Shrimp and Grits from Wye Hill

A New Perspective

In Eat, June 2019by Lauren Kruchten

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Boylan Bridge Brewpub is getting a makeover.

Sitting atop the North Carolina Railroad tracks on South Boylan Avenue is a brewery and restaurant offering one of the greatest views of downtown Raleigh. But while the view has always been something to write home about, Boylan Bridge Brewpub has had its ups and downs. Sara Abernethy and Chris Borreson, owners and operators of the space since 2018, have been listening to the community and are responding with a complete rebrand of the brewery and restaurant. The food and drinks menu will be different. The interior will change. The duo will hire a new staff and the name will be … Wye Hill. “We always knew we were going to do this,” says Abernethy. “But we did intentionally take time to get to know the space and get to know exactly what we wanted to do.” To tackle the project, the couple recruited the help of members of The Kitchen, a collective of creative partners in the food, beverage and hospitality industry, including Max Trujillo—who served as the restaurant’s operations designer—Matthew Konar Architect, Food Seen photography and design company MRC, which created the logo for the new name. “Wye Hill” is a reference to the restaurant’s location on top of the train tracks; it sits on a hill next to a wye, a type of railroad junction that serves as a hub for trains from all over to converge, an idea Abernethy and Borreson wanted to replicate within the brewery itself. “We wanted this to be a place where downtown, Boylan Heights, Durham, Chapel Hill and all the rest of the Triangle could feel like it’s a place to meet,” Borreson says. Wye Hill will also be a place where people of all food preferences and dietary restrictions can gather for a meal. The new menu will be composed of “chef-driven bar food,” which Abernethy describes as being “shareable, crushable and mouth-wateringly delicious.” Curated with the help of Raleigh chef Bobby McFarland, the menu will consist of traditional bar items with a Southern flair, including an upscale burger with housemade pub cheese, fried pickled okra and bacon, as well as decadent items like Southern saltimbocca—the owners’ favorite new dish. Wye Hill will expand its beer program, too. While the brewery currently offers six beers on tap, the new space will initially feature ten taps. Brews will be small batch and seasonal, with boilermakers available that pair a beer with a cocktail shot for ten bucks. Standard-size cocktails will be another new focus and drinks from local distilleries, including Bedlam Vodka and Alley Twenty Six Tonic Syrup, will be represented. “I feel like I’ve always known this place could’ve done better with beer, food and service to match its amazing view,” Trujillo says. “It’s going to offer a lot of options for everybody and it’ll be a place where people will feel comfortable. It’s what everybody always wanted this place to be.”

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