Café 121 Opens on East Chatham


Story and pictures by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – I had a chance to eat lunch at Café 121 a few days ago. One word review: fabulous.

Café 121

The old building at 140 East Chatham Street has seen a number of restaurants come and go, most recently EJ’s Soul Food.

My prediction: Café 121 is here to stay.

Café 121 is the brainchild of Greg Hamm, 20 years a chef and culinary instructor. Chef Hamm also has a well-established location in Sanford.

The Food

Well, the food is delicious – beautiful ingredients beautifully prepared. Café 121 serves fusion cuisine, blending a variety of classic cooking styles. I would call it eclectic American with a Southern twist.

Before I go any further, you must taste Chef Hamm’s fried green beans. Crispy, flavorful and rich, they will remind you of why you live in the South.

Other Southern favorites include Fried Pimento Cheese, Frazolis and Sweet Potato fries. Everything is prepared to perfection.

The lunch menu features a wide assortment of salads, sandwiches and soups.

For dinner, feats on Filet Mignon, Prime Rib, Farm Raised Salmon or Herb Sautéed Shrimp. A fine selection of wine, beer and cocktails are available.

Hey Hal!

As we walked into the restaurant, a voice called out “give my bill to that guy!” It was Ed Gawf, Cary’s Downtown Development Manager, sitting with Town Manager Ben Shivar.

We joked around a bit and then sat down to study the menu.

Ben and Ed stopped by to say a few words after their meal. As they were leaving, I called after them, “Thanks for the lunch, Ed!”

Café 121

Café 121
140 East Chatham Street
Cary, NC 27511
(919) 468-9884

Lunch: Monday-Friday, 11 AM – 2 PM
Dinner: Friday and Saturday, 5 PM – 8:30 PM


5 replies
  1. frank lazzaro
    frank lazzaro says:

    We totally enjoyed our evening out at the 121. The service and servings were wonderful….you go guys we neede ya here !

    frank & beryl lazzaro

  2. Kim Petrarca
    Kim Petrarca says:

    We frequent Chef Hamm’s Sanford location – amazing filet mignon – crazy about the sauteed green beans… Chef Hamm has always been passionate about serving a menu that begets repeat customers… He knows us by name – frequently comes out to check on our dinner and say hi… Try it – you’ll LOVE it.

  3. Barbara Rhoades
    Barbara Rhoades says:

    Hal, I totally agreed with you about Cafe 121…FABULOUS! My husband, Ben and I have eaten there twice and both times Chef Hamm came out to talk to us and asked us how we liked our meal. He is very excited about his new restaurant and meeting the people that stop by. We love what he has done with the place and hopefully, the citizens of Cary will too. We need to encourage everyone to stop by for lunch or dinner. You will not be disappointed. Best of luck to Chef Hamm and Cafe 121.

  4. Gantt Edmiston
    Gantt Edmiston says:

    So Hal… which part of “[t]he old building at 140 East Chatham Street…” is on West Chatham?!

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