just felt like the right thing.”

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Developer PN Hoffman plans to build a $250 million mixed-use project at Seaboard Station. Juli Leonard jleonard@newsobserver.com

The restaurant opened in 2006, with a concept built around updated Southern dishes focusing on North Carolina ingredients. Three years later, Smith added Cantina 18, with the Seaboard building number inspiring a theme in his restaurant group — Harvest 18 and a second Cantina.

Chefs who have passed through 18 Seaboard include John Knox, now of Benchwarmers Bagels, Serge Falcoz-Vigne of Saint Jacques and most recently Jake Wood, now at Plates on Glenwood Avenue.

“It’s been awesome to have so many talented folks move through here,” Smith said.

The last day for 18 Seaboard is July 2, Smith said, giving nearly a month for regulars to grab a final meal. Smith didn’t say he has any plans to reopen in a new location, but didn’t explicitly rule it out, either.

“We’re going to focus on these last 30 days and doing this right,” Smith said. “We’ll see what kind of opportunity that presents us.”

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Drew Jackson writes about restaurants and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the food scene in the Triangle and North Carolina.
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