Restaurant Week is Back

The Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership’s Restaurant Week is almost here! The new restaurant weekannual event is running this year from Monday, February 22 through Sunday, February 28. The event is to highlight the restaurants as well as our beloved downtown and its fantastic aesthetic and diverse nightlife. Each location will offer specials intended to entice you to try their wares as well as that of their colleagues.

The list of restaurants in the downtown Winston-Salem area is out and available for your perusing. You can see the full details of the event here. To highlight just a few of the establishments and a sample of their specials to whet your whistle:

DiLisio’s Italian Restaurant$30 Special – 1 shared Appetizer, 2 Baked Dishes, 1 Shared Canoli.

Willow’s Bistro & Bar:
$20 Special – 
1st Course: cup of soup or salad
2nd Course: Grilled Scottish Salmon: over wild mushroom risotto, asparagus coins, shaved manchego.
3rd Course: Makers Mark creme brulee with fresh berries

$30 Special –
1st Course: roasted veggies or grilled romaine
2nd Course: Grilled 8oz. Cafe Steak: over gouda mac n cheese, grilled asparagus, & fried onion rings
3rd Course: Sous Vide Banana Pudding

King’s Crab Shack & Oyster Bar:
$20 Special – Full Bucket – Dreamy Steamy Bucket: steamed mix of spiced up snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters

$30 Special – Bucket for Two – Dreamy Steamy Bucket: steamed mix of spiced up snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters

Meridian:
$30 Per Person –
Choice of Starters:
Soup du Jour
Little Gem Artisan Lettuce Salad: with roasted tomato, English cucumber, house made crouton & aged red wine vinaigrette

Choice of Entree:
House Made Pasta of the day(eg. Ravioli, Lasagna, Manicotti)
Pan Seared NC Mountain Trout: with starch, vegetable & sauce
Grass Fed Bistro Steak Lyonnaise: with pommes frites, dressed artisan lettuce & Meridian steak sauce

Choice of Housse Made Dessert:
Bread Pudding: with caramel & creme chantilly
Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
Dark Chocolate Torte with ganache & creme chantilly

Mellow Mushroom:
$20 Dinner for Two –
Choice of 2 lil’ salads (tossed or caesar)
1 medium 1-topping pizza to share
1 brownie sundae to share

$30 Dinner for Two –
Choice of Hummus or Bruschetta appetizer to share
1 large specialty pizza to share
1 brownie sundae to share

Mission Pizza:
$20 Special –
1 pizza of your choice, green salad, and daily dessert

$30 Special –
2 pizzas of your choice OR 1 pizza of your choice and 1 plate of your choice, and dessert

Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar:
Classic Spring House: $20 –
Choice of seasonal soup or HOUSE salad
The Colonel 2.0.16: crispy buttermilk fried chicken atop corn waffle with brown sugar smoked apple infused maple drizzle
Warm Bread Pudding
**please no substitutions

Winter’s Bounty: $30 –
Shrimp and Crab Beignets with Red Beet and Horseradish Remoulade
Choice of seasonal soup or HOUSE salad
Fred Flintstone’s Pork Shank: Savannah inspired red rice with lemon, parsley and dijon bread crumbs and HOUSE pepper jelly
**please no substitutions

Camino Bakery:
$20 Special –
Bag of Krankies whole coffee beans and a loaf of bread of your choice

$30 Special –
Bag of Krankies whole coffee beans, loaf of bread of your choice, and a bottle of Honoro Vera Garnacha

There are plenty more wonderful restaurants participating. Again, see the full list on the DWSP website.

A few disclaimers that are very important here:

*Restaurant Week Specials are dine-in only so, no take outs.
*Restaurant Specials are subject to change and that’s a possibilty. The prices exclude tax and tip. Take care of those who take care of you.
*If you’ve a food allergy, questions about ingredients or any other special restrictions, please check with individual restaurants.
*Restaurant Week Specials are subject to availability; they may, and often do, run out of the Special.
*Please check with restaurants prior to dining if you have questions about the Specials; don’t call the DWSP about it, they’re not in control of that info.
*If they run out of the Special, the restaurant is not obligated to provided a replacement dish.
*Coupons are not accepted in conjunction with these specials. Check with restaurants for coupon policies.

If there is an error on this page, the official restaurant special at the Restaurant is correct; I’m but a guide through the awesome food land and I have been known to almost make a mistake a time or two.

The important thing here? Go enjoy delicious food and support local establishments. You never know who you may see out there!

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A Krispy Kreme Barista? You Better Believe It

Think that only that coffee company from Seattle and the local café are the only places that have “baristas” to guide your craft coffee needs to new heights? That may be the way that it has always been but the times, they are a-changin’ and that change is being spearheaded by a local original, Krispy Kreme.

What? Krispy Kreme has coffee? Surprise! Krispy Kreme has always had coffee. Since 1937, when the company started in Old Salem, they’ve had coffee to go with those doughnuts. It’s just never been the focus, at least not from the customers’ point of view. Krispy 12642774_1016210518439851_9082411962573681754_nKreme is hoping to change that perception and change it in a big way; unlike anything this area knows of its favorite yeast-based, hometown treat and shops.

There are several Krispy Kreme locations in the Triad, NC area but there’s only one in the region that has baristas and that shop is in Clemmons, NC. In fact, according to Kelley O’Brien (Interactive Media), it’s the only place, at all, company- (and world) wide, other than the Philippines and Korea that has baristas. These baristas are trained how to make the coffee drinks and how to pair them with the various styles of doughnuts and other treats that Krispy Kreme offers. It was at this Clemmons location that I, along with several other food bloggers and media representatives enjoyed a sampling and tasting of the new coffee offerings, along with a pairing of the roasted liquid deliciousness and doughy delights the company has to offer.

Two of the baristas in this shop, Ulanda and Demarcus, came from the big coffee company that is located in the Pacific Northwest and are showing their talents off at Krispy Kreme. This isn’t just plain coffee, either, it’s cappuccino, lattes, mocha, Americano, espresso drinks and so on. It’s like other cafés, except, this café has awesome Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Krispy Kreme understands that to compete with the big boys of coffeedom, they have to bring in some big boys of their own. In this case, they brought in S&D Coffee and Tea out of Concord to roast, condition and supply them with their coffee products. S&D Coffee and Tea are the largest custom roaster in the country, so they know coffee. Sustainability and 12645224_1016211241773112_3385366472348831281_nfair trade are becoming a more and more prominent concern with a wide breadth of commodities. When asked about sustainability, Toby Foreman (Director of Manufacturing for S&D) said that this is part of the ever-evolving focus of the environmental awareness of the company. According to S&D’s website, the company is working very hard eliminating unnecessary waste of energy, water and resources, establishing sustainable supply chains and engaging in the innovation and development of long-range solutions. Another representative (Glen, although I didn’t get his last name) also said that they are working with many growers in various harvesting locations to ensure better fair trade practices.

The head of Global Marketing, Amy Harp, explained that the reason this store was chosen as the “sandbox” or testing grounds. Simply put, it was already being built. And, since the location is merely minutes away from the Krispy Kreme worldwide, corporate headquarters, it’s easy to keep tabs on the progress, trends and circumstances as they happen. It was a matter of halting the plan, adjusting the layout, implementing the changes and voila, a new vision realized. This is the laboratory for what Krispy Kreme sees as the future of their business; not just the coffee but the store model.

So, next time you’re wanting a treat of a different flavor, with coffee that is beyond plain and ordinary, or if you’re looking for that big coffee shop experience with a delicious treat that is unlike any other, you should check out Krispy Kreme, not only in Clemmons but coming soon to your own local shop. The Clemmons shop is located at 2442 Lewisville-Clemmons Rd.

Chef Travis Myers: Willow’s Fresh Breath

By Timothy G. Beeman II

Big news came through the local culinary wires a few weeks back. That news created a wave of conjecture and wonder in the Triad restaurant world. The news was that Chef Travis Myers had left River Birch Lodge, where he was a staple for ten years, a reason for the success of that particular restaurant and a reason that people came back. But, the speculation did not stop there. Why did Chef Myers leave? Is he starting something new? Is he leaving the area? Gossip and rumor would be an exaggeration but to say that curiosity was abound, that would be accurate.

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©Competition Dining

I had gotten a chance to talk to Chef Myers, in confidence, just a few days after the news broke. He informed me as to what his plans were and I was instructed to keep that on the down-low and that is never a problem with me. I like to report when there’s something to report. That time was not the right time. Now, however, is that time.

I have always been a huge fan of Willow’s Bistro in Winston-Salem. Let me rephrase that. I have always been a fan of Chef Will Kingery, owner of Willow’s Bistro, King’s Crab Shack & Oyster Bar and Silo Bistro & Bar. Willow’s, it should be noted, is Will’s “baby.” It is the upper-scale casual that people in this town needed and it continues to need and want. When Chef Myers told me that he was going to Willow’s, I was a bit concerned. The concern was three-fold: was Will getting rid of Willow’s and if not, how was Chef Myers going to be utilized and would it work? In the end, I figured it certainly would.

Stephanie and I had an opportunity to sit down with Chef Myers this past week and we discussed the move, his role, his life. One of the first things that he said to us was that the atmosphere was welcoming and within a few days he felt like he had been there for years. Will had basically given him the freedom to conduct business as he saw fit, be more than a chef, be an operator. He talked about plans for food, of course, but he also talked of plans to the ambience and décor of the restaurant. Not, mind you, changing Will’s vision but enhancing it. He understands Will’s love and devotion to this restaurant and shares that vision. But, Will, besides being a great chef, is a business man who has three restaurants to manage and willows-logo_optwho knows if more is not out of the question. He needs the room to operate these ventures and Chef Myers is giving him room to do so. With Chef Myers in there, Will doesn’t have to worry about his “baby” being lost.

Possibly, too, Willow’s was starting to get complacent with itself. Chef Myers will be that shot in the arm to make sure that Willow’s not only maintains that upper-echelon of service and quality that has made the restaurant great in the past, but also helping it reach new heights. Chef Myers certainly is not in this just for the paycheck. Granted, that helps. However, one word that he mentioned at least eight times in the conversation was “passion.” He is passionate about his food, about his role, about this restaurant. He also demands passion from his kitchen staff. Cooks are one thing, but Chef Myers doesn’t want a cook, he wants chefs. He wants people that are passionate about their food. That translates to works of art that not only satisfy customers but satiate them. The fruit of his chefs’ labor makes the customers come back, rave and spread the word. Cooks aren’t going to do that. Chefs are going to do that.

Chef Myers also gave praise to the other managers of the restaurant. The bar and Front-of-House is overseen by him, but he works with the managers to make sure that all is running smoothly. There were a few housekeeping items that he had to take care of when he first showed up, but they were mostly minor and it only added to the mood and quality, as a whole. Minor things like door stops, paper towel types and dispensers, items seen by the customers in the kitchen. Nothing, at least on the surface, anyone is going to really notice a change of, but will just feel that the restaurant is better. The menu boards, the liquor selection, the vendors and suppliers. Seeming small touches that will create a world of difference that you will probably never notice happened, just notice that things are better. He says that he and the other managers, including the GM all work together, bounce ideas off each other to make the restaurant the place to be; a destination.

I asked him what took him away from River Birch Lodge and he said he was planning on leaving anyway to try to start another business and was approached by Will and his partner, Norb Cooper, about coming in and seeing if they could make a partnership work that would improve the restaurant, make them some money and give Chef Myers a project he can take, put his mark on and make an impact in the community with, not unlike how he did at RBL. Also, upon Chef Myers’ arrival, not only did the quality of the food return to what made the restaurant great, but its social media presence has been elevated to “through the roof” levels. Chef Myers’ Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds have been decorated with some of the most amazing photos of his culinary creations. That may seem minor, but even though you cannot taste pictures, people taste with their eyes. The right food styling can do wonders.

When asked about his goals he says, “I want to make smart decisions in the kitchen and buy the right product. Some things I’m going to buy are going to be more expensive, like artichokes that are marinated and seasoned instead of the canned stuff that we’re using now. I’m going to have to pay more to get local cheese; we’re going to get Humboldt Fog in and Goat Lady Dairy.” The old adage is “you get what you pay for.” It is that way whether you’re in the restaurant business, the travel business, anything. You cannot skimp on quality. He goes on, “We’re going to start butchering in-house. We do some now, but we’re going to do it all. We’re going to grind our own meats, too.” When asked about the alcohol choices, he said there was going to be a slight overhauling of the selection. “We’re going to do wine dinners and liquor pairings. We’re going to do more public events outside. We need to expand our liquors. I can do this but it has to be in stages.” Local ingredients have always been an essential element of Willow’s theme and Chef Myers is vehement about perpetuating and improving on this premise.

It is quite apparent that Chef Myers is indeed “passionate” about his job, his food, his reputation and the reputation of Will, Norb and Willow’s Bistro. He is not supposed to be there until noon just a few days a week but he usually comes in at 8am, even on his days off. He wants it to work. He loves what he does. He is passionate about Willow’s. That is great news for the customers and lovers of food. That is great news for Winston-Salem. That is great news for the South of Business 40 (#SOB40) area.

You may notice that I didn’t talk much about the food itself. I talked about Chef Travis Myers and what he means to Willow’s and what he will bring to the restaurant. There’s a reason for that. Keep an eye on The Man Who Ate the Town: A Food Blog, as there will be a review of the tasting that went along with the conversation, accompanied by pictures. This will be very soon.

 

 

Twin City Hive to get New Address and New Business Model

by Timothy G Beeman II

Joey Burdette and Terry Miller, co-owners of Twin City Hive have announced that they are moving the popular coffee house to a new location. But, won’t this create a chink in the canonical armor of TCH? Absolutely not! This will make everything better.

First of all, the location, while moving, is only moving about twenty steps away. They’re moving to the back of the breezeway in the location that they’re currently occupying. So, in essence, they’re not changing locations, at all. What will change, however, is the overall scope of how the business will be operating. 11aTCH

Joey and Terry walked us through the new, larger space and gave a tour of ideas and vision. The old location, once the location of McCormick & Smith attorneys, has several separated spaces including conference rooms/meeting spaces and a kitchenette. The proposed layout will retain the front conference room that can be reserved/rented for business meetings, gatherings, etc. The next conference area will have the frosted glass and framing fixtures removed and seating and tables will provide a comfy lounge area around a proposed fireplace. The largest room, however, is in the front (or back?) and will contain more seating and tables.

Beyond this there will be a new entrance/exit that leads to South Marshall Street where there will be additional parking striped off along the street. Between the street and the building will be a patio that will provide more seating and accommodation. Currently, there is a solid door that is more of a necessary escape hatch that leads to the pine needles that serve as landscaping for the outside of the building. The ugly green awning has been removed as well.

This is, after all, a coffee shop. So, there will be, of course, coffee. New (to them) fixtures and such will be put in the barista and service area and a pass-through door to the kitchen where the plan, according to Terry, could be to eventually serve quiches, salads and the like. That’s not solid yet and there was also discussions of possible contracting of prepared goods to sell from local establishments. There was also a mention of a license to sell beer and wine.

One of the many unique qualities about Twin City Hive is the fact that they don’t use the same ordinary roasters that so many of the other coffee shops around town use; not that there’s anything wrong with those. Twin City Hive, however, use seven different roasters from across North Carolina. That in itself is remarkable. But wait! There’s more.  TCH is partnering with Sarah Chapman of Vida Pour Tea in Greensboro on a gourmet line of teas that will be branded by TCH. Sarah will sell the teas by the glass in her shop, but the only “bulk”/retail sales of the teas will be at TCH. Drinkers will be able to buy it by the glass/cup at the Hive, as well. The blends will be themed around Winston-Salem and its history. The flagship tea will be called “Tobacco Heritage” and when we sampled it you could really taste the notes of tobacco although I don’t believe any was actually used. There will be several other blends as well, including a local take on the traditional English Breakfast tea and a minty tea. Nothing run-of-the-mill for these teas.

Terry said that one of the challenges that they face, even in the current space is that you have warring factions of sort. You have those who may be meeting friends that want to catch up and have a good time, chatting it up. On the other side you have the students, the studies, the workers that need a little less of the loud and more of the quiet ambiance. This location can promote and accommodate both of those demographics. Plus, add the patio for the warmer, dryer months, you’ve got a great place to be productive and have great coffee or tea.

A major distinction that has been bestowed on Twin City Hive is the fact that they have been chosen to participate in the Yelp! event called Coast-To-Coast: Coming Together Because We Mean Business. Only one hundred businesses across North America were selected to attend and TCH is one of those hundred. According to Yelp!’s official release: “November 4–5, Yelp is bringing together the people behind 100 top-rated businesses across North America for a historic event taking place at Yelp’s San Francisco headquarters.” This is quite the accomplishment and accolade; a recognition by their peers.

One last thing is that the partners have recently sold their Segway business to a local competitor. Revolution Gliding Tours was a main component in the initial idea of Twin City Hive. The coffee business has pretty much taken precedence and this move and revised vision is proof of that. TCH will still be a stop on the tour and possibly a facilitator of the tours themselves.

The target date of the whole change over is the first week of November. Joey will be in San Francisco right before that so it will be a challenge to make that deadline but these guys can do it. The changes all sound very exciting and needed. Everything old is new again certainly fitting here. What you knew about Twin City Hive is going to be reborn with all new attitudes, all new digs and an all new name. It will be called the Twin City Hive Coffee Lounge. It will be a lounge, for sure. It will be great for those who are fans of what Twin City Hive is now and great for those looking for a coffee lounge that they didn’t know existed. This is your place. This is our place. This is Twin City Hive Coffee Lounge.

You can find more about all the happenings at Twin City Hive by visiting their website. Twin City Hive is located at 301 Brookstown Avenue, Winston-Salem.

Cagney’s Takes Over Olde Orchard (the Deeper Version)

by Timothy G Beeman II

Yesterday I reported that this change was going to happen. Today, I had a chance to sit down with Al Yow, the now-former owner of Olde Orchard Diner to discuss the change. Yow says that he’s been in the food service industry for 40+ years and that’s a long time. He loves his diner but also realizes that his body is tired. It was time to spend a little more time with the grand kids, now. The sale was final as of October 1 and Yow confirmed that the restaurant would continue to operate under Olde Orchard Diner for right now, however, in the very near future, they will close the restaurant, do renovations and reopen under the re-branded name of Cagney’s Kitchen. The menu will, at that time, be uniformed just as the other five locations’ menu, meaniOODCKng the food will be more like the others’.

A few things that will immediately happen are some procedural things that the public probably won’t notice much of. Basically, it’s mostly in the service and behind-the-scenes. What the public will notice is that sometime this week, the Hershey’s Ice Cream cooler will be gone. Cagney’s won’t be keeping that. Also, the hot bar that customers see as soon as they walk through the vestibule will be moved to the kitchen, in the back. They have already changed the biscuits to the kind that is normally served at the other Cagney’s locations. The new restaurant will serve home made desserts, just like the others, as well.

In the dining room, the renovation will eliminate the current seats, tables and booths and replace them with updated fixtures. The ceiling tiles will be replaced with newer ones. Supposedly, according to the chatter I heard about the restaurant, today, Cagney’s expects the renovation to take no more than a week. With the nature of contractors being what it is, we’ll see if that schedule goes as planned. Too many restaurants around town have set “opening dates” but most of those targets are overshot, sometimes by more than a little. It will be interesting to see how the whole changeover goes.

It will be different not seeing Al standing in the serving window of the kitchen and thanking us and “God-blessing” us. He has a back surgery scheduled in the upcoming weeks and the toll that standing for so long has taken on him has led to this. We at The Man Who Ate the Town: A Food Blog wish him and his wife Susan best of luck with whatever they plan to do (I believe Susan plans to work at Cagney’s) and thank them for having it there for us “locals” that needed it and enjoyed it.

You can find more about Cagney’s and their locations (this one will be added soon, I’m sure) by visiting their website (click here).

Olde Orchard Diner to Become Cagney’s

by Timothy G Beeman II

According to servers of, and the presence of Cagney’s representatives inside Olde Orchard Diner this past week and weekend: ownership, management and the name of Olde Orchard Diner will be changing in the coming weeks. Cagney’s, who already has five other restaurants in the area, will be closing the restaurant to do renovations and rebranding, according to a server at Olde Orchard. This will make two locations in Winston-Salem. We hope to have more news on this early this week, here and on Tart & Tangy Triad, so stay tuned.

OODCK

The New Local 27101 Opens for LunchF

I had the opportunity to eat lunch with one of my very good friends today and when discussing where we were going to meet, I suggested that we go to the new Greg Carlyle vehicle, Local 27101, the former Millennium Artisan Restaurant.

The idea behind Local 27101 is that the food is locally sourced (no, not from the 27101 zip code, necessarily) so that it’s fresh. It’s supposed to be fast and reasonably priced. Greg said, “the people downtown are looking for a fast, $5 burger,” and this exactly that. The menu has many things from the aforementioned burgers (make it a double for just $2 more), po boys, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, salads (Cobb, Caesar, add a protien, etc) and so on. Sides include crinkle cut fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings. You can add on to your burger with avocado, an over-easy egg, bacon, or caramelized onions.

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The Local Burger w/ Onion Rings

The Local Burger is a quarter pounder with lettuce, tomato, “local sauce,” which isn’t quite 1000 Island but is beyond mayonnaise, and muenster cheese. Another nice touch is the top bun is branded with the logo from Local 27101. I had one with an extra patty, hold the lettuce. The homegrown tomato along with the local sauce made the bread a little soggy as the tomato was really ripe, but it didn’t detract from the burger. You want the burger to be juicy without being wet, save the tomato, it wasn’t wet, it was cooked just right. I think the only thing it was missing was a few dill chips on it.I also had the onion rings with it, which if you know me, you know I don’t like onions, but oddly enough, I can eat onion rings, when they’re good. There’s a good batter on the rings and weren’t overly greasy which is all too common with onion rings from many places. My pal had his a single without the tomato but with lettuce along with crinkle fries. The fries looked to be topped with herbs that are grown in the windows around the restaurant (so there are some things that are local to 27101). The flavors, to me, were exactly what I was looking for good meat, great cheese the sauce was tangy. Again, I could have done without some of the moist bun from the tomatoes but that’s okay, the flavor was worth it.

The restaurant itself is a lot of brown and natural wood with each window adorned with herbs to be used in the restaurant. The slat work accentuates the bar area. A very large menu is stuck to the wall and the chalkboard was being decorated as we walked in. They have beer, wine and are formulating a drink menu. How the whole thing works is: you walk in, stop by the counter where the bar is, order your food, get a buzzer, scope your seat and wait for the buzzer. When it buzzes you go to the counter and pick up your silver tray. The bump in the road for me is when you want a refill you have to either jump in front of people at the order counter to get the order taker to refill it or alert someone else to do it, or you have to wait until someone notices you’re there and waiting. We did wait for a bit, but not too long. Another thing is that they serve the burger with the bun already on the burger. I know it’s an aesthetic thing but the presentation would be better if the top bun was off to the side. We often eat with our eyes and it would make the burger even more attractive; but that’s no deal killer  They have a few kinks in the system to work out but I think that Greg finally has something on his hands that will be a boon for him, for the downtown lunch crowd and the downtown foodies and their searches for a good and affordable burger.

For now, they’re open only for lunch but sometime in September, probably after Labor Day, they will also be open during the evening, keeping the current (and presumably constantly modified) lunch menu as well as some dinner options. Greg also said to expect a “true blue plate special.”  You can get your own $5 fast burger at Local 27101 which is located at 310 W 4th Street in downtown Winston-Salem. Their website and Facebook pages show the menu to get your ready to experience the good food. It’s good, it’s fast, it’s easy, it’s Local 27101.

Willow’s Bistro and King’s Crab Shack Get a New Sibling

By Timothy G. Beeman II

Will Kingery and Norb Cooper, Jr, the ownership team of King’s Crab Shack & Oyster Bar and Willow’s Bistro, have signed papers to take over Silo Deli, Wine & Cheese at Reynolda Village.

Fans of Silo needn’t worry. While things will change, they will only change for the better. Not that things weren’t already good. Chris Barnes, the establishment’s owner until now, did a first-rate service to Reynolda Village by bringing the bistro aspect in and they gathered a lot of frequent clients from it.  Will said he wants to expand on that concept.

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Will Kingery

“A lot of locals love what is on the menu and they do a great job and have an amazing kitchen staff and front of house staff, too.  We’re going to add staff so we have better service and (be) faster in the kitchen. More ideas for menu items and daily specials, and have more ingredients for the chefs to play with,” Kingery said.

I asked Will if he planned to keep true to the menu that Silo has been known for. “Oh yeah, we’re gonna have fun paninis. Simple stuff like turkey and havarti sandwiches, french dips, etc.” Something I didn’t know (because I’m not a chef, I just play one in my kitchen, sometimes), there is no hood system in the kitchen. Will continues, “the challenge is there’s no hoods. So, there’s no stoves, no grills. Everything that’s created there is created in a small convection oven and a panini press. So you have to be innovative and creative to pump food out of there and the chefs that have been there have done a great job of it.”

Service has been a point of contention from those Will has asked about Silo. He went on, “It does have a good following and in talking to customers around town: they love the location and the idea of it, their biggest frustration is the service. They feel like there could have been a couple more servers on and the food could get out to them a little quicker. That’s two of the big things we’re going to focus on. Just constantly being better than yesterday.”

When I asked Will how the whole deal came about, he said that Barnes was ready to get out of the restaurant business and Reynolda Village approached them about taking over the space. They negotiated a good price, Barnes agreed and Will and Cooper then took over the space. Reynolda Village has plans for the entire area to be more creative.  In fact, Cooper is opening a beta salon in the old Ringmasters. Will also said that Wake Forest University, owner of the Reynolda Village and Reynolda House Art Museum, has allotted funds for renovation ideas and infrastructure for the area in the future.

Another “coming soon” feature is the opening of a full bar, a complete ABC license.  The interview that I conducted with Will was, indeed, on the phone whilst he and Cooper were on their way back from Raleigh, securing the license. “We have the ability to sell everything,” he said.

Confirming that Corks and Taps is not part of Silo, Will did say this: “We may look into it in the future, but with us putting a full bar in Silo, we’re going to concentrate on that and our other two businesses and we’re going to make sure that everyone is solid and taken care of. If there is a need for another bar, if the demand is there, we’ll definitely explore that option.”

Prepackaged food will be one of the things that is available. Grab-and-go type items like sandwiches and sides are going to be a benefit for both the hurried and rushing customers or those who just want to lounge around the grounds. “If you want to hop in and get a cold wrap real quick, a simple turkey wrap, some chips or a cup of fruit, it’s already ready, you don’t have to wait on the kitchen. Have a bottle of wine with a couple of glasses and go out into Reynolda Village and have a little picnic. Return your glasses please,” he says with a chuckle.

On the Willow’s and King’s Crab Shack front, they have a little shuffling of chefs. “I moved some chefs around. My old chef at Willow’s stepped down to take care of his family more and one of my other chefs, Jamie Cline (Klein?), former executive chef of Sapona Country Club and Lexington Country Club, stepped up.  I took my sous chef from Willow’s and put him in at King’s Crab Shack because they needed a strong leader and were doing good numbers. We felt that was a good move. King’s quality and service and speed will be stepped up as well, now.”

Will knows the keys to his success and he tells me why, outright. “The key is good people.  I’m only a tiny part of it.  It’s the chefs, the waitresses, the hostesses… the dishwashers. Dishwashers are the key to the restaurant. It sounds insane but if you work or own a restaurant and the dishwasher walks out, you have a whole new respect for them.”

Will gets his people and Winston-Salem gets Will and Norb Cooper. They get their expertise. They get benefit of fantastic food and fantastic eateries. I have a feeling we’re seeing more and more of the iceberg emerge, not just the tip. Silo Deli, Wine & Cheese is located at 114 D Reynolda Village, Winston-Salem. (336) 608-4359.