What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Vivian Howard closes her Kinston oyster bar permanently

Posted May 22, 2020 9:28 a.m. EDT
Updated May 23, 2020 9:28 a.m. EDT

— Award-winning TV host and chef Vivian Howard has closed her Kinston oyster bar, Boiler Room, permanently, representatives confirmed Friday.

Howard, who hosted the award-winning show "A Chef's Life" on PBS, opened the restaurant at 108 W. North St. across the street from her successful restaurant, Chef & the Farmer in 2012.

Howard said she will be incorporating some of the Boiler Room's menu into a new revamped menu/concept at Chef & the Farmer.

"We closed both places 10 weeks ago. It allowed me to look at what we do in both places; look at what we do well and what we don't do well and how we can do better when we reopen," Howard said. "It became clear to me that it would be best to consolidate our resources and make what we do at Chef and the Farmer really reflect the world that we live in."

Look for a menu with a lower price point and some Boiler Room favorites like oysters, burgers and lots of vegetables.

Howard acknowledges it is tough to change her flagship restaurant, which opened in 2006.

"It is hard to change something that people have such a strong understanding and love for," she said, noting it's an opportunity to improve upon both restaurants.

Howard hopes another restaurant moves into the Boiler Room space. "I don't want Kinston to lose momentum as a food and beverage destination."

Howard continues to offer her Handy and Hot "This Will Make It Taste Good" Quarantine Kits. Since launching last month, 2,000 sauce kits have sold. She will offer those kits through the summer and continue to monitor the effects of COVID-19 to determine when to reopen Chef & the Farmer's revamped concept.

The coronavirus has not stopped Howard, who has been promoting her new TV show, "Somewhere South", and finishing up her latest book, which due in stores this fall.

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