City Market Grill began service about three weeks ago, offering sandwiches, skewers and other snacks like Mexican street corn, all of which are cooked over an open flame.
"We're always fighting the wind, the heat," said City Market Grill executive chef James Eason.
The new restaurant is serving up flavor-packed food while catering to the needs of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new restaurant popping up in City Market during the pandemic. What makes this one different is everything is outdoors. The food is prepared al fresco and there’s picnic tables & chairs. #ABC11 @ShopLocRaleigh @DowntownRaleigh pic.twitter.com/gz5xUoxMqq— Elaina Athans (@AthansABC11) October 8, 2020
Some people don't want to be dining inside right now. They feel more comfortable eating in the fresh air, which is something this new spot provides.
"We want to completely adherent to all of the rules and regulations as far as safety, and that's why we did the outdoor concept. The times that we're in are calling for that."
The grill is located outside the former High Horse restaurant that closed early on in the pandemic.
Workers said the response so far has been great from folks, who have dined under the stars.
Eason understands that some might think it's strange opening up in the middle of an economic crisis, considering that many surrounding eateries have boarded up or permanently closed.
"I don't want to give up. I don't want to throw in the towel just because we have to reinvent or change something. We have the space and this space deserves to be more of a culinary center of the city," said Eason.
As the warmer weather moves out and cooler temperatures begin to move in, the staff is planning to bring in heaters and build more fire pits.