Burgaw To Get New Deli, Farm-to-table Restaurant

By Emma Dill, posted Mar 11, 2024
An illustration shows what the spaces at 106 and 108 Courthouse Ave. in Burgaw could look like as the home of the restaurant envisioned by the winner of the Own Your Own competition. (Illustration by Eden Mills/Courtesy of Own Your Own)
A new Southern-style, farm-to-table restaurant and a deli are coming to downtown Burgaw, according to a news release on Monday from Own Your Own, a local restaurant competition.

The announcement comes after the contest’s original winner, Colorado-based chef Karoline Schwartz, opted not to move forward with plans for her Burgaw restaurant. The newly announced ventures will be led by two chefs who were finalists in the Own Your Own contest.

The competition was founded by Wilmington-based entrepreneur Richard Johnson in an effort to help revitalize Burgaw. The challenge began with more than 500 entries, which were then whittled down to fewer than 200 before interviews began.

In October, 24 finalists descended on Burgaw to present themselves, their plans and their culinary creations at a Town Square Cook-Off – an event that narrowed the contestants to 12. The competition concluded with one-on-one interviews, a review of each business's plan and a day in a working kitchen.

“We’ve encountered so many remarkable individuals on this journey, and our vision all along has been to elevate Burgaw’s restaurant scene and establish it as a culinary destination,” Johnson stated in the release.

Khristen Hunter has plans for a Southern, farm-to-table restaurant at 106 to 108 W. Courthouse Ave. in Burgaw – the original site eyed for a restaurant by contest organizers. The news release describes Hunter as a “standout finalist and the sole local chef among the top six contestants.”

“As a local, I am excited to be a part of this growing community and help us achieve making Burgaw a destination town together!” Hunter stated in the release. “My goal is to give the locals a new gathering place to come and enjoy great company, serving fresh southern breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Vincent Mangual, the competition’s runner-up, will head up a “marketplace deli” in a storefront in Burgaw’s Antiques on the Square building at 102 W. Fremont St., the release stated. It will specialize in local-sourced ingredients, freshly-baked bread along with grab-and-go options.

Mangual and his family plan to relocate to Burgaw from Brooklyn to run the deli.

“You’ll see influences from New York and a little bit of everything I’ve taken up along the way,” Mangual stated in the release. 

“My family and I felt the love from Burgaw during the competition,” he added, “and we’re excited to get down there, become part of the community and serve you some great food.”
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