The first phase of the project, Straw Valley Café and Juicebar, is targeted for a mid-November opening. Dexheimer promises “killer coffee,” as well as pressed juices, snacks and fresh juice cocktails.
That’s just a teaser for the second phase, slated to open in December in two adjacent Scandinavian modern buildings in the complex, which Dexheimer aptly describes as “a labyrinth.” In one of these, a casual restaurant and lounge tentatively named Sanderson House will offer small plates, cocktails and a rock and roll vibe.
Sanderson House will also serve as a receiving area for patrons of Black House, the 50-seat fine dining restaurant taking shape in an adjacent building. There, Rose will offer a menu that he’s billing as “farm to table with an international flair.” The selection will evolve with the seasons - and with the chef’s whim.
“The people at Il Palio have been very good to me,” Rose says, “but after several years of cooking Italian I’m looking forward to being free to do whatever I want.”
Dexheimer, a New York transplant whose star-studded resume includes Gramercy Tavern and wine director for the BLT Restaurant Group, is developing a destination-worthy wine cellar and specialty cocktail list.
He’s also working on an extensive selection of brews for the third phase of the project: a beer garden, projected to open in the spring in the courtyard. To go with the beer, Rose plans on offering burgers, sausage sandwiches, oysters, mussels - “anything that goes with beer,” according to Dexheimer. At least once a month, “anything” will also include live entertainment on an outdoor stage.
The restaurant complex is located at 5490 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.