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Raleigh's Zely & Ritz to become Plates

Raleigh's Zely & Ritz, a fixture in Glenwood South for almost a decade, has closed.

The new owner, Steve Day, a former banquet chef at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, plans to open Plates in the Zely & Ritz space by early October.

Zely & Ritz owner and chef Sarig Agasi explained that he and his wife, Nancy, wanted to spend more time with their children before they all leave home. They will go to Israel to visit relatives and Sarig plans to launch a line of pickles.

The Agasis sold the business to Day, who studied at the Le Cordon Bleu in London and worked at Le Gavroche, a Michelin-starred restaurant there. Day, 50, and his wife settled in the Triangle due to his wife's job at Cisco Systems. He worked at Midtown Grille and then at the banquet services at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary. Day has hired Sam Bradford, an Umstead colleague, to be executive chef. He and Bradford will run the kitchen and Day will be on the floor during dinner service.

Day describes the new restaurant as offering "globally-inspired, locally-produced food." The menu will offer a handful of entrees, priced between $13 and $15, and a handful of desserts, and slightly more appetizers and bar snacks. The idea will be that folks can enjoy a three-course meal for around $30. The restaurant will offer a moderately-priced wine list and a bunch of local beers on tap.

The biggest change to the interior of the 50-seat restaurant will be installing a bar, which will be on the right-hand side as you enter where communal tables once stood.

Day hopes that people will come out to enjoy the restaurant that he envisions as a "nice, fun casual place to get high-quality food."

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