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McDaid’s Irish Pub coming to the former Porter’s space on Hillsborough Street

This is a post by N&O restaurant critic Greg Cox:

Good news for fans of Porter’s Tavern, the restaurant that closed last weekend after a ten-year run on Hillsborough Street. Robert Beebe, the local restaurateur who bought the space, is keeping the Porter’s kitchen and dining room staffs, as well as many of the old menu favorites.

Beebe, who is a partner in a number of Irish pubs in the area (including Doolin’s in Durham and both Trali locations), also plans to add a few Irish pub classics to the bill of fare.

To reflect the changes, the restaurant will get a new name and a quick dining room makeover. If all goes according to plan, Beebe hopes to McDaid’s Irish Pub (2412 Hillsborough St.) by mid-September.

Send restaurant news to Greg at ggcox@bellsouth.net. Be sure to tune in to Greg's radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF.

Urban Food Group closes Porter's on Hillsborough Street

Urban Food Group, the Raleigh restaurant group started by Kevin and Stacey Jennings, closed Porter's Sunday night, which marks the end of an era for the restaurateurs on Hillsborough Street.

The couple's first restaurant was Frazier's, which they owned for more than 14 years on Hillsborough Street, and then they opened Porter's next door, which was open for about a decade. The Jennings sold Frazier's last year and it became Klara's. The former Porter's space will become an Irish pub and restaurant. (Greg Cox is tracking down more details.)

Based on their success at Frazier's, the couple was able to grow their restaurant group to include Vivace, Coquette and Chow. Kevin Jennings said today that they are focused on duplicating those restaurant concepts in other cities, especially Vivace, which could expand to such cities as Tampa, Atlanta and Denver. Jennings said they are also looking for opportunities to develop new restaurant concepts in the Triangle.

If you have a gift certificate to Porter's, no worries. Jennings said those gift cards are redeemable at any of their other restaurants.

Frazier's, a Hillsborough Street dining destination in Raleigh, has closed

I got word Saturday night via Greg Cox, our restaurant critic, that Frazier's has closed.

Kevin and Stacey Jennings, owners of Urban Food Group, a local restaurant company, sent a note to Cox late Saturday night. The note from Kevin Jennings' phone read: "I'm going down to Frazier's to close it for good.We will miss that place terribly."

Frazier's was the Jennings' first restaurant in Raleigh. As a young couple, they created a dining destination on Raleigh's Hillsborough Street when there wasn't much else there for grown-ups. It was a favorite among the people who lived in the neighborhoods close to N.C. State University. The couple's flagship restaurant had faltered in recent years as the city's dining scene exploded on Glenwood South and in downtown Raleigh. Most recently, the couple had transformed Frazier's into a wine bar.

The Jennings also own Porter's Tavern, Coquette, Chow and two locations of Vivace, one in Charlotte and the other in Raleigh. 

UPDATE: I got Kevin Jennings on the phone this afternoon. After 14 years, he said, business was down and they decided to put the restaurant up for sale six months ago. Jennings says the owners of Klara's, a Czech restaurant in Cary, have bought the business. (No word yet on their plans.)

Jennings explained that they plan to focus on opening locations of Vivace in Denver, Washington, D.C. and Durham. For the Durham location, they have had "initial talks" with the folks behind Diamond View III, at the Durham Bulls ballpark and American Tobacco.

Today's Living Social deal is a 3-hour Raleigh food tour

Like Groupon and Twongo, Living Social offers discount deals on everything from spa packages to Nascar racing experiences. Today's deal is $36 to dine and drink during a three-hour food tour of Urban Food Group restaurants: Vivace, Porter's and Frazier's.

Go HERE for the details.

N.C. beer dinner at Porter's next week

Porter's in Raleigh is hosting a five-course N.C. beer dinner at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 21.

Here's the deal: five chefs from Urban Food Group restaurant group (Porter's, Vivace and Coquette) will each be cooking a course paired with different N.C. beers.

The cost is $50. Call 821-2133.

Reminder: Dine out to help family of 6-year-old Saturday

Remember to dine out Saturday to help the family whose 6-year-old daughter was killed last week after being run over by an elderly motorist.

Help family of 6-year-old killed last week at school bus stop by dining out

If you would like to help the family whose 6-year-old daughter was killed last week after being run over by an elderly motorist, you can dine out Saturday.


The girl's parents, Alfonzo and Elena, along with several other family members, have been long-time employees of Urban Food Group's restaurants, according to a company press release. On Saturday, the company’s service staff has agreed to donate some or all of their tips and wages to the family.

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