A wall of 44 oak barrels will tower nearly 20 feet tall behind the bar at Bull City Solera and Taproom set to open later this fall. The new restaurant and taproom will occupy the former Chick-fil-A building at 4120 University Drive behind Target and Sam’s Club at South Square. Construction will begin this summer to enclose the drive thru and create an indoor space with a full bar, indoor seating, kitchen, and event space. Situated on an acre of land, the taproom will also feature an area for outdoor life including an outdoor fire pit, patio tables, and events for families, craft beer lovers, and locavores of all types. This new venture will join the family of restaurants including Bull City Burger and Brewery and Pompieri Pizza, both located in Durham.
The centerpiece of the bar is a glass-enclosed oak barrel solera, aging beer in a fashion similar to the way Sherry wine is aged in Spain. Beer will be stored in rows of oak barrels stacked in a pyramid. Several times a year, beer will be drawn from the bottom level of barrels, blended, and served on tap. Beer from each higher row in the pyramid will then fill in the row below, with new beer added at the top. We are excited to bring this way of aging beer to Durham.
The restaurant menu will feature Mexican Pizza (“Don’t dare call them nachos”) and Italian Tacos created by Seth Gross, the owner of both Bull City Burger and Brewery and Pompieri Pizza. “I am very excited to bring locally sourced food made from scratch, and an independently owned option to this side of Durham,” he says. “I have always felt that the south end of Durham has been underserved with regard to enough independent restaurants featuring the food representative of the ‘foodiest small town in America.’ I am thrilled to join the small number of great restaurants in the area with a new family-friendly option also offering a late night menu.”
The craft beer on tap will be from Bull City Burger and Brewery, expanding their lineup with new varieties and experimental beer styles including a separate aging facility for balanced sour ales. In keeping with Bull City Burger and Brewery’s values of making authentic, true-to-style beer, Bull City Burger and Brewery will be able to showcase even more beer, which earned them the 2017 NC Brewers Cup.
The menu will keep with the core values of Seth’s other restaurants - sourcing locally, back to scratch and only serving “happy” meats raised in North Carolina without added hormones or antibiotics. There will be gluten-free food, vegan fare, as well as kid-friendly options. “We won’t be serving burgers or Neapolitan pizza here,” explains Seth, “Been there and done that. We are going to do something new and I can’t wait to show off all our great flavors. Get ready for comforting food that’s familiar, but different at the same time.”
Bull City Solera and Taproom is the third restaurant by Seth Gross. Seth is a Culinary Institute of America graduate, former sommelier, professional brewer, and restaurateur. His two restaurants in downtown Durham are the first certified B-Corp restaurants in NC. Seth was the recipient of the NC Small Business of the year presented by Business North Carolina in 2018. Seth was also awarded a Visionary Leadership award from the NC Business Council in 2018. Pie Pan, Inc. is the name of the parent company and hospitality group.
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