Rx Restaurant and Bar owners James and Sarah Rushing Doss spent a great deal of time throughout the COVID-19 pandemic designing a new kind of dining space in response to the changing shape of the restaurant landscape.
Closed since the start of the new year, Rx reopened this week for in-house dining and the unveiling of its new open-air dining space.
The new space, situated alongside the existing building and constructed by Old School Rebuilders of Wilmington, is designed to be a year-round, all-weather dining room. While it does have four walls and a roof, customers are surrounded by large louvered hurricane shutters designed by Jonathan Summit of Seacoast Systems.
“It’s a very comfortable space with an organic feel,” said James Doss. “There are lots of plants, which give it an elegant outdoor feeling while being comfortable at the same time.”
The space is outfitted with ceiling fans to help with air flow in the warmer months, and radiant heat flooring for the winter. It’s filled with greenery as well as artwork and metal sculptures by Wilmington artist Michael Van Hout.
“Sarah and I are very excited to welcome back our customers and return to what Rx was for many years leading up to COVID,” James Doss said
The new dining space, combined with the original dining room, allows for almost double the number of guests the restaurant could accommodate previously. Doss said they are still allowing for social distancing between tables and have a reservation-only policy for the time being to better control the flow of customers and service.
While the Rx family was sad to say goodbye to Alisa and Will Pegram, longtime general manager and chef de cuisine, who are relocating to Colorado, they said they are happy to welcome back former employee John Mark Flowers as general manager, as well as longtime servers Amanda East and Rick Wiltzius.
“It’s great to have these talented employees who know our systems and our regular customers to help lead our new staff members,” James Doss said.
As for the menu, Doss said Rx will focus, as it always has, on serving sustainable local seafood, pasture raised animals and local, organic produce whenever possible.
“We pride ourselves on the sourcing of our ingredients and really want to showcase our farmers and fisherman that are doing their part to support the environment,” James Doss said.
The menu contains some staple dishes such as the pork belly and grits, but veggies and seafood change daily based on availability. And cuts of pork, chicken, and duck are likely to be switched up fairly often as well, James Doss said.
“This time of year is awesome because we get new things in almost daily,” he said. “The produce availability begins to change weekly and so too will the menu as new things come in."
Rx is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. and for brunch on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations can be made online
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