Friday, October 5, 2012

New restaurant for old City Range in Ballantyne

Over the past few weeks, three readers have contacted me to ask if I know what's going into the long-closed City Range restaurant location in Ballantye, off Johnston Road.

There's a lot of construction going on there, but no signs, they told me. So I went to Mecklenburg County's building permits website and pulled up the construction permits for the building (this is pretty easy to search online if you have an address).

The permits show a new restaurant being built, "Vine American Kitchen." According to the building permits, the restaurant is about 7,262 square feet.

The owner, listed as William T. Freeman, is pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into upgrading the building. I tried to contact Freeman at a number listed on the permit, but only got a voicemail.

Freeman, it turns out, is the former CEO of McCormick & Schmick's. He's a veteran restaurateur and businessman, who ran Fox Sports Grill before McCormick. Freeman has also worked for ESPN and Robert Redford's Sundance Entertainment (short bio here).

According to Dave Tschirhart, who runs Restaurant Traffic, Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano had looked at the building in January. Tschirhart calls that area "the Bermuda Triangle of restaurants," because concepts seem to have a tough time lasting there. Oak Steakhouse also passed on the building.

UPDATE: Vine is hoping to open on Nov. 19, according to their PR firm, Hensley Fontana.

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Anonymous said...

we can always use another good restaurant. but a mediocre one isn't needed. I hope this place turns out to be great, an moderately priced. The location is not bad, but the restaurant needs to be marketed right. it is in a pretty well populated area, is across the street from the Ballantyne Resort and there are a couple of other hotels in the area and it is very close to 485 so accessing it is pretty easy. Good luck.

WashuOtaku said...

Considering the difficulty of visitors getting to that location and how it will become even more so when Bissil changes the roads there, I don't think the place will last. Yea, it is simply a very visable bad location.

KimP said...

The Vine is definitely what that space has been needing! Major renovation went into the restaurant building, and it was well worth it. They don’t have any wine rated under an 86, wine enthusiast rated. The food was awesome! I got the roast beef that had been cooking on the rotisserie, DELICIOUS. Hubby got the jambalaya and said it was fantastic. Son got the chicken sandwich and said it was perfect. Atmosphere is wonderful, feels just like what they were going for, comfy, cozy, this place is well worth visiting and adding to the roster of restaurants to either go to with the family or with some good friends. Highly recommend.

Unknown said...

Why doesn't the Vine Kitchen have a email contact address for feedback on their website? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.......
Another restaurant that will not make it in Ballantyne. Rent is outrageous! owner's will charge more for food because 'ballantyne residents can afford it......they have money!' Well, the reason they have money is because they are smart enough not to pay outrageous prices for mediocre food.

Claudio Timber said...

The Vine is definitely what that space has been needing! Major renovation went into the restaurant building, and it was well worth it plumbing rancho cucamonga