Story originally appeared on FoodCary.
Cary, NC – As construction along Academy Street has all but ended, Academy Street Bistro has also opened up after little more than a week. And now, it’s with a new owner, a new menu and new goals.
Thomas Havrish, owner and executive chef of Lugano Ristorante on Cary’s Darrington Drive, is now the owner of Academy Street Bistro in downtown Cary. After closing in late October, Academy Street Bistro opened back up on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 and Havrish said it’s an opportunity to create something new.
“I changed the majority of the menu and kept the name because I like it,” Havrish said. “At Lugano, I had to stick to the same menu but here, I get to express myself.”
As Havrish looked for a location for a new restaurant where he could be creative, he said he was drawn to downtown Cary because of its potential for growth.
“A lot of people talked to me and said it had a lot of character,” Havrish said. “We already see a lot happening down here.”
And with Academy Street Bistro, Havrish said a lot was already in place so he could get started right away.
“I don’t have a lot of financial backers. I don’t have partners. It’s just me,” Havrish said. “So I wanted to get started and keep my stamp on it.”
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With the Wednesday re-opening, Havrish said he wanted to make it subtle so the staff, 98 percent of which he said is retained from the old Academy Street Bistro, could learn the new menu without being overwhelmed by big crowds. And having a new menu is a big part of Havrish’s goal for Academy Street Bistro.
“As a whole, my goal is for the menu to change weekly,” he said. “I want to give the people of Cary something that can change so they won’t be boxed in.”
Havrish said the wine list would change and rotate as well and he wanted to focus on using as much local food as possible. And with the changing menu, Havrish said he hopes to have a dialogue with the diners.
“We can hear from the community and keep what they like and change what they don’t,” he said.
Academy Street Bistro is back open at 200 S Academy St. Lugano Ristorante is on 1060 Darrington Dr.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Hal Goodtree and PullOver.