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.
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“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.