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Get ready, Raleigh fans of Uncle Julio’s: Crabtree restaurant will open in 2 weeks

Uncle Julio’s Chocolate Piñata is dessert and entertainment in one

Watch as Yesenia Chinchilla makes Uncle Julio’s signature one-of-a-kind smashable dessert at their Durham location.
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Watch as Yesenia Chinchilla makes Uncle Julio’s signature one-of-a-kind smashable dessert at their Durham location.

Tableside guacamole and Mexican fare are coming to Crabtree Valley Mall later this month.

Upscale Mexican restaurant chain Uncle Julio’s is opening its Raleigh location July 30, the company announced Tuesday. Uncle Julio’s will replace McCormick & Schmick’s in the area just outside the mall. McCormick & Schmick’s closed earlier this year.

This is the second Uncle Julio’s to open in the Triangle and in all of North Carolina, following the chain’s debut last year in Durham’s Streets at Southpoint mall.

The Raleigh Uncle Julio’s will have a 8,600-square-foot dining room, plus a 1,000-square-foot patio, with fire pits and lounge seating.

The menu at Uncle Julio’s includes its signature guacamole, made tableside; along with bacon-wrapped grilled shrimp; fajitas made with pricey cuts of beef, lobster or tuna, and Tex-Mex standards like enchiladas and tacos.

Uncle Julio’s is likely best known for its chocolate pinata, which is a hard shell of chocolate filled with fried churros and fruits, smashed at the table. Drinks include a deep roster of margaritas, both on the rocks and frozen.

“Interactive experiences make for unforgettable memories, and that’s our specialty,” Tom Vogel, CEO of Uncle Julio’s, said in a release. “We start with made-from-scratch freshness and pair that with a focus on guest experience to create something special and unforgettable.”

Incidentally, this week’s dining review in the News & Observer features critic Greg Cox’s take on suburban Mexican chains Uncle Julio’s and Chuy’s.

The Raleigh Uncle Julio’s is at 4325 Glenwood Ave., on level G of the Crabtree Valley Mall.

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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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