New American Eatery Kilimanjaro On The Horizon Close To South Front District

By Miriah Hamrick, posted Feb 28, 2023
A new restaurant called Kilimanjaro, designed in a nod to the namesake volcanic mountain in Tanzania, has been proposed for the corner of Wright and Third streets. (Image courtesy of Rob Romero)
A new restaurant housed in a modern building that channels the aesthetics of its namesake, Mount Kilimanjaro, could soon crop up near the corner of Third and Wright streets in Wilmington.
The proposed restaurant and bar, Kilimanjaro, has submitted plans to the city of Wilmington for the eatery to be constructed on a currently vacant lot at 215 Wright St., next to Pinnacle Storage. 
Renderings for the restaurant show a sector-shaped structure with a rounded facade facing the corner of Third and Wright streets. Rob Romero, architect for the project and owner of Romero Architecture, said the design was inspired by the tapered shape of a volcanic mountain, with walls gently sloping inward from the widest point at the base of the building.
“I thought about leaning the exterior walls back, like a volcano,” Romero said. Neon red accents were incorporated in a nod to lava, he added.
Plans show a wall of windows along the rounded, eastward-oriented facade of the restaurant, where Romero anticipates infusing the space with soft natural light in the afternoon and evening hours.
The proposed 2,500-square-foot building would feature a curved bar spanning most of the length of the eatery’s dining room. In addition to approximately 15 seats at the bar, about 20 guests could sit at couches or tables in a lounge area beside the bar.
Outdoor seating could accommodate another 40 people.
The restaurant is expected to serve traditional American fare with soul food influences according to business owner Rodrick James, who is undertaking the project with his wife, Shirlene. He confirmed the eatery will likely be open for lunch and dinner.
Plans for the restaurant show a pedestrian entrance from Third Street, while vehicles would enter from Wright Street into a small parking lot that’s currently slated to include about a dozen spots for vehicles as well as spots for bicycles.
Pending approval from the city, the restaurant could open in late 2023 or early 2024. Romero said construction could begin in two or three months, with contractors secured once the project gets the green light.
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