May 15, 2024 - News

Jaguar Bolera brings "Top Chef-" led menu to Raleigh Iron Works

Duckpin bowling lanes

Three of eight duckpin bowling lanes inside Jaguar Bolera. Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios

Jaguar Bolera, a restaurant featuring duckpin bowling, a menu curated by a "Top Chef" contestant and an extensive bar list, will open in the Raleigh Iron Works development this weekend, its operator Robert Thompson says.

Why it matters: Jaguar Bolera is a new business from Thompson, a national restaurant entrepreneur who popularized the idea of "eatertainment" with his previous venture Punch Bowl Social. Raleigh will be Jaguar's first location, with another planned in Atlanta.

  • It is also one of the largest tenants to open in the new $150 million Raleigh Iron Works project, taking up more than 20,000 square feet, and will eventually expand to include pickleball.

What to expect: Jaguar Bolera is built around socializing, with lots of seating and standing areas and brightly decorated furniture and walls, featuring a kaleidoscope of different wallpapers.

  • There are eight duckpin bowling lanes throughout the space as well as darts, foosball tables and a karaoke room.
  • Drinks are served from a self-pouring wall, with specially designed bracelets letting patrons pour their own cocktails, wine and beers.

What they're saying: What Thompson hopes sets Jaguar Bolera apart from other venues that highlight entertainment is a menu that is worth the visit alone.

A taco with brisket on it
A brisket taco from Jaguar Bolera. Photo: Courtesy of Jaguar Bolera

The food program is curated by Manny Barella, a contestant on the current season of "Top Chef" and a James Beard Award nominee.

  • The menu is heavy on Southern and Mexican influences, especially from Barella's native Monterrey.
  • Highlights include brisket tacos, birria taquitos, a carnitas torta that was popular among kitchen staff and, for dessert, a Carlota de Limón, a lime-infused cake popular in Mexico.

What's next: Jaguar Bolera is hosting a ticketed event to celebrate its opening on Saturday, which will include dishes by Barella, drinks and unlimited games.

  • It opens fully to the public on Sunday.

Location: 2221 Iron Works Dr., Suite 90, Raleigh

Lamb birria taquitos
Lamb birria taquitos. Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios
Duckpin bowling lanes
Additional duckpin bowling lanes located upstairs at Jaguar Bolera. Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios
An aerial view of the Jaguar Bolera dining room
A view of the Jaguar Bolera dining room from above. Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios
The self-pouring drinks wall
The self-pouring taps wall at Jaguar Bolera. Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Raleigh.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Raleigh stories


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Raleigh.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more