Beasley's, the first of Ashley Christensen's new Wilmington Street establishments, has just gotten its new painted sign and is expected to open before the end of summer. We got our first taste of the Beasley's branding when they became a sponsor for Hopscotch—now the painted sign gleams on the corner of Wilmington and Martin street. At first we wondered where Beasley's got it great name. Bubbly and Southern, it feels like the perfect label for a fried chicken restaurant.
Photo: Goodnight Raleigh
Then it hit us: the urban neanderthals that we are, so dense, so slow on the uptake, and all this time the answer was right across the street. David Beasley of AAA Bonds is one luck man. We don't know his waist size but we are confident it will be receiving one large upgrade.
Following Beasley's, we expect the neighboring restaurant "Chuck's" to open, followed by the downstairs bar.
We don't know much more about Beasley's other than that it's going to serve some of that amazing honey-crusted chicken that has popped up at Poole's once in a while over the past year. Keeping our eyes peeled for other obvious research and development at Poole's, we realized one of its sure-fire staples might be basis for Chuck's: the Royale.
Written up late last week in New York Magazine, the Royale is a burger lover's S&M mistress—a duck-fat-fried wonder that Christensen describes herself as:
"...a ten-ounce, 100 percent chuck burger, ground daily in house from Painted Hills beef in Oregon. We roll the burger in toasted tellicherry peppercorn and sear it in rendered duck fat. It's served on a slice of grilled, housemade brioche. The cheese selection changes. It is currently Mobay, from Carr Valley in Wisconsin; Mobay is their take on Morbier. Mobay features a layer of sheep's-milk cheese and a layer of goat's-milk cheese divided by a thin line of grapevine ash. We serve the Royale with a tiny pitcher of red-wine-shallot-beef jus. It has been on the menu since the day we opened.
Because we’re in an old diner, I thought it would be fun to do something that has a diner association but is executed at the highest level possible. It’s a Pulp Fiction riff, the 'Royale with cheese.' And then we're making the cheese something that would be cheese-board-quality cheese."
We know Chuck's will be burger centric. Gawd, what if they all resemble the well polished Royale, the level of craft we haven't seen on any other burger in the world? It's no secret that back in the day Christensen was the brains behind the hugely successful Raleigh Times menu, setting the foundation of fresh-ground beef burgers and other great bar foods that have helped carry the downtown staple to success. We expect Chuck's will handily upset the burger king with the craft and culture that Christensen brings to her food.
Christensen hinted at the names for the establishments earlier this month with pictures of the tile floor entrances for each: B, C, and F for the bar. We don't have confirmation on what the F stands for, yet.