Frazier’s Closing, Reopening as a Wine Bar With Food

Frazier’s Closing, Reopening as a Wine Bar With Food

February, 08, 2010 , by Jedidiah

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Dean, over at VarmintBites, has once again led us to more local restaurant news. This time it is Urban Food Group’s Frazier’s on Hillsborough Street closing up after Valentine’s Day and reopening later in 2010 as a food centered wine bar.

This comes just a few weeks after the higher dollar Fins downsized into a global street food restaurant called bu•ku. It seems that the new spot will be less of a special occasion restaurant and more of a place to stop in, almost a parallel universe to UFG’s Porters next door. Cheaper, with a more flavorful and unique concept seems to be the way to go in this economy, as least in Raleigh. Word on the street is that the rest of Urban Food Group’s restaurants are doing well, so Frazier’s is the exception and essentially needed a new identity.

The new wine bar doesn’t have an opening date or a name yet. We look forward to the new direction of the space. Urban Food Group has a great reputation in the area and we are sure that the new concept will not disappoint.

Hillsborough Street continues its ups and downs during the construction.








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  • Jonathan
    02/08 12:52 PM

    Frazier’s is my favorite restaurant in Raleigh.  I hate to see it go.

  • tc
    02/08 12:57 PM

    I was afraid this might happen.  I freakin love this place, but I guess not enough to keep them in business.  I’ll have to make sure and stop by to pay my respects. 

    Let’s hope the lengthy construction process on Hillsborough doesn’t snuff any of the other few gems…..that the renovation is meant to help.

  • RaleighRob
    02/08 01:32 PM

    Wow…what a loss.  I’ve always liked this place, but lately haven’t gone as often as I would want to, in order to put less strain on my budget. 
    But for quality of food and level of service, it was hard to beat.  Fortunately I think I can get there one last time before they’re gone.

  • Jeff
    02/08 02:13 PM

    That’s so sad!  I think Frazier’s is my favorite place in Raleigh.  It was the first place I ate at when I visited to see if I could move down here, and I knew then I could do it.  I’m glad it’s turning into something else, at least, but I can’t believe there’s not going to be Frazier’s anymore.

  • kim
    02/08 02:26 PM

    Fraziers was UFG’s best restaurant hands down and the staff was top notch. i wish them the best of luck with the wine bar!

  • Scott Luetgenau
    02/08 03:19 PM

    Thank you for your kinds comments towards Frazier’s.  It was one of the toughest decisions we’ve made as a group considering how much we loved the restaurant and given the fact it was our first. 

    That being said, we are extremely excited about the wine bar concept.  Food will seasonal, affordable, with a menu that changes frequently.  Look for $1 cold water oyster specials and seasonal events like a suckling pig roast for with an assortment of artisan Beaujolais open by the glass in the fall.  The wine list will feature small lots of offerings that aren’t available locally among a selections of other gems that will be standards.  There will also be a selection of craft beers available that aren’t found in Raleigh.  The idea is to keep things casual, affordable, and to become the neighborhood place that Frazier’s once was. 

    Please excuse the long post and we look forward to seeing everyone for the opening later this year.  My email is below and I welcome any feedback or suggestions for the new place.

    Scott Luetgenau
    Director of Operations/Beverage Director
    The Urban Food Group
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  • Richard Slater
    02/08 03:35 PM

    What a shame. One or our favorites.
    Red hot and Blue on the corner of Hillsborough St and Oberlin Rd. also closed suddenly last week. Supposedly they were 7 months behind in rent and the staff were not paid for last week or so. They also were in dispute with Gus Gussler of the PR next door over some shared dumpsters.
    I never ate there myself. I heard the food was just ok.

  • Sarah
    02/08 03:44 PM

    This is sad

  • arthurb3
    02/08 04:01 PM

    Frazier’s is a great place but thanks to a the downsizing of my paycheck thanks to the economy last Winter I haven’t been in a long time. Maybe I will take my valentine this weekend?

  • JeffS
    02/08 04:50 PM

    Sorry to hear about Frazier.

    Scott, you’re WAY overdue for a menu refresh at Porters.

  • Scott Luetgenau
    02/08 05:57 PM

    JeffS-

    Thanks for the feedback!  We completely agree.  In fact, we are going to be using our kitchen talent from Frazier’s to revamp the Porter’s menu during the renovation.  Any suggestions would be welcomed with open arms.

    Scott

  • JeffS
    02/08 06:05 PM

    The food’s always good, I’d just like to see the options rotate frequently.


    I know my wife and daughter would appreciate better vegetarian options.

  • abbsouth
    02/08 06:21 PM

    amen to Jeff S on the vegetarian plug! Porter’s has a secret vegetarian menu that you have to ask for (which has a speakeasy charm but mostly just makes you feel unwelcome and also prevents those options from becoming known to the omnivore public who might also enjoy).
    Frazier’s was the first place I ate too and it was great. The chef made a veggie plate that was far from the usual afterthought of side dishes and showed real creativity and care. hope that spirit continues. and since NCSU almost never pays for its employees to wine and dine visitors and guests, it’ll be nice if it is a bit more affordable!

  • Scott
    02/08 06:41 PM

    JeffS-

    Funny, someone just emailed me about the vegetarian choices (or absence of them).  We will make sure to include some great options at both restaurants. 

    In regards to the affordability - we will make sure that a wide range of prices are available and again, this is meant to be a more casual and affordable restaurant.  That doesn’t mean that a few things will err on the high-end but you will be able to get in and out at a reasonable cost, if you choose to do so.  Thanks again for the suggestions!

    Scott

  • Babs
    02/09 10:35 AM

    We are sick about this. There is nowhere else in the Triangle like Frazier’s. In addition to the wonderful food, the welcoming staff and outstanding service made us feel like we were coming home for dinner. Please make sure that people (well) over 50 can still hear themselves think in the new version, and that the staff at the door spends their time with customers, not with each other. On site management, not someone who flies in from next door twice a night, is what made Frazier’s, from the days when Stacy and Kevin worked there through John and Lee’s days as managers. It makes a difference.

  • Scott Luetgenau
    02/09 11:03 AM

    Babs-

    I can assure you that no one is more disappointed than us about closing Frazier’s.

    We were all very proud of the food, service and beverage program but the current economic climate has forced us to make a decision.  We had to make adjustments to our staffing (management) that left us running two restaurants on most evenings with just one manager.  This was a product of the level of business due to restaurants like this (Enoteca Vin, Fins, etc…) just not doing as well as they used to, combined with the street construction, which has been and is just crushing to the businesses on Hillsborough St.

    We hope the casual nature of this concept will convince more people to come into the restaurant and we plan to provide the same level of food and service that you are used to. I’m sure we have met.


    Sincerely,

    Scott Luetgenau
    919-539-5047
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  • Kate
    02/09 01:26 PM

    There is a secret vegetarian menu at Porters?!  I would eat there more frequently if I had known!

  • JP
    02/09 01:49 PM

    Looking forward to this one. Hey UFG - I bet you have the right stuff to turn the former Red Hot and Blue space into something worthwhile . Just a thought!

  • gd
    02/09 01:55 PM

    I may have to mention that to my friend who works for Empire.  Id like to see them get that space, but I wonder if they would open something thats not downtown.

  • joe
    02/09 03:20 PM

    Fraziers was my favorite restaurant in the city.  Hey guys, why don’t you come reopen Fraziers in 5-points!!

  • Betsy
    02/10 01:06 PM

    Is it at all possible that the restaurant format could be revived if and when the economy recovers?

  • Scott Luetgenau
    02/12 11:55 AM

    Betsy,

    Sorry for the delayed response.  We have talked about bringing the concept back to a different location when things get back to normal.  Thank you so much for you comment and interest.

    Scott

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    07/15 06:59 PM

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