Mouthful

Matt Fern, longtime beverage director of AC Restaurants, to open Raleigh deli

Matt Fern, the longtime beverage director of Raleigh’s AC Restaurant group, is leaving to open a deli in Raleigh.
Matt Fern, the longtime beverage director of Raleigh’s AC Restaurant group, is leaving to open a deli in Raleigh. Johnny Autry

Matt Fern, the longtime beverage director of Raleigh’s AC Restaurant group, is leaving to open a deli in Raleigh.

Fern, 40, helped to open Poole’s Diner in 2008 and has worked for James Beard award-winning chef Ashley Christensen for more than eight years. He leaves her restaurant group, which now includes five restaurants and a bar, as the beverage director. Fern’s last day is July 8; he’ll be pouring drinks until then behind the bar at Poole’s Diner where it all started.

On Thursday, Fern said he plans to open a Raleigh restaurant that takes from the Jewish and Italian deli traditions. The deli also will be part neighborhood store with beer, wine (his specialty is wine) and prepared foods, like potato salad and smoked whitefish salad, he explained.

Basically, Fern said he loves what is happening in Durham with Toast and the newly opened Lucky’s Deli and wanted to see that in Raleigh. “Time to bring one home,” he said.

Fern said he’s found a possible location but isn’t able to disclose it yet. He’s hoping to open two years from now. Fern decided to leave his demanding job with AC Restaurants so he could focus on the deli project without being unfair to his boss.

Fern will still be around. He’s going to work as a consultant on a few private wine cellars and work part time at Person Street Bar in Raleigh.

Weigl: 919-829-4848;

Twitter: @andreaweigl

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