The grilled sandwiches and hand-cut fries of a longtime Wilmington eatery are moving from midtown to a new Harris Teeter-anchored shopping center.
Twenty years ago, Joe Pate opened his franchise of P.T.'s Olde Fashioned Grille on South 17th Street. But this month, he signed a lease to move the restaurant to The Crossroads at Independence, a center that opened last year on Carolina Beach Road and Independence Boulevard.
The new, 2,400-square-foot P.T.'s location, next to Fleet Feet, will include an outdoor dining area, craft beer and room for outdoor games.
Pate said the move is necessary because his current 1,700-square-foot P.T.'s, 2420 S. 17th St. at Samelin Center, is expected to be demolished to make room for a Wawa gas station and store.
While the timeline for the move isn't definite, he said he hopes to be in the new location in early 2024.
"I'm excited to meet new faces and create new regulars in a fun environment," said Pate, who worked for P.T.'s for 10 years before opening his franchise in 2003.
He said he liked Crossroads, which boasts one of the largest Harris Teeter grocery stores in the state (at 78,000 square feet) for a variety of reasons.
"I like the fact that it's a new development. I like the fact that there's parking, the owner took pride and time to think about the layout and the buildings, the way it looks," Pate said. "The demographics seem to work ... it just seemed a very safe and hopefully lucrative spot."
The Crossroads center was created by Live Oak Development Co. For The Crossroads lease, Pate was represented by Spruill Thompson, and Live Oak was represented by Patrick Riley, both of Wilmington-based real estate firm Cape Fear Commercial. The center is now fully leased, said Dean Scarafoni, founder of Live Oak Development.
Other P.T.'s locations, which are individually owned, are off South College Road on Fountain Drive (the original) and in Monkey Junction, Leland, Hampstead, Porters Neck, Wrightsville Beach, Goldsboro and Greensboro.