Monday, June 25, 2012

Changes coming up at Vivace Charlotte

When I heard over the weekend that the restaurant Frazier's in Raleigh was closing, I figured I'd better check on Vivace here in Charlotte.

Vivace, the restaurant in the Metropolitan development with the stunning views of the Charlotte skyline, is owned by Raleigh-based Urban Food Group, which also owns Frazier's (along with Vivace Raleigh, Coquette, Chow and Porter's Tavern).

Kevin Jennings, who co-owns UFG with his wife, Stacey, wasn't surprised to hear from me, and he was quick to say that Charlotte's Vivace isn't going anywhere. "We've very definitely committed to the space," he said. He said sales at the Charlotte restaurant were up 15 percent in the first quarter.

The Frazier’s decision was based on practicality, he says. The restaurant space was too small to justify the kind of staff it had. He wants to focus on bigger spaces with more potential to do bigger numbers.

The Charlotte space, with a patio overlooking the greenway and the Charlotte skyline, is already booked for one night during the Democratic National Convention and he’s fielding a lot of other calls for it.

He also says he’s looking at adding another Vivace in either Denver (yes, Colorado) or Washington.

Jennings is planning changes in Charlotte, though. He's always wanted Vivace to focus on high-quality Italian ingredients. He thinks the current menu has gotten away from that and is planning to bring in a new general manager and a new chef, Meredith Antunez.

“I’m all about having that be one of the best restaurants in Charlotte. Our challenge is doing it with finesse.”

9 comments:

Should we have printed that? said...

Ouch, I guess the GM and the Chef there are feelign a bit uneasy today. I think a sick day is called for.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts exactly.

Kathleen Purvis said...

They're already been notified. I checked on that beforehand.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, I know the GM. That sucks for him, he's great at what he does! Their lose for sure.

Anonymous said...

Insensitive. Sounds like Kevin is airing dirtly laundry. And to a paper that is not of his "home market". I like Vivace fine. Impressive space, and good food. but deal with this stuff in house.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. That's their business. I think the place is great- as long as it stays that way...

Anonymous said...

Greed. What more do you want, bad economy
and up in sales. They had a great manager and user friendly food.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Above... you're so right. There's no need to try to be the best at something- you should just be thankful. People that try to be their best really annoy the heck out of all the rest of us, don't they?!