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Rooster & The Crow Brings Casual Southern Cuisine Downtown

By Jessica Maurer, posted Jun 12, 2019
Rooster & The Crow is one of the latest additions to downtown Wilmington's restaurant scene. (Photo by Jessica Maurer)
Rooster & The Crow, a newly opened restaurant in Chandler’s Wharf in downtown Wilmington, showcases the favorites foods of owners Allen Carpenter and Zach Harmon.
 
Both Carpenter and Harmon grew up in North Carolina and both spent a significant amount of time with their grandparents, learning family recipes created with the bounty of locally harvested produce.  Carpenter’s grandfather owned a restaurant in the western part of the state for many years, while Harmon grew up helping his grandmother run a daycare, and eventually providing meals for the children as a young adult.
 
The partners have worked in several segments of the hospitality and entertainment industries over the years, traveling across the state as well as the Southeast, always seeking out restaurants suggested by the locals, and sampling whatever they consider their specialties. They’ve spent the last several years scoping out locations across the state and putting together ideas for a restaurant of their own.
 
Carpenter and Harmon both have ties to the Wilmington area, with their families having vacationed at nearby beaches when they were young. It’s for that reason, they say, that they were drawn to the area, and when 225 S. Water St. became available, they knew they had found a home for Rooster & The Crow.
 
“We’re amazed by how supportive the locals have been and we’re pleased to say that the restaurant has been very well received so far,” Allen Carpenter said.
 
Carpenter and Harmon updated the 54-seat dining room with new lighting and furnishings, and expanded the space behind the bar to include 15 taps for local beers and draft prosecco. 
 
Lunch and dinner are served daily, with brunch to begin shortly, featuring mimosa flights and a Bloody Mary bar. The menu includes southern-inspired dishes such as a savory shrimp and alligator cheesecake with a tomato bacon sauce, fried green tomatoes, nearly ten burgers made with short rib brisket and ground chuck, sandwiches, salads and entrees such as fried chicken, NC pit cooked brisket, shrimp and grits and hoop cheese mac and cheese prepared with Ashe County hoop cheese and topped with Heritage Farms bacon or pulled pork.
 
Daily homemade sides include collard greens, mashed potatoes, fried cabbage, cheesy grits and potato salad. For dessert, Rooster & The Crow offers a gluten-free flourless chocolate torte as well as traditional banana pudding served in a mason jar.
 
“We’re working on developing some additional gluten-free and vegan options,” Zach Harmon said.
 
Harmon said he also looks forward to working with seasonal ingredients such as corn and tomatoes to create new side dishes throughout the summer.
 
Rooster & The Crow is currently open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Hours may change with the summer season and brunch will served Saturday and Sunday at starting at 10 a.m. beginning mid-June.
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