The pandemic has shrunk downtown’s once-vibrant restaurant scene in the past few weeks as a number of mainstays—Ashley Christensen’s Chuck’s, Linus & Peppers, Virgil’s Tacos, and Oakwood Cafe among them—announced that they would close their doors for good.
Trophy Tap + Table joined the list on Monday.
The Wilmington Street restaurant, known for its signature neon yellow Trophy sign and eclectic Southern menu, has been open since 2017.
Don’t worry, though—the bar and restaurant will be reopening as a yet-to-be-disclosed new concept. Ownership will stay the same.
“It’s sad but also exciting,” co-owner Chris Powers told the INDY. “There’s been so many memories in that place in its current configuration. It was Busy Bee for many years, and then Trophy Tap + Table. And now we’re looking further down the road.”
The Trophy team first purchased the building—which is more than a hundred years old—in 2007 and opened Busy Bee Cafe in 2009. In 2017, they closed Busy Bee and reimagined the space as Trophy Tap + Table, a concept that allowed them to focus more on beer.
This go-around, Powers says, the restaurant is figuring out how to best honor the historic space, while also taking a long look at what the next chapter of dining out in Raleigh might be.
“We’re recalibrating right now. We’re heavily in the design phase, and we’re seeing what we can do with the space, physically, with historic guidelines for the building downtown,” Powers says. “[We’re] also considering what service is going to look like once we are allowed to reopen. Because, you know, instead of thinking about large communal tables, we’re thinking about small two-tops that are spaced six to 10 feet apart.”
Contact deputy arts and culture editor Sarah Edwards at email@example.com.
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