Following a yearlong vacancy after the closure of Rolled & Baked, 509 Castle St. will now be home to Castle Street Kitchen, a casual dining concept from Heather and Lauren Rhodes featuring American classics with a unique twist.
Property owner Kent Tomaselli of Port City Holding Company was heavily involved in selecting the new tenants, according to Terry Espy of MoMentum Companies, who served as broker in the lease transaction.
“We had so many inquiries about the space and many were great concepts, but they weren’t necessarily what the community has been asking for,” Espy said. “I always say, the building and the community tell you what a space wants to be and if you
don’t go with that, it can be a major factor in a business failing.”
The Rhodeses (pictured at right)
recently relocated to the Port City from Raleigh, where Heather worked in the restaurant industry for 27 years. Having started her culinary career as a dishwasher for a small pizza chain in the South Raleigh area, Heather’s experiences over the years have fostered a strong understanding of each component that helps a restaurant run as a whole.
She prioritizes teamwork and is passionate about serving local food and beverages. She and Lauren also hope to make a positive impact on the local community and create an all-inclusive atmosphere.
“At Castle Street Kitchen, there will truly be something for everyone,” Lauren Rhodes said. “We are committed to creating an environment where all are welcome."
Whether partnering with the New Hanover Humane Society to help foster pups find their forever homes or hosting a pop-up to showcase local artists, Castle Street Kitchen intends to become involved in the Wilmington community.
The Rhodeses say the menu at Castle Street Kitchen will be a fusion of go-to classics and contemporary items served in a cozy indoor dining space or on the dog-friendly patio.
“In a vibrant and diverse neighborhood, our innovative plates and passion for the industry will not be confined to the four walls of our building," Lauren Rhodes said. “It’s not just about the food; it’s about an experience that will bring you back again and again.”
Tomaselli has allowed his new tenants to have the space rent-free for the next three months while they prepare for opening. Cosmetic updates and applications with the health department are now underway, according to Espy, who anticipates Castle Street Kitchen opening in late October or early November.
“The Castle Street residents and businesses had been asking for several years for a community-focused restaurant offering lunch and dinner at reasonable prices and locals a place to gather in the evenings,” said Espy. “We are thrilled to welcome Lauren and Heather Rhodes to the community.”
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