Generations of Tar Heels shopped at Fowler’s Food Store for groceries, produce, seafood and meat. Regarded as Chapel Hill’s first supermarket, the store opened on West
Franklin Street in the 1920s and soldiered on through the 1980s,
when Fowler family members opened an eponymously named
store in Durham’s Brightleaf complex.
So it’s fitting that the three partners behind Blue Dogwood
Public Market — combining Tar Heels’ favorite color with the
state flower — chose Fowler’s old space for a new food hall.
Two of the partners previously worked together on infill
building projects in Chapel Hill. Jeff Boak ’ 71 teamed with
architect Josh Gurlitz to build the first mixed-use high-rise on
Rosemary Street (The Fountains, 308 W. Rosemary). When local
chef Kelly Taylor approached them with a business proposition
in the form of a question — how could they make it easier
for regional chefs and artisanal food producers to reach more
customers? — they drafted her to help do just that.
Boak, who also earned his MBA from UNC in 1976, asked
his daughter, Sarah Boak, to do the marketing. She lives in New
York, but these are no absentee landlords — Jeff Boak lives across
the street in The Fountains and will be running the beer and wine
bar at Blue Dogwood. Taylor, who hosts a weekly food talk radio
show on WCHL, will launch an Italian-inspired bakery.
The partners expect Blue Dogwood eventually to have as
many as 16 stalls where vendors can sell prepared regional and
seasonal foods. Among the first to sign one-year leases are a
butcher, a baker, a chocolate maker, a tea producer, wine and beer
makers, and a seafood vendor. The market also will have seasonal
pop-up displays and a communal kitchen for prep work, chef
demonstrations and classes.
James Clark, until recently chef at The Carolina Inn, claimed a
stall for his Hook & Larder, selling locally sourced seafood, raw and
prepared, with an emphasis on underappreciated and sustainably
fished varieties. Clark’s stall should be a good advertisement for
the restaurant he plans to open in the old post office in downtown
Pittsboro, the Postal Seafood Company.
Blue Dogwood’s opening date and hours are pending. There’s
parking for about 70 cars in the three lots between Franklin and
Rosemary streets, shared by Noodles & Company and Mellow
Mushroom. Visit www.bluedogwood.com to keep up with
Blue Dogwood Public Market, 306 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION
Reaches Chapel Hill
Following the success of their Cuban
Revolution restaurant at Durham’s
American Tobacco Campus, Ed and Mary
Morabito have opened a second location,
in downtown Chapel Hill.
The restaurant’s menu blends a handbill
aesthetic with the culinary offerings,
Tampa,” explained Mary Morabito. “So, I
grew up eating Cuban food.”
Cuban cuisine — blending Spanish,
African and Caribbean influences —
Genoa salami, Swiss cheese, pickles, mayo,
mustard, all pressed between Cuban bread,
share the menu with wraps, salads and sides
such as ropa vieja stew and fried plantains.
Diners can eat at Formica-topped tables or
Spreading Cuban Revolution to Chapel
Hill made sense: Their son, Christopher,
is a sophomore at UNC. “We’ve been
bringing so many Cuban sandwiches over
[from Durham] to him and his friends in
Granville Towers,” said Mary Morabito,
“at least, this is more convenient.” Delivery
Fowler’s Old Spot Getting New Market
Blue Dogwood Public Market will be a food hall with a variety of vendors selling fresh
and prepared foods where Fowler’s used to be. See page 71.