Food trucks & coffee shops: 18 restaurant openings and closings in the Wilmington area (2024)

Allison BallardWilmington StarNews

As the food scene in the Wilmington area prepares for the busy season, there are some new businesses to fuel the masses. Here's a look at what's new and what's closed in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.

Restaurant openings and re-openings

Sunny Daze Smokehouse: Barbecue, frozen drinks and ocean views have returned to Carolina Beach. Former manager at The Dive, James Hardin,opened this spot at 9 Pavillion Ave. S. in the former Carolina Smokehouse location on the boardwalk in early May. The menu includes appetizers, barbecue plates (with choices like pulled pork, brisket, barbecued or fried shrimp and smoked chicken salad) and sandwiches. There’s also a barbecue-topped loaded baked potato and a menu of draft beer and coastal co*cktails.

Carolina CrabBrewing Company: Although this brewery and the surrounding land are up for sale, the partners are continuing with their plans to create a community gathering spot. Look for guest taps and indoor and outdoor seating at 4810 Long Beach Road in Southport.

More: On tap and on the market: New brewery opens in Southport

Noodles & Company: This fast-casual restaurant brand with more than 450 locations opened in Wilmington on May 22 at 351 College Road in the University Commons shopping center. The menu includes globally inspired noodle dishes and salads.

Sip N Chill Lounge: Anthony Durrett held a grand opening for his new business at 614 Castle St. on May 17. The lounge offers beer, wine and co*cktails and will also be a place for community events, live music and game nights. Durrett plans to bring more businesses to Wilmington in the future.

Wandering Cone Creamery: A new ice cream shop offering house-made, small batch flavors officially opened on May 31 in Wilmington's Soda Pop District. They're open beginning at noon each day at 921 Princess St.

Wildfire Pizza: This spot that boasts cooking innovative pizzas in 184 seconds officially opened on May 15 at 614 North New River Drive in Surf City. Look for house-made sauces and doughs, including gluten free options.

Sweet Alicious: Also new to Surf City is this new sweet shop, which held a grand opening on May 23. The menu includes ice cream, smoothies, shakes, coffees, pastries, desserts and gifts. You can find it at 14260 N.C. 50.

Folkstone Slow Bar: A newspecialty coffee bar is located inside The Fuzzy Needle Records & Books at 716 S. 17th St. in Wilmington’s Cargo District. The menu includes coffees, pour overs and a rotating selection of Mexican pastries. There’s also a specialty “Discovery Playlist” menu with drinks like the espresso-based, sesame-infused Dance PM. It’s at 716 S. 17th St.

Riverside Greens Salad Bar: This spot in downtown Wilmington has a health-focused menu that includes green salads and fruit salads, bowls, smoothies and protein waffles. There’s also a selection of specialty bowls, like the Riverside Getaway with pitaya, granola, fresh fruit and Nutella. It’s at 106 N. Water St.

Riverview Restaurant: This seasonal eatery located on the Cape Fear in the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area in Kure Beach reopened on May 9 at 121 Riverfront Road.It is open to the public and offers indoor and outdoor seating with a seafood-focused menu.

Good Boy Hotdogs: Another seasonal business, this drive-thru stand in Delco, has also reopened for its 11th season. Look for beef hot dogs and Carolina-style pulled pork barbecue at 25983 Andrew Jackson Hwy.

New and new-ish food trucks

Kimchi Taco: The East meets the South at this food truck that serves Korean bulgogi tacos, a hoisin-and-barbecue filled Koreadilla and Korean corn dogs, which Panko fried and then rolled in a choice of Doritos or Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. In addition to the regular menu, look for regular specials, like Asian-inspired nachos and short rib barbecue bowls. It's been making appearances at spots like Brewha, Fermental, Broomtail Craft Brewery and Outer Dunes Brewing Company.

Woo Saa Eatz: This mobile food unit is a new addition to the Surf City area and the Tortuga's Nest nightclub. The food trailer is located at 1713 North New River Drive and serves classic fare like burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken tenders.

Mr. A’s Beignets: While primarily based in Apex, this food truck that started in 2015 has expanded to North Topsail Beach. Arlton Cangelosi said it was meant to be a retirement hobby, but he enjoys serving fresh New Orleans style “square doughnuts” and chicory coffee. Look for them at the Tiki Bar at North End Market, 2183 New River Inlet Road.

Cheez Boss: This grilled cheese food truck is a bit nomadic but has now returned toWilmington serving their innovative, gourmet creations. Look for a full local schedule in June.

Restaurant closings

Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux: This relatively new addition to the offerings at Independence Mall closed upexpectedly in late May. The Louisiana-inspired sports bar first opened in the area in July 2021 at 3710 Oleander Dr. in Wilmington. News reports show that locations in Myrtle Beach and Fayetteville have also closed in recent weeks.

More: Wilmington sports bar closes after almost three years in business

Sweet n Savory's Epicurean Bistro: This French restaurant that opened almost two years ago at 1978 Eastwood Road near Wrightsville Beach is closed. It's the sister restaurant to popular Sweet n Savory Cafe, which remains open nearby.

Sunset Slush of Wilmington: This business closed their storefront on Castle Street in downtown Wilmington in preparation to open another spot in the upcoming Cargo West food hub, which will have about a dozen food vendors. Until the new spot is ready, they'll be making appearances with their food cart at local events.

STAY CONNECTED:Keep up with the area’s latest food news by signing up for thePort City Foodies newsletterand following us onFacebookandInstagram.

Allison Ballard is the food and dining reporter at the StarNews. You can reach her

Food trucks & coffee shops: 18 restaurant openings and closings in the Wilmington area (2024)


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