Port City Small Bites: Tails to Become German Beer Garden, Upcoming Coffee Festival, and More

The building at 115 S. Front St., formerly Tails Piano Bar, is being taken over by restaurateurs from YoSake, Husk and Dram + Morsel to become a German beer garden and restaurant. (Port City Daily/Shea Carver)

SOUTHEAST NC – Lots of movement is happening around the Port City with regards to new openings and closings of restaurants, food trucks, bars and bottle shops, as well as the launch of organizational and local food events and festivals. non-profit. While Port City Daily already covers the majority of this news, smaller shifts and changes sometimes go unnoticed.

READ MORE: Find the other culinary news of the week

“Small Bites” offers another way to let readers know what’s going on in the local food scene – what to expect when it comes to the expansion of existing establishments or menu changes, temporary closures and renovations, overtime or grand openings, pop-up events and other newsworthy information.

From the piano bar to the beer garden and restaurant

The team behind Husk, YoSake and Dram + Morsel are preparing to open their fourth location in downtown Wilmington: a German beer garden and restaurant, according to co-owner Justin Smith.

Smith and his partners, his wife Becca Smith, Gil Johnson and Kyra Tebo, have taken over the former Tails Piano Bar at 115 S. Front St.

“I’ve always loved this building,” said Smith, who admitted he’d watched it for years, even before Tails opened in 2018 (the bar closed in fall 2020 after being forced to close during the pandemic).

Aubriana’s operated in the building in the mid-2000s as one of downtown’s fine dining options. Before that, it served as the famous Mickey Ratz, a popular bar in the 90s.

Last summer, the availability of space presented itself.

“A lot of times when we go out of town we end up in various German places for a quick snack or a beer, and use it as a hangout with friends because of the large common areas, and we like to be there. outside,” Smith added. “We’re going to this great place in Brooklyn called Black Forest.”

Currently, Wilmington’s Front Street restaurant seats about 40 people inside and 60 on its outdoor patio, according to Smith. Although the owners of the business are not yet ready to reveal the name of the restaurant and beer garden, Smith envisions it as a destination in downtown Wilmington, offering a unique dining experience with communal seating and smaller. No construction should be carried out on the building itself, except for aesthetic improvements.

The restaurateurs are currently working on obtaining permits for the faucet systems. Smith said the goal was to focus on German lagers from local craft breweries – “or their version of a German beer, a stout, a pale ale, whatever it is.” The restaurant will also offer traditional German drinks and will have all ABC permits.

YoSake chef Erin Wiley, who Smith says is part German, takes the lead on the menu. Although some dishes are traditional, it will mainly be an interpretation of German cuisine.

“It will be more like a fusion,” Smith added, “similar to how YoSake is infused with Asian-American descent.”

Schnitzel, spaetzle, sausages, pretzels, sandwiches and salads feature on the preliminary menu, along with goulash and seafood. Sauerbraten (tender roast beef that has marinated for several days) can be offered as a special one day a week.

Smith said they would also work with an authentic German grocery store through one of its suppliers.

“We are still establishing price levels,” he said, as food prices rise and fall, with supply shortages still heavily affecting the industry. “We’ll have dips up to some of our seafood probably ranging from $8 to $18, and our sandwiches, sausages and meats ranging between $12 and $15.”

Entries will go up to $25.

Smith said if clearance and renovation of the space go as planned, he hopes to be open in the spring.

Tailwind Concessions, which operates ILM’s restaurants and snack bars, is expanding by February, offering a 50-seat full-service restaurant, a 25-seat cafe and two satellite bars serving 12 to 16 customers each. (Courtesy of Tailwind Concessions)

Tailwind Concessions expands at ILM

As Wilmington International Airport (ILM) undergoes its $68 million terminal expansion, its concession areas are also undergoing an overhaul. National company Tailwind Concessions works with 35 airports nationwide to help feed and quench the thirst of travelers moving between cities around the world.

According to spokesperson Jess Backhaus, Tailwind has operated at ILM since 2005. “We have gone through many transformations as the airport has grown and moved over the years,” he said.

Tailwind has used three areas inside the ILM at a time, although it has dropped to two in recent years. Lately they have had to work in temporary spaces as the airport has been under construction since 2018.

READ MORE: ILM incorporates $7 million in baggage claim upgrades into multi-year expansion project

By the time Tailwind completes construction of its new dining and dining spaces, it will have four concession areas for consumers to use. To be unveiled in February, they will include a full-service restaurant added in the middle of the lobby, as well as a cafe and two satellite bars.

The restaurant will seat 50 people and will offer an expanded menu of around 30 dishes, including starters, sandwiches, salads and main courses.

The cafe will seat 25 people and serve a wide range of premium coffee drinks, in addition to offering a “very large fresh take-out section,” Backhaus said.

The satellite bars will seat between 12 and 16 people and will serve locally roasted beers – from Wrightsville Beach Brewery and Edward Teach, for example – as well as locally made spirits from Blue Shark and End of Days.

Construction began in December 2021, with help from Harris Construction and architect John Reese, Buckhaus confirmed. While he can’t reveal the names of the establishments yet — Tailwind is working with the airport administration to localize the names of their concessions based on the region they represent — he said the aesthetic will have a coastal atmosphere.

“Lots of different shades of blue, reclaimed barn wood, lots of white subway tiles – fresh, bright but also a rustic look,” Backhaus described.

Tailwind will be hiring more crew in the coming weeks as it nears its official opening. Currently, she employs about 15 or 20 people at ILM.

“Our staff fluctuates and in the summer it’s much larger just because of the volume of travellers,” Backhaus said.

Wilmington Coffee Fest is coming

What started as a coffee tour in 2018 has grown into a full-fledged festival, celebrating the art of Wilmington’s artisan coffee scene.

Wilmington Coffee Fest returns Saturday, January 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., after Covid-19 put the event on hiatus last year. There will be tastings from over a dozen coffee vendors, seminars, coffee competitions, music, food trucks and local art vendors. Sweets will also be served by local bakeries and food vendors.

The festival will take place in two breweries and will be held outdoors, to be spaced out by the current increase in the number of pandemics. Attendees will meet at Waterline (721 Surry St.) from 9 a.m. to noon and Hi-Wire (1020 Princess St.) from noon to 3 p.m.

Tickets are $25 ($35 per day) for one venue or $40 for both ($50 per day) and include a tote bag, limited-edition WCF 2022 espresso cup, full vendor access, lectures and samples.

There’s also VIP admission for $60, which includes a launch party and early check-in on Friday, January 28, from 6-9 p.m. Attendees can collect their goody bag, meet and greet all vendors, receive two free gifts. drink tickets and enjoy live music. VIP admission also allows early access to both venues, starting at 8:30 a.m. at Waterline and 11:30 a.m. at Hi-Wire.

Tickets can be purchased here.

The Green House offers a new lunch menu, which includes various salads. Above, the winter caprese, with roasted butternut squash, mozzarella, sage, candied walnuts and brown butter vinaigrette. (Courtesy of Green House)

New cards

Wilmington’s vegan gourmet establishment, The Green House, launched a new lunch menu last week: sides ($7), salads ($13) and small plates ($15).

Highlights include warm potato salad (turmeric marinated cauliflower, mushroom bacon, red peas, golden raisin and caper vinaigrette), ‘krab’ dip (Lion’s Mane mushrooms, sweet and spicy peppers, lentil chips) and a root vegetable poutine (tubers, miso sauce and aged almond cheese).

There’s also a winter caprese salad that looks like a work of art, with roasted butternut squash, mozzarella, sage, candied walnuts and a brown butter vinaigrette.

The Green House accepts reservations and is open for lunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and dinner (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.), Wednesday through Sunday.

Across the bridge on the beach in Wrightsville, Blockade Runner has also released a new menu for its jazz brunch. Every Sunday, diners are treated to live jazz performed by Marc Siegel and his guests while enjoying freshly prepared dishes, with ingredients sourced from local farms and markets.

The menu was created by Blockade Runner Chef Jessica Cabo and Sous Chef Shaun Fenix, who took inspiration from the Monterey Jazz Festival (chefs will change the menu quarterly, depending on which destinations host guests). world-famous jazz nights). Offerings include items like Fisherman’s Wharf-inspired clam chowder served in a sourdough bowl, crab and goat cheese quiche, salted salmon Benedict waffle, and lemon ricotta pancakes. Several vegetarian and vegan dishes are also included, such as mushroom toast and tacos.

Item prices range from $7 to $20. Brunch is served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 877-684-8009.

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