Longtime Raleigh-area restauranteur Lou Moshakos, founder of the Carolina Ale House restaurant chain, is venturing into downtown Raleigh with two restaurants on East Martin Street.
Moshakos will take over the spot currently occupied by longtime downtown takeout restaurant The Square Rabbit.
The Square Rabbit still has two years left on its lease, so the business is not going away any time soon.
“We love downtown, and I’d love to pop up somewhere else downtown,” said Square Rabbit owner Rebecca Llewellyn, who has owned the takeout place and catering company for 24 years.
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Llewellyn said she and her husband, Doug, learned Tuesday that they would not be able to renew their lease.
Moshakos’ company, LM Restaurants, Inc., signed a long-term lease for the two adjacent buildings at 17 and 19 East Martin St., home to The Square Rabbit and a former TAZ’s convenience store.
According to a press release, Moshakos will open a European bakery offering specialty coffees, sweets, breads and sandwiches and a casual dining restaurant that will not be a Carolina Ale House.
Moshakos also will open Vidrio, a Mediterranean concept, in early 2016 at 500 Glenwood Ave. below the Carolina Ale House, according to the release. A new Carolina Ale House location, the seventh in the Triangle, will open in Chapel Hill next year.
Moshakos’ company owns 21 restaurants in the Southeast, including Bluewater, Carolina Ale House, Eddie Romanelli’s, Henry’s, Hops Supply Co., Oceanic and Taverna Agora. Taverna Agora moved from its North Raleigh location to Hillsborough Street earlier this year.