Porches Cafe, in the River Bluffs community in Castle Hayne, announced Monday that it is closing its doors, perhaps not permanently, but at least for the foreseeable future.
A Facebook post from July 13 stated, “
Limits on capacity, reduced interest in dining out, and increased operating costs related to new safety measures have all wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry throughout the country and certainly in Wilmington.
"Well-known restaurants that have been in business for decades have been forced to close their doors and regrettably, we now find ourselves in that same position due to the effects of COVID-19.
"Effective THIS Friday (after our last dinner service) we will be closing our neighborhood cafe indefinitely. From our entire team (management, kitchen, and waitstaff), we thank you for 5+ years of love & support.”
A true farm-to-table cafe, all of Porches menu items were locally sourced, many picked fresh from the River Bluffs farm.
“Porches is part of the fabric of the River Bluffs community,” said director of operations John Lennon. “This has been a very difficult decision and we remain hopeful that down the line the restaurant can reopen when the timing is right.”
Lennon said the cafe experienced some success with carryout, particularly within River Bluffs and the surrounding area of Castle Hayne. He remained optimistic at the start of phase two of the state's reopening plan, but said the cafe has seen a dramatic drop in dine-in service over the past few weeks.
“There’s so much uncertainty that it just isn’t practical to try to continue operating under the current circumstances,” Lennon said.
It’s precisely because of that uncertainty that Lennon said he is unable to speculate as to when reopening might be possible. For now he said, the building that housed the cafe will remain as is.
Lennon described River Bluffs as a low-impact design community – one that is focused on utilizing and enhancing the land it’s built upon. The community will continue to operate its 10-acre farm, a portion of which is tended to by a commercial farmer, while residents have the ability to grow their own produce within the community space.
For its final week of service, Porches will serve lunch each day this week, featuring pizza and pasta today, July 15, vegetarian meals on Thursday, and seafood on Friday.
A farewell dinner will be served Friday evening from 5 to 9 p.m., with live music on the patio, weather permitting. Specials are expected to be announced early Friday.
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