Nana's returns to Durham
The storied Durham fine-dining restaurant Nana's is on the verge of a comeback, after quietly closing during the height of the pandemic in 2020.
Driving the news: Matt Kelly, the celebrated restaurateur behind eateries like Mateo and Mothers & Sons, announced Tuesday he is buying Nana's from its chef-and-owner Scott Howell.
- Howell, an eight-time semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef Southeast, opened Nana's in 1992. Its menu combined Southern cuisine with French and Italian, a tradition Kelly plans to maintain.
Why it matters: Nana's was among the original restaurants that helped place Durham’s now-celebrated culinary scene on the map. Its reopening is a sign of hope for an industry hit hard by recent closures.
- Last week, Kelly closed one of his restaurants — Saint James Seafood — after his landlord decided to redevelop the building.
- Raleigh's Garland, SoCa and Midtown Grille, and Durham's Dos Perros all closed within the past three months.
Details: Nate Garyantes — previously the chef at Mateo — is partnering with Kelly on Nana's reopening and will serve as chef de cuisine.
- The goal is to open by next spring and operate five days a week.
- The restaurant will also offer a wine program and a classic cocktail list.
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