Mouthful

Whiskey Kitchen coming to downtown Raleigh

First-time restaurateurs Jeff Mickel and Michael Thor are opening what Whiskey Kitchen in the former White Horse Limousine space at the corner of McDowell and Martin streets.
First-time restaurateurs Jeff Mickel and Michael Thor are opening what Whiskey Kitchen in the former White Horse Limousine space at the corner of McDowell and Martin streets. Andrea Weigl

First-time restaurateurs Jeff Mickel and Michael Thor are hoping to open Whiskey Kitchen, a concept that they’re billing as “a chef’s barroom,” by mid-September.

The restaurant will be located in the former White Horse Limo warehouse at 201 W. Martin St. (This building is at the corner of McDowell and Martin streets.)

“But October 1 is a safer guess,” says Mickel, citing the extensive renovations underway on the ca. 1938 building, which was originally a Firestone Tire dealership. The makeover will include conversion of the existing garage door to open air access to a large patio (currently a parking lot) looking onto Nash Square.

The concept — a full service restaurant and bar with an extensive selection of bourbons, Scotches, and other spirits including the Japanese whiskeys that have been taking the world by storm of late — is an ambitious one. But with 35 years of experience between them, the partners would appear to have the chops to pull it off. Mickel was general manager at Flying Saucer Draught Emporium from 2003 until March of this year, when he left to devote his energy full time to Whiskey Kitchen.

Chef Thor has worked in a number of area kitchens, most recently as director of operations for Posh Nosh Catering, He’s currently in the early stages of developing a menu for the new restaurant that he describes as “ Southern-inspired fusion.”

Track the restaurant’s progress at whiskey.kitchen and on Facebook.

Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, also covers restaurant news. Tune in to hear his radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF. Reach him at ggcox@bellsouth.net.

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