Daniel Whitaker, owner of Green Planet Catering, has taken over as managing partner at The Person Street Pharmacy Cafe. Patrick Cowden, a veteran chef whose resume dates back to the erstwhile North Raleigh landmark Jean-Claude’s in the ‘90s, will join the team as executive chef for the restaurant and the catering company in December, after fulfilling his current obligations at Tobacco Road.
During the transition period, the menu will remain largely unchanged. Details are still being worked out for the new menu, but an expanded breakfast offering is likely to include more egg dishes, “funky seasonal biscuits,” and a homemade jam and jelly bar.
As for lunch, Whitaker says they’re aiming to create “the first-rate sandwich shop that Raleigh is missing.” To that end, they’re working with local bakers for the breads. “And I’ve got some meat-curing friends in Brooklyn, so we’re hoping to give a taste of New York deli.” The owners are toying with the idea of a pickle bar, but at any rate you can expect a varied selection of house-made pickles.
The dining area is getting a makeover, too, including the addition of an 18-foot communal table. An espresso machine is being installed, and an amped-up offering at the vintage soda fountain (the pharmacy was established in 1910) dispenses beer and wine on tap, as well as cold-brew coffee and kombucha tea. A limited Saturday brunch cocktail menu will focus on old school tipples such as the Moscow Mule and Gin Rickey. New signage and sidewalk patio tables will advertise the fact that Person Street Pharmacy is more than just a drugstore.
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The guiding philosophy for the restaurant is the same as it is at Green Planet Catering: locally grown and sustainably produced food.
“Patrick gave the menu at Tobacco Road a much stronger local focus,” says Whitaker, “and that’s perfectly in line with what I’m doing with the catering business. We even grow a lot of our own vegetables and herbs.” The partners envision some of that home-grown produce as just what the doctor ordered for their restaurant.
Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, also covers restaurant news. Reach him at email@example.com.