Oro Restaurant and Lounge, a new tapas restaurant, should open this spring at the corner of Martin and Wilmington streets on the ground floor of the RBC Plaza.
Oro, which means "gold" in Spanish and Italian, is the work of a husband-and-wife team: Chris Hylton, a former chef at The Mint in downtown Raleigh, and Cara Zalcberg Hylton, who has an MBA. (She quips: "I realized if I wanted to ever see him, I'd have to go into the resaurant business." )
The couple met in Washington, D.C. and moved to Raleigh three years ago. Chris Hylton, 38, is a native of Jamaica and became a U.S. citizen two years ago. He says he's wanted to be a chef since he took a home economics course in high school in Jamaica. In a weird small-world coincidence, Hylton ran into his former home economics teacher, Jennifer McPherson, on the streets of downtown Raleigh in December. She's now a student at Shaw University. And he was able to show her the space his new restuarant would occupy and what she inspired him to do.
The 3,000-square foot space will seat about 100 people, feature an open-air kitchen and a mezzanine with a fireplace. The restaurant will serve global cuisine in a tapas style from lobster mac-and-cheese to corn on the cob with miso butter and a seven-pepper spice. Nothing will cost more than $15. They also will serve 16 wines on tap and local beers.
The couple hopes to create a welcoming casual environment to repay the downtown Raleigh community that welcomed them three years ago.
"This communinty embraced us when we were nobody," Cara Hylton says. She added that they plan to commit their energy to several local charities, including Children's Flight of Hope, The Frankie Lemmon School and The V Foundation.
They will be open for lunch five days a week and dinner seven days a week.The address is 18 E. Martin St.