Those We’ve Lost

2020 was a bad year for everyone, but especially the Food & Beverage Community.

Here’s a list of those that have closed since the pandemic started. The dates are the dates of the posted announcements (if known). Not all restaurants closed because of the pandemic, necessarily, but it certainly didn’t help matters. This list will update as needed.

Bib’s Downtown – Dec 31, 2020
Bonefish – June 23, 2020
Cafe Vera Du – Oct 17, 2020
Carmine Italian Restaurant – Sept 15, 2020
Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen – May 18, 2020
Cimarron Steakhouse – August 26, 2020
Corks Caps & Taps – August 24, 2020
Dr. Chops – September 24, 2020 (Closed since March 2020)
Lighthouse Grill – September 17, 2020
Mary’s Gourmet Diner – May 25, 2020 (Closed since March 14, 2020)
Miyako Japanese Restaurant – January 1, 2021 (Sold and changed to a chain)
Mooney’s Mediterranean Cafe – October 12, 2020 (Closed since March 2020)
Mozzarella Fellas – January 1, 2021 (Rebranded to Dom’s on Spruce Street)
Organix Juice Bar – November 2, 2020
Paul’s Fine Italian Dining – July 1, 2020
Providence at BB&T – May 29, 2020
Ruby Tuesday in Clemmons – August 11, 2020 (Closed since March 2020)
Silo – March 31, 2020 (Turned keys in long before the announcement)
Social Southern Kitchen & Cocktails – January 2, 2021
Spruce Street Garden – Craft Tavern – October 30, 2020
Tart Sweets – October 22, 2020
The Beer Growler – December 14, 2020 (Closed since September 2020)
The Slanted Shed – October 18, 2020
Trade Street Diner – July 1, 2020 (Closed since March 2020/rebranded Cibo)
West End Coffee House – August 31, 2020
Zesto’s Burgers & Ice Cream – Official date unknown.

Wild Willie’s Wiener Wagon – Moved to Myrtle Beach September 2020
Twin City Hive – Moved to Gibsonville August 22, 2020 (and have since closed again).
The Flour Box is closed temporarily in search of a new location (late February 2020).

Take-Out Pledge Winston-Salem

I have taken the #TakeOutPledgeWS and pledge to support local businesses. Some are only doing downtown but I think all businesses in WSNC need some push. Here’s a video to explain more.

Take the pledge with me!

Bib’s Downtown Closes Today

We held out hope that one of our downtown food staples, Bib’s Downtown, would find a buyer and continue on. It seems that’s not to be. This is reposted from Michael Hastings’ article in the Winston-Salem Journal, it’s not mine.

©Bibs


Bib’s Downtown, 675 W. Fifth St., has decided to permanently close. Its last day of business will be Thursday.

In mid-December, the owners announced that they were negotiating to sell the business. They expressed confidence that the sale would go through, saying they needed only to finalize details and they expected a seamless transition.

But in a statement Tuesday, co-owner Robert Moreau said that the sale did not go through as planned.

“We have had ongoing talks with potential buyers over the last year,” Moreau said. “Despite favorable lease rates, buyers just weren’t able to get past the uncertainty of what the pandemic holds for 2021 and 2022.”
Bib’s opened in December 2008, a partnership between Moreau, chef Mark Little and Little’s son-in-law Ricky Seamon. The restaurant quickly became a popular destination downtown, offering what Little called neither Eastern nor Western barbecue but “Bestern.”

The restaurant sold a variety of smoked meats, including pulled pork, ribs, Texas-style beef brisket, smoked sausage, and smoked turkey breast and chicken.

The restaurant participated in many community events and won awards at such festivals at [sic] the Twin City Rib Fest. Little and Seamon competed on the show TLC show “BBQ Pitmasters” in 2013.

Moreau said that the restaurant’s lease was up at the end of 2020 and that it had suffered from the closing of Business 40 in 2019, and from the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

“What really hurt us is what we do is 20% or more catering and that vanished by decree,” Moreau said, referring to the lack of gatherings during the pandemic. “We could wait nine or 10 months, and maybe people will be throwing some big parties. But with the timing of the end of the lease, it just didn’t make sense.”
In a post on its Facebook page, Moreau said the closing was a hard decision. “Winston-Salem, our hometown, needs to know that their support of Bib’s has been nothing short of amazing. A huge thank you to all.”


Thank you again to the Winston-Salem Journal and Michael Hastings.

This is sad news. They plan to be open today until 4p or until their supplies run out. Here’s to you, Mark, Robert, and Ricky, and may the next steps be full of heart and prosperity.

6th and Vine to Close Until Spring

6th and Vine reposted this from owner Kathleen Barnes:

6th and Vine is grateful for a fantastic outdoor dining season! And, while we’ve extended our “outdoor only” model as long as possible, with temperatures falling, and Covid cases rising, it’s growing difficult to make ends meet. But, we will still be open, this THURSDAY, through SUNDAY, from 11 am to 9 pm. So, please come visit, and support us, before we begin our hibernation.
WE WILL BE BACK … probably in late February or early March!!
On a personal note: the members of my staff have stood beside me with amazing support, love, and laughter, this whole time! They have made the stress fun, instead of debilitating. I have NEVER worked harder in my life (in the restaurant, and as a full-time college professor – online, of course!) It’s been 7 days a week, most hours of the day or night (when I can’t sleep).
6th and Vine has been fortunate, this summer and fall. We love our regular customers/friends, and we’ve made quite a few more this summer!! Come out Thursday or Sunday for ½ price wine; raise a glass in our honor; and celebrate with us ….
TIP your servers!! They’ve more than earned it!
A huge shout out to Patrick Read Johnson (my own personal MacGyver) who engineered so much for us this year!
Hope to see you, this Thursday, through Sunday!! And either way, we WILL see you in the SPRING!
Stay safe, and stop the spread. We can do this!
Love,
Kathleen


Stephanie and I ate at 6th and Vine this past Saturday. It was quite cold in the alley but the heated bench made it better. But, the food was outta sight! So good. Check out our Instagram feed to see pics of what we had.

Bull’s Tavern to Close for Season After This Weekend

Bull’s Tavern posted this on their Facebook page this morning:

A personal message from the boss lady…
With the increased restrictions, Bull’s will be open this week:
Wednesday – Thursday – 5-11pm
Friday – Sunday – 5-9pm
*All standard pandemic protocols apply
My initial thoughts are this is the last weekend of Bull’s until Spring, but the staff and I will have a discussion early next week to confirm that decision. I’m so proud of my tiny skeleton crew that has managed to keep such a positive outlook through such a difficult time.
We still have really cool hoodies and t-shirts for sale if you want to support us but don’t feel comfortable coming out right now. I can ship for an additional charge of $5 and I’m happy to deliver to porches throughout the Triad.
I am confident that Bull’s will make it through this and other challenges it will face in the future. We are looking forward to the days when we can go back to being Bull’s again, bands playing on stage, rotating taps with interesting beers, shot glasses slamming on the bar top, the karaoke nights with all of the entertaining and talented singers of WSNC, we miss all of it and all of you! It’s the free-spirited and fun-loving place!
Since I know as soon as I hit “post,” someone will reply with, “just open up.” I’m going to address the multitude of reasons why we will NOT be doing that so I can just say it once and for all. I’ve never been more exhausted from having the same conversation in my life.
We have made it nine years in business without an ABC violation and I plan to keep it that way. Unlike other businesses that don’t sell alcohol, we are governed by the ABC (the group who permits us and sells us liquor) and the ALE (the division of the SBI that makes sure we are following the rules), there’s no consistency of how violations are enforced. Ask any ABC holder and they will tell you the same frustrating story. After being closed for nine months, I don’t have the resources to pay lawyers and fines to fight a violation where I’m clearly in the wrong.
ABC violations cause a business’ liquor liability premiums to increase, considering that bill is already higher than a good yearly salary, I’m not coming out of this with another huge bill. At best, it looks like I’m going to have to go back to a 9-5 for a couple of years while running Bull’s at night to dig the business out of debt. Now, if bars had been allowed to open when the breweries and restaurants did, when the viral spread was low and the weather was nice outside, would the circumstances be different? Of course, they would, but it’s the “Bible Belt” and the ABC laws haven’t been updated in our state since prohibition was repealed, so that wasn’t the case.
When I started on this journey nine years ago, I had two goals in mind, first to open my own business and the other to provide my Daddy with a job that didn’t involve him running a piece of heavy equipment. I accomplished both those goals. My love of music and that magic you feel when you listen to it live led me rightly down this path. I’ve met so many amazing people along this journey, from the musicians to fellow business owners, to people I’ve employed over the years, to patrons that become family and everyone else I’ve met along the way, I’m grateful to you. I was determined to turn that dream into a reality so many years ago and I’m determined to keep Bull’s alive and flourishing post-pandemic.
This virus is very real. I can’t scroll my social media without seeing constant posts from friends who either have the virus, had the virus, have family in the hospital with the virus, or sadly lost someone to the virus. It’s surreal every time I mindlessly scroll through my phone. Personally, I’ve been in isolation for the past three weeks and plan to stay that way until the vaccine comes available. I had a strong, sobering warning from my physician of the long-term danger than COVID could cause to my body since my immune system is already hostile with lupus. I’ve got to take care of me, to keep Bull’s going in the future. Take care of each other, wear your mask, stay distant, do all the things you need to do to take care of yourself and your family.
If you want to do something that doesn’t cost a dime, that could truly help a local business owner, call our hometown Senator Richard Burr’s office 202-224-3154. Ask him to support some form of a relief package that helps to fund small businesses and the unemployed. He took no issue warning his wealthy donors that this pandemic was eminent, selling his own stocks or bailing out Wall Street. It’s time he steps up to the plate and helps those who truly make up the fabric of his own community and our country.
I love you all and I can’t wait to be a serial hugger on the other side!
Love and Light,
Danielle Bull

DiLisio’s Added to Another Hospital

Tony and Maria DiLisio

A few weeks back, I reported that DiLisio’s Italian Restaurant had agreed to a partnership with WFU Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem to provide daily, pre-packaged meals for their “Grab-N-Go” program with local restaurants. Maria DiLisio called me last night and said that they had been picked up by WFU High Point, formerly High Point Regional, to provide the same service.

To reiterate: Tony and Maria will be whipping up and delivering fresh lasagna, baked ziti, baked spaghetti, eggplant parmigiana, eggplant rollatini, and cannoli every day, Monday through Friday. The items will be available for cafeteria dine-in and take away for after cafeteria hours. There is a microwave on site so you can reheat your dish and eat it there no matter the time.

I am excited that there are additional outlets for the DiLisios to get their food to the masses. Their food is comfort food and many folks that “have to eat in a hospital” need comfort food.

Congratulations to Tony and Maria!

A Community Staple Closes Permanently

The Lighthouse Restaurant, a place I had many a breakfast, a meeting, a conversation, even where one of my business partners and I had our first meeting, announced that they are closing for good. I don’t know what could be said that Michael Hastings didn’t already say. Know that this is his article in the Winston-Salem Journal and I’m only reprinting/reposting it. Thank you, Michael.


©Unks/WSJournal

The Lighthouse, one of the oldest operating Greek-owned restaurants in Winston-Salem, is closing for good after lunch service today.

“It’s just the pandemic. The revenue is not there,” said co-owner Steve Doumas, whose family has owned the business for most of its 66 years.

The Lighthouse, which first opened in 1954, also is considered the second-oldest restaurant downtown, behind Murphy’s Lunch (which opened in 1950 and currently is temporarily closed).

George Pappas opened the Lighthouse in the West End in 1954 at the intersection of Burke Street and Brookstown Avenue, across the street from its current location at 905 Burke St.

Within a few years, Alex Fragakis took it over. In 1962, he hired a young Nick Doumas, who turned out to be a natural in the kitchen and dining room. Doumas soon became the face and warm personality of the Lighthouse and would remain so for the next 50 years. Nick Doumas’ brother Louis joined the restaurant in 1966 and the two Doumas brothers became sole partners in the restaurant when Fragakis retired in the 1970s.
The Lighthouse became one of Winston-Salem’s most popular diners, a place to meet a friend for breakfast anytime or for such staples as spaghetti, fried flounder or pork chops.

In 1982, the Doumas brothers moved across the street to the current location. Nick Doumas died in 2016 at age 78 after an accident with an all-terrain vehicle, but the family continued to operate the business.

The current owners are Louis Doumas and Nick Doumas’ children: Steve Doumas, Joe Doumas, Vera Doumas Tucker and Gena Doumas Cook. Louis Doumas has not been actively involved in the restaurant since the pandemic began, but his son Harold Doumas has continued to manage the restaurant.

“It’s been a tough decision,” said Steve Doumas, who separately owns Camel City BBQ downtown.

The Lighthouse closed from mid-March, when the pandemic began, until July 10.

“We never did takeout. For diners, it’s tough now. This is the kind of restaurant where people come to eat in,” he said. Many customers came to the Lighthouse for the people as much as the food. Many of them were older — in the high-risk group for COVID-19 — and much of the menu just didn’t travel well, making it unsuitable for takeout.

City council member John Larson was one of many regulars at the Lighthouse. “I had breakfast and lunch there today. Sometimes I ate there three times a day. I practically raised my daughter there,” Larson said Thursday. “It was a real meeting ground. You’d see the mayor or city council members there. Bankers, lawyers would come in. Everybody came to that restaurant.”

Mary Haglund — the founder of Mary’s Gourmet Diner, which also decided to close during the pandemic — said that her first job in Winston-Salem was at the Lighthouse. “It was just one of those places where everyone really knew each other. The waitresses would always be cutting up and telling jokes,” she said. “And Nick and Louis, as long as you did your job, if you needed anything, you just had to ask and they would help you if they could. It was a fascinating place to work.”

The family owns the property at 905 Burke. Steve Doumas said that family members have not decided what to do about it. He left open the possibility that the Lighthouse could return.

“We don’t know what the future holds. As the five owners, we haven’t sat down and decided where we are headed next,” he said. “We might possibly look at reopening and reinventing the Lighthouse in the future.”

Firebirds Woodfired Grill Confirms Reopening

I had heard rumors of a reopening of Firebirds Woodfired Grill, but it wasn’t evident by their Facebook, nor website that our local store had actually allowed for dine-in. So, I reached out and Scott Bowman, general manager of the Winston-Salem store wrote an email to me. Here’s what he said:

Good morning! I would love to catch you up on everything we are doing here at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill. We appreciate you thinking about us.

We are open in our dining rooms. Currently half capacity.

We are open for take-out and delivery. Our delivery providers are door dash, uber eats and post mates. Door dash being the more popular choice. We offer curbside service as well. Parking is on the side of the building.

We have family meals for take-out only that have a choice of baby back ribs, wood grilled chicken, or our meatloaf. Ribs come with fries and the meatloaf and chicken come with mashed potatoes. Family meals also include a salad choice and sweet treat.

We do still have the “butcher cut” meats available. These come with steak seasoning to be cooked at home.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks again for thinking about Firebirds!

Regards, Scott Bowman, General Manager, Winston-Salem

Support Your Local Black-Owned Businesses

Someone asked me this week if I had a list of black-owned restaurants and food services in WSNC. And, I actually did not. So, I set out to find the restaurants that were.

Support these businesses and the people that own them and the people that work for them. Stand in solidarity with them. Let them lean on you. Let them know you care. Be there for them.

A vast majority of this list I obtained from the Winston-Salem Urban League, for others, I did some digging on my own.
For other black-owned businesses outside the food designation, which still need your help and support can be found here.

A perusing of the Forsyth County Health Inspector’s website showed:

  • 795 restaurants (many of which are multiple locations, i.e. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, etc., hospital, hotel foodservice, convenience stores that sell food or other “restaurant types”)
  • 249 “Food Stands” (which also include multiple locations like Cook Out, but is for non-dine-in services)
  • 27 “Mobile Food” listings which are mostly food trucks
  • 14 “Push Carts” which is almost entirely hot dog carts.

If there are ANY businesses that I have left off this list, please let me know so I can add them. I want no businesses left out. 

  • 3 Layers Cakery
  • Ackingna’s Place
  • Big Mouff Cheesesteaks
  • Bingo Bango Sodas
  • Cam’s Coffee
  • Carolina Kitchen and Pantry
  • Carolina’s Vineyards and Hops
  • Chef J’Avia Scents & Crafts LLC
  • CLS Catering
    • Gunny Smitty’s Hot Dogs Cart
    • C&L’s Cakes
    • Soul Food Fusion (Personal Chef Service)
  • Cow Who
  • DJs Cheesecakes
  • Downtown Bodega
  • Dr. Chops Soul Food Cafe
  • Dream Kreams Artisanal Creamery
  • Elasya B’s Candy Tree
  • Flavor57 Personal Chef Services & Catering
  • FoodDealer
  • Forsyth Seafood
  • Happie Food
  • Honeybee Grocery Delivery
  • Hot Dog City
  • Jazzy Daugs Cart
  • Kymora’s Kookies
  • Leanback Soul Food
  • Le’Chateau Bakery
  • Lei Lei’s Cuisine
  • Mary Jay’s Southern Soul Eatery
  • Mayberry Ice Cream (4th St)
  • Meta’s Restaurant
  • Miss Ora’s Kitchen
  • Mo’s Chicken & Grocery 2 Go
  • Mother’s Finest Urban Family Farms
  • Munch Box
  • Off the Beaten Path Coffee
  • Other Suns Coffee Shop
  • Peanut House, The
  • Prime Tyme Soul Food Cafe
  • The Rhythm Lounge and Grill
  • Share the Sweetness
  • Simply Soul Restaurant
  • Skrimp Shack
  • Sooo Trucking Hungry Food Truck
  • Spice Delight Mobile Cafe
  • Sweet Escape, A
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet Truth Bakery
  • Ta’Nisha Monique Cupcakes
  • Taste of the Triad
  • Trice’s Eatz, LLC
  • Two Girls Sweet Treats
  • Two Sisters and a Lemon
  • WS Wings-N-Fins Truck
  • Wutyasay Food Truck
  • Your Dinner Awaits
  • Zesto Burgers & Ice Cream

The Re-Emergence Part 14

Update #14. Remember not all the updates are to say they are opening for dine-in. Some are just updates to the procedures. Many places are requesting that you wear masks until seated. Please be considerate of others around you.


From Fiddlin’ Fish’s Facebook: (Friday after we “closed”)

As you may have heard, the State of North Carolina has just clarified its guidelines for Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, allowing for brewery taprooms to reopen. We are thrilled to receive this news and we look forward to serving you in the taproom soon! That said, the taproom will remain closed for on-premise service this weekend as we prepare our staff and our space for safe and efficient operations under the State’s new guidelines.

Our top priorities are the health and safety of our staff and our guests and seamless customer service for customers who choose to join us in the taproom. Please stay tuned for a follow-up announcement with an official reopening date.

In the meantime, we will continue to offer To-Go Beer sales 12:00-8:00 daily and home delivery today and tomorrow. Thank you for your continued support and your patience as we prepare to serve you in the taproom again!


From Firebirds Wood Fired Grill’s Facebook: (for Winston-Salem only that I can verify)

We are NOW open for dine-in service with reservations only. You can make a reservation online or by calling us directly. We will also continue to offer curbside pickup and delivery. We want to assure you that safety remains our #1 priority. In addition to following CDC guidelines, we have enhanced our already high standards of food safety, hygiene, cleaning and sanitation. Please visit us online to learn more at https://firebirdsrestaurants.com/promotions/safer-together/.


From me, since the Facebook page isn’t telling much:

Willows Bistro will open back up today at 3 pm. Of course, social distancing rules will be in effect as will the 50% capacity rule.

Willow’s Bistro will be opening for dinner at 3 TODAY!. Come see us! Matthias “Frenchy” Gomez [has] an amazing new menu! We have taken courses and trained our coworkers on all the safety and sanitation procedures!

So, make sure to go by and have a beverage and a good meal. Be safe.


From Island Cuisine’s Facebook:



From La Botana’s Facebook: (I may have posted about them in one of the earlier updates)

La Botana
Our staff has been certified of Certificate Of Completion #countonmeNC We are doing our part so that you feel safe and comfortable when you Dine-In at La Botana, please do your part to keep yourself and others safe too. We will still offer limited Trays for takeout, we need your support more than ever.

Here is a list of Trays that we will keep during phase 2
1. Fajita Tray $25
2. Loaded chicken chorizo Tray $25
3. Enchiladas Rancheras Tray $30
4. Super Foods Vegetarian Tray (feed 2) $20
add 2 small guacamole salads $25

You can order from all of our menus now
Lunch menu
Regular menu
Vegetarian menu
Vegan menu
Paleo menu

Our first choice for you to enjoy La Botana cooking during phase 2 is through takeout. We are still waiting on a response from PPP relief fund and we are hoping we can get it. without PPP Relief we need to open our Dine-In area to catch up on our past due invoices and rent, we are behind several months now. We mean no disrespect to families who have been affected personally by this pandemic, It will be hard to recuperate economically but health and life is a different issue.

We are now taking Dine-In reservations.
For reservations call between
11:30am to 2:30pm lunchtime &
4:45pn to 8:30pm Dinner time.
If you can’t reach us by text at 336-768-6588 we will do our best to confirm. Our last reservation spot for lunchtime is 2:00pm M-F,
our last reservation spot for dinner is 8:30pm M-F and Saturday dinner 4:45-8:30pm.


More to come, stay safe WSNC!!