After a decade as one of the Triangle area’s most sought-after caterers—known for her superior restaurant quality food, service and style—Chef Coleen Speaks strikes out on her own with her first cocktail bar and café. Hummingbird is located at Dock 1053, at the corner of Whitaker Mill and Atlantic Ave (1053 East Whitaker Mill Road, Raleigh, North Carolinba; 919-301-8900), and will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 am until midnight.
Chef Coleen Speaks celebrates a return to her restaurant roots with the opening of Hummingbird, a stylish neighborhood bar and café, located next door to Whitaker & Atlantic, Speaks’ new private event space, also designed by Raleigh’s Furnish Design and REdesign.build. Hummingbird will resonate with PoshNosh devotees as an extension of Speaks’ catered soirées, where all are welcome and a joie de vivre permeates food, décor and conversation. While intimate, with 12 bright yellow bar stools at the marble bar, and an adjacent “Portrait Room” seating 16 at café tables, Hummingbird will introduce heated, outdoor seating on the promenade and lounge seating next door at Whitaker & Atlantic in the coming months.
This neighborhood bar offers classic cocktails, wines and bottled beers alongside original cocktails with floral inspiration. House-made tea infusions present unique, fruit-forward accents as in Speaks’ signature cocktail—the “Hummingbird”—a vibrant hibiscus tea-infused cocktail.
Bar snacks and small plates—designed to complement well-crafted cocktails—reflect Speaks’ affinity for festive New Orleans cuisine and a caterer’s talent for elevating and expanding upon classic hors d’oeuvres. Salty and savory bites include togarashi-seasoned popcorn and shrimp dip, house-made pretzel bread with tangy pub cheese and brandied paté.
Hummingbird will be one of the few bars and cafés in Raleigh for gathering day and night. Fresh squeezed juices and full coffee service will be available beginning at 8am, with cinnamon-sugared ricotta fritters, butterscotch sticky buns, coconut-chia seed pudding and from the bar, boozy coffee cocktails and Micheladas. Lunchtime brings Vegetable Bahn Mi’s with mushroom paté, grilled cheese with apricot jam, Po’ Boys with cornmeal fried seafood, and salads, accompanied by a clever “Session” cocktail menu including an Aperol Spritz. In the evenings, Hummingbird’s bar snacks will share the menu with hot and cold small plates—charbroiled oysters, her Cajun-style gumbo, Buttermilk Fried Quail, pickled shrimp and Garam Marsala-scented wings. Dessert includes a collaboration from the kitchen and bar—Soyer au Champagne—a coupe filled with vanilla ice cream, bubbles, Luxardo and brandy. (Upon opening, the coffee and breakfast menu will be served daily until 3 pm; the evening menu will begin at 4pm. The lunch menu will be introduced in the coming weeks.)
Hummingbird joins Whitaker & Atlantic and PoshNosh Catering kitchen, among a handful of makers, entrepreneurs, artisans and retailers, revitalizing Dock 1053—originally built in 1955 for the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P Grocery) as a regional distribution facility—the Triangle’s largest warehouse, in this burgeoning extension of downtown Raleigh.
Chef Coleen Speaks—whose career began at Emeril Lagasse’s NOLA Restaurant, and locally at Bloomsbury Bistro and Enoteca Vin (during Chef Ashley Christensen’s tenure) —launched PoshNosh Catering in 2007, filling a need for seasonal chef-driven, catered cuisine in the Triangle region of North Carolina. PoshNosh flourished through the years, capturing the area’s boutique catering market, and cultivating a loyal following for Speaks’ locally sourced cooking and restaurant-quality service and style. Custom menus and event concepts are tailored for each client and event, creating one-of-a-kind experiences, featuring everything from made-to-order ethnic street food like bibimbap to multi-coursed wine-paired dinners at art-themed galas. In 2017, Speaks opened a private event space, Whitaker & Atlantic, and a café and bar, Hummingbird.