What are the odds? Two Boston-based chains open their first North Carolina locations just days apart, in the same shopping center in North Raleigh. The two are not affiliated and, as it happens, timing and location are about the only things they have in common.
Kings Bowl America (141-120 Park at North Hills St.; 919-600-5700; kingsbowlamerica.com/raleigh) opened on Monday in the old Sparians space. Like its predecessor, Kings is a combination restaurant and bowling alley. A makeover has left the lanes intact (and expanded the playtime options to include a wide variety of alternatives, from darts to shuffleboard), while transforming the atmosphere into a nostalgic tribute to the 50s and 60s. In keeping with the theme, the menu leans to comfort food classics — (bacon cheddar tots, burgers, pizzas), though the extensive offering includes plenty of salads and other options for the health-conscious. A selection of craft beers on tap does its part in bringing the classic bowler’s fuel up to date, as well.
Just up the street, b. good (201-100 Park at North Hills St.; 919-916-5410; bgood.com) opened on Thursday at 11 a.m. Flying in the face of fast-food tradition, the chain is guided by a philosophy that emphasizes scratch preparation and, when possible, local and organic produce. On the menu, that translates to seasonal salads, burgers made with local, naturally raised beef that’s ground in house, and an entire category devoted to organic quinoa and kale salads. Liquid assets include a rotating selection of local draft beers, a small but varied wine list, milkshakes made with Maple View Farm ice cream, and smoothies such as the Three Greens (spinach, mint, lime, pineapple, almond milk, honey and hemp seed). The counter service eatery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.