Travis Myers, the former executive chef of Willow’s Bistro and the 2018 N.C. Chef of the Year, has announced plans to open a new restaurant in the Bailey South building at 450 N. Patterson Ave., next door to Bailey Power Plant.
Myers and Ryan Oberle, a manager at Willow’s, will be partners in the new restaurant in Bailey South, which is currently undergoing renovation. The restaurant could open as early as June, Myers said.
Myers left Willow’s in October after a four-year stint to focus on the new restaurant. Before that, he was the executive chef at River Birch Lodge for 10 years.
Myers won the Chef of the Year from the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association in 2018 in a Chef Showdown against chefs from across the state. Along the way he bolstered his reputation as a staunch supporter of local food and local farms.
Myers said he and Oberle have not settled on a name for the restaurant. But it will focus on local food. “The menu is going to be local, seasonal fare with a Southern influence. It’s going to a la carte; a lot of small plates; and shareable, approachable items,” he said.
“When you walk in, you’ll see the open kitchen and wood-fired grill — that will be the anchor for most of the cooking we’re doing. You’ll also see a huge farmers’ board, listing farmers we work with and what we have from them today.”
The restaurant will be 5,700 square feet, and is expected to seat about 100 people, including a private dining room, plus 60 more on an adjacent patio.
The restaurant will be upscale but casual and family-oriented, Myers said. “When you come to the restaurant I want you to feel like you’re coming to my house and I’m cooking for you.”