Midtown Raleigh News

Business Briefs

High Cotton Ties comes home to Raleigh

Judy Hill made her first bow tie for her son Cameron when he was in medical school and needed washable ties to wear on his hospital rounds.

Three years later, her ties are in 160 stores from Maine to Texas, sold online at highcottonties.com and – for the first time ever – at their very own High Cotton store.

Hill, and her business partner and middle son, James, have opened High Cotton at 19 W. Hargett St. in downtown Raleigh.

Last week, the store had a “soft opening” with Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane cutting the ribbon and a party for Hill’s suppliers: the farmers from Whitakers, on the Nash-Edgecombe County line, and the textile makers from the Pilot Mountain/Mount Airy area who make the bow ties. Hill used to sew them all herself, but she couldn’t keep up with demand.

High Cotton’s bow ties, cummerbunds and polo shirts are all made in North Carolina.

“It’s 500 miles from dirt to shirt,” Hill said.

The Hills chose Raleigh for the store because it’s where Judy Hill grew up – she went to Broughton High School – and where her parents still live. Her father is a professor in N.C. State’s agriculture department.

“I love downtown Raleigh, and I just wanted to invest in Raleigh,” Hill said. From staff reports

Demarco’s opens in Shoppes at Bedford

DeMarco’s has opened in the Shoppes at Bedford, in the space recently vacated by Anthony’s Touch of Italy at 3607 Falls River Ave., Raleigh.

The new owners, a trio of young partners from Greensboro, have given the space a makeover with a more casual feel primarily aimed at families in the surrounding Bedford community.

“Anthony’s food was good,” says Clay Adams, one of the partners. “But it was the sort of place where people ate once a month. We want to make it into a neighborhood gathering place, where they can come in once a week or more.”

To that end, the owners removed the white tablecloths and added a 120-inch projection screen TV. They’re offering an affordable menu to match, with most entrees and pasta dishes in the $10-15 range.

Additional enticements will include everything from regularly scheduled food and entertainment specials – including Pizza Night, Eighties Night, and a Kids-Eat-Free Night featuring a cotton candy machine – to a dog-friendly patio.

DeMarco’s is currently serving dinner only, Tuesday through Sunday. Plans are in the works to expand hours to include weekend lunch and Monday dinners. “That big screen is crying out for Monday Night Football,” Adams said.

Staff writer Greg Cox

Cinelli opens regional Italian restaurant

Gianni Cinelli, one of the Cinelli brothers of local pizzeria fame, is back in action. And this time he’s aiming higher.

Cinelli, whose latest venture, Gianni’s in Wake Forest, has closed, has turned his attention to Vivo!, which he opened in late January in North Raleigh’s Peachtree Market shopping center.

An emphasis on scratch preparation is reflected in everything from meatballs to lasagna noodles to fresh mozzarella, made daily. Pastas not made in house are imported from Italy, as are San Marzano tomatoes and cheeses bought by the wheel.

The menu focuses on regional Italian fare, from linguine Amatriciana to gnocchi bianco in sage-butter-cream sauce to slow-roasted porchetta served with baby red potatoes.

“This time, I want to cook the foods I ate in Italy, before I came to America,” Cinelli said. As a nod to market realities, he’s also making a few Italian-American favorites: “chicken parm and such, the food a lot of people expect when they go to an Italian restaurant.”

Naturally, being a Cinelli, he can’t resist offering pizza, too.

Vivo!, at 7400 Six Forks Road, is open for lunch and dinner daily.

Staff writer Greg Cox

Local eateries, chefs among award semifinalists

Triangle restaurants and chefs had a strong showing among the semifinalists announced Tuesday for the annual James Beard awards, often described as the Oscars of the culinary world.

Out of Raleigh, Angus Barn is in the running for outstanding wine program.

Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner and other Raleigh restaurants is a semifinalist for best chef southeast. Also nominated from the Triangle were Scott Crawford of Herons at The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary; Scott Howell of Nana’s in Durham; and Aaron Vandemark of Panciuto in Hillsborough.

The list of semifinalists in each of the contest’s 20 categories will be narrowed to five finalists and announced March 18. The winner in each category will be revealed at a red carpet gala May 6 in New York City.

Staff writer Andrea Weigl

Bounce TV launches in the Triangle

Bounce TV, a broadcast network for African-Americans, has teamed with Univision to bring its programming to Triangle viewers.

Univision Communications, an American Spanish-language media company, launched Bounce on Univision’s WUVC channel 40.3.

Bounce programming is targeted to African-Americans between the ages of 25 and 54, offering a mix of movies, live sports, documentaries, faith-based programs, and original and syndicated series.

The 24-hour network launched in September 2011 and is available to 86 percent of African-American homes in the United States. Bounce’s founders include Martin Luther King III and former Atlanta mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young.

As part of its sports programming, Bounce airs games featuring local historically black colleges and universities. In the past year, the network has aired some football and basketball games of Shaw University and St. Augustine’s College.

Viewers will need to rescan their digital televisions to pick up the new channel.

Staff writer Brooke Cain

Utility merger changes name of arts center

Raleigh’s premier performing arts center has a new name: the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

With some details still to work out, the former Progress Energy Center launched its new website to make the name change public.

Progress Energy signed a 20-year, $7.5 million naming-rights deal in 2005 for the center at 2 E. South St. Jeff Brooks, spokesman for Duke Energy, confirmed that Duke has no plans to renegotiate the contract. The name change follows the merger of the two utilities last summer.

The new Web address is DukeEnergyCenterRaleigh.com.

Correspondent Andrew Branch

Yogurt shop opens on Creedmoor Road

Menchie’s, a yogurt shop, has opened at 5613 Creedmoor Road in Raleigh. Menchie’s will celebrate its grand opening from March 2 to 8, with giveaways including T-shirts and Menchie’s merchandise and free servings of frozen yogurt. Catherine Meynardie owns the store with her husband, Bob. From staff reports

Korean restaurant opens in Seaboard Station

The stores continue to open at Seaboard Station near downtown Raleigh. The latest is Kimbap, a restaurant owned by Kim Hunter. The menu features Korean-inspired comfort food, including dumplings, rolls and soups.

Hunter is the former owner of Sarah Cecilia’s Good Food Co. at the downtown Raleigh Farmer’s Market and also LoMo Market. The majority of her ingredients are sustainably grown in North Carolina. Kimbap will celebrate with a grand opening March 1at 111 Seaboard Ave., Suite 118. From staff reports

More restaurants planned for RDU

ACC fans will be able to grab an officially licensed Atlantic Coast Conference meal as soon as they get off the plane at Raleigh Durham International Airport next year.

The ACC American Cafe – the first restaurant licensed by the ACC – will have a bar and a menu with “locally sourced” food, including steaks and seafood. No word on whether entrees will have names like the UNC lamb chop or the Blue Devil martini.

The restaurant will join a host of others in Terminal 1 when it opens next year.

Also planned: Char-Grill, Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, La Tapenade Mediterranean Cafe and Starbucks. From staff reports