Susan Holt Photography

Shaking Up The Creek

In 2021, Eat, November 2021 by Eric Ginsburg1 Comment

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A new cocktail bar from V Pizza’s Anthony Rapillo mixes up the options in Brier Creek.

Flask sounds like the kind of bar that would be more at home Downtown, rather than tucked away in a Brier Creek shopping center behind a Planet Fitness, Panera Bread and Supercuts. In some ways, that’s the point.

Anthony Rapillo, the 33-year-old owner of the forthcoming cocktail bar, lives a few minutes away. As a single guy and big tequila fan, his options for a more intimate drink or post-work cocktail are limited here. This area, where Glenwood Avenue and Brier Creek Parkway intersect, is known for big-boxes like Walmart Supercenter and restaurant chains such as Olive Garden and Bob Evans.

“I live really, really close to there,” said Rapillo in an exclusive interview with Raleigh Magazine ahead of Flask’s opening. “There’s not really anywhere I could go and get a nice cocktail. We saw a need for it.”

Slated to open in early November, Flask will feature a range of classic cocktails, as well as an assortment of originals from Beverage Director Matthew Giles. The North Carolina native helped open the acclaimed Broken Shaker cocktail bar in Miami, suggesting Flask will be far from your run-of-the-mill watering hole. 

“We’re going to do this together in the Triangle as long as people keep coming out and supporting us.” 
—Anthony Rapillo

Occupying its own space inside a newly constructed building on Skyland Ridge Parkway, Flask will abut another new business from Rapillo: V Pizza. The Florida-based Neapolitan pizza chain (with a Cary location that opened in late January 2020) will expand into the building as well. The 3,800-square-foot space will be split almost evenly between V Pizza, Flask and a shared back-of-house. The two spots will share a 1,400-square-foot patio outside as well, said Rapillo. 

The pizzeria’s full menu—including its popular wings—will be available at Flask, but the bar will also boast a separate late-night menu after the more family-oriented V Pizza closes nightly. Think stuffed mushrooms and bruschetta, with the food menu designed to complement the drinks rather than the reverse.

In Cary, V Pizza offers an adjoining bar with dozens of beers on tap; Rapillo likened it to more of a sports bar vibe. With a Carolina Ale House location just a short walk from Flask, that’s less needed here. But Rapillo still wants to deliver the community vibe from his Cary outpost, starting by featuring the winning concoction from a cocktail competition held there. Diesha Banner of A Glass Above stole the show with her Lavender Berry Lighthouse, and her signature drink will star on Flask’s drink menu for six months. 

Unlike the Cary location, where Rapillo took over an existing pizzeria’s space, he’s been involved in shaping this corner of Brier Creek from the ground up. Two of Flask’s four walls are glass—one of those being garage doors that open out to the patio—allowing in generous lighting during the day. It will still retain an intimate vibe, said Rapillo, adding: “This will feel a little more like us.”

As he struggled to stay open through the pandemic, Rapillo never thought he’d already be opening two new businesses. But a reliable staff and strong community support buoyed his confidence. He’s already envisioning half a dozen V Pizza locations across the Triangle, from Holly Springs to Durham, each with a distinct bar concept reflecting the given neighborhood’s needs.

“We’re going to do this together in the Triangle as long as people keep coming out and supporting us,” Rapillo said. See you there.

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