Mouthful

Owner talks about why Durham’s Four Square restaurant is closing

Elizabeth Woodhouse, one of the owners of Durham’s Four Square restaurant, said Wednesday that she and her chef husband, Shane Ingram, are ready to retire. Their restaurant will close June 26.
Elizabeth Woodhouse, one of the owners of Durham’s Four Square restaurant, said Wednesday that she and her chef husband, Shane Ingram, are ready to retire. Their restaurant will close June 26. TED RICHARDSON

Elizabeth Woodhouse, one of the owners of Durham’s Four Square restaurant, said Wednesday that she and her chef husband, Shane Ingram, are ready to retire.

That’s why they are closing Four Square restaurant, a fine-dining destination in Durham, at the end of service on June 25 after more than 16 years. Woodhouse, 54, and Ingram, 50, notified customers Tuesday, thanking them for their patronage over the years.

“We’ve been thinking about it for along time,” Woodhouse said Wednesday during a phone interview. “It seemed like the right time.”

Ingram and Woodhouse, both chefs with impressive resumes, came to the Triangle in 1997. Ingram had worked for Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans, the late Charlie Trotter in Chicago and for Patrick O’Connell at the Inn at Little Washington where he met Woodhouse, a pastry chef.

Ingram worked for two years as chef de cuisine at Fearrington House and Woodhouse worked at Second Empire in Raleigh before the couple opened Four Square in 1999.

The couple purchased and renovated the Bartlett Mangum House, a 1908 Greek Revival mansion off Chapel Hill Road. They created what became one of a handful of the Triangle’s best fine-dining destinations; in a 1999 News & Observer review, the restaurant earned a four out of four stars.

Critic Greg Cox wrote, “Of the hundreds of restaurants that have opened since I began writing about the dining scene 4 1/2 years ago, you could count on one hand the number of bona fide contenders for the elite circle that includes the likes of Magnolia Grill and Nana’s. Looks as if it’s time to add another one to the list. Four Square opened two months ago in Durham, but already it offers a dining experience that’s as rewarding in every aspect as you’d expect of the best established restaurants.”

What will happen to the Four Square space?

Woodhouse said: “We’re going to sell it if you know anybody who is looking.”

Durham County property records list the tax appraisal of the 4,500-square-foot building as $489,290.

If you want to dine at Four Square one last time, here’s the information: 2701 Chapel Hill Road, Durham, 919-401-9877, foursquarerestaurant.com

Greg Cox contributed to this report.

Weigl: 919-829-4848;

Twitter: @andreaweigl

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