Raleigh, N.C. — The new burger and barbecue restaurant Bare Bones opened Friday on Fayetteville Street.
Eschelon Experiences received operating permits Friday morning. Bare Bones is being billed as an "easy, go-to spot for burgers, ribs and beer." The venue also has classic games such as pool, darts, medium-sized Jenga and a 22-foot shuffleboard table.
Dinner service on Friday begins at 5 p.m.
Bare Bones' head chef is Taion McElveen, previously of Cameron Bar and Grill and The Oxford. McElveen is known for his pork obsession and southern influence, and the menu definitely reflects that.
Menu items include smoked pork, beef ribs, brisket and house-ground burgers seasoned with house-made rubs and sauces. Pork butt and beef brisket are smoked 11 to 12 hours, while the ribs are cooked for four hours twice daily.
Pair those meats with one of McElveen's original sauces - The Piedmont Red (a blend of western and eastern North Carolina sauces), the Texas Rouge (a spicy tomato based blend) and SoCo Gold (a mustard based sauce you seriously need to try.)
The menu also features burgers, sandwiches and salads.
Entrees, which will only be available at dinner, include a short rib and brisket meatloaf, shrimp and grits and Hoppin' John (Carolina Gold rice with black eyed peas, peppers and okra).
The small plate menu includes modern twists on traditional bar food, including hot link corn dogs (made with links smoked in house), white cheddar pimento beer cheese and General Tso's Pork Belly.
As you look through the food and cocktail menu, you will notice a focus on local ingredients, including Chapel Hill Creamery cheeses, Big Spoon Roasters peanut pecan butter and Raleigh Rum Co.
The most recognizable holdover from the restaurant's predecessor, Zinda, is the bar. Gone are the neon lights though. The new restaurant's overall decor is dominated by wood grains and darker colors. It feels more like a sports bar, but without the obvious sports memorabilia, except for a few old-school pennants and the scoreboard featuring the beers on tap.
Speaking of the 24 beers on tap, almost all are North Carolina craft selections. And Bare Bones offers a growler program too. Buy one from them or bring your own growler and fill it up with one of the beers on tap.
The cocktail menu includes house-made syrups and freshly squeezed juices. Expect it to change seasonally.