Cape Fear Seafood Company Expands

Cape Fear Seafood Company out of Wilmington, NC was founded by Evans Trawick in 2008 and  built a loyal following serving fresh, local seafood in a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. This proved a winning combination resulting in two additional successful restaurants in the Wilmington area. Evans then set his sights on franchising the proven concept and expanding into Raleigh.

Two long-time Cape Fear employees, Eddie Elliott and Matt Wivell, partnered to bring the restaurant concept to Raleigh.  York Broker, John Koonce, helped them find the perfect location on Spring Forest Road in North Raleigh.  Opening the doors in June 2019, the duo enjoyed nine strong months of breaking records and exceeding expectations.

Then the pandemic hit.

Governor Cooper ordered restaurant dining rooms closed on Tuesday, March 17.  Pivoting is 2020’s over-used word, but that is exactly what Eddie and Matt did – and quickly.  By Thursday, Cape Fear was down to 2 staff members: Matt was doing the cooking and Eddie was handling all orders and curbside delivery.  They furloughed their staff but continued to pay them …(Once they received PPP funding)

Loyal customers from their first nine months of operation patronized the restaurant and word spread about their providing takeout service before many other restaurants in the area.  By the third week of April their employees came back and they’ve continued to make it work through these unprecedented times (another 2020 overused phrase).

Hope really must spring eternal because Eddie and Matt just signed a deal to open a second location in Cameron Village.

When you visit any of their locations, you can expect a wide variety of seafood options from comfort-food Calabash-style platters to upscale chef-driven dishes.  The vibe of the restaurant is casual, come as you are.  Cape Fear wants to transport you to the beach and have a little something for everyone, offering $10 sandwiches and ½ price bottles of wine alongside seared Chilean sea bass and lobster risotto.

As for Eddie and Matt, they’re taking life one step at a time, working on building their brand in Raleigh, designing their Cameron Village restaurant and hopefully adding a third location before 2023.   Who knows, maybe one day Cape Fear Seafood Company will be the Carolinas’ answer to Legal Sea Foods that dominates much of the Northeast.

Events at Raleigh Union Station Persevere

The venue space at Raleigh Union Station (RUS) may not be able to hold large events due to Governor Cooper’s capacity restrictions to slow the spread of COVID, but that has not stopped our events team. RUS has been able to reschedule most of the 2020 events for 2021 and continues to book new events.  The events scheduled for 2021 are mostly social (i.e. weddings) and we anticipate that  social events will outnumber corporate events next year.  Too many weddings have been postponed!

While they wait for a return of events, Karen Clymer, York Event Coordinator, in partnership with Richard Costello, City of Raleigh, have focused on strategic marketing efforts.  The duo approached local production companies to pitch RUS as a cool backdrop for commercials.  IBM was the first locally-produced spot and several others are scheduling.  In addition, RUS produced their own venue photo shoot with photographer Richard Barlow and 20 local vendors. The images from the photoshoot will be seen in a full-page ad in Heart of NC Weddings Magazine, Walter Magazine and WRAL online.  Karen and Richard  also filmed a venue tour with Thomas Blake Films, who filmed York’s Christmas Car Karaoke video last year.

So don’t wait if you’re thinking about booking Union Station for an event next year!