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Restaurants

Restaurant Created By Ash Aziz In Monkey Junction Has New Owners

By Jessica Maurer, posted May 13, 2019
Junction 421 on South College Road, formerly owned by Ash Aziz of Circa Restaurant Group, has new owners. (Photo from Facebook)
Circa Restaurant Group owner Ash Aziz on Monday confirmed the sale of Junction 421, 5104 S. College Road in Wilmington, to Jonathan and Shirena O’Donnell.

The O’Donnells purchased the business from Aziz on May 1 for an undisclosed amount.
 
Jonathan O’Donnell, a managing partner with Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Wilmington since 2005, said he met with Aziz last November, and that Aziz was looking to hire a manager who might be interested in the possibility of purchasing the business within a year or so.

O’Donnell said he felt it was a great opportunity to learn from a true leader in the Wilmington restaurant community, and was eager to come on board.
 
Junction 421, an American bar and grill, replaced another of Aziz’s concepts, a second location of Osteria Cicchetti, late last year.
 
Since that time, O’Donnell has worked alongside Aziz to get the new concept up and running. In April, the offer to purchase the business was extended.
 
O’Donnell attended the school of hospitality and restaurant management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and spent several years working for hotelier Steve Wynn in Las Vegas prior to moving to Wilmington.

He said he views Aziz as a mentor and role model and is honored to have been given the opportunity to work with him and to purchase Junction 421.
 
“Ash is so good at what he does, and I really hope to build upon his success,” O’Donnell said. “I want to honor all he’s done in terms of the quality of food and service, because I believe it’s a winning formula. His spirit of hospitality will remain.”
 
O’Donnell said he plans to simplify Junction 421’s menu just a bit, serving fresh, from-scratch dishes. He brought on longtime Carrabba’s employees Thomas Owen and David Bracey to serve as front of house manager and kitchen manager, respectively.
 
Junction 421 serves dinner Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Brunch is served Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3: 30 p.m. and dinner is served from 3:30 to 10 p.m.

Sunday brunch begins at 10 a.m. and is served until 3:30 p.m., dinner until 9 p.m.
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