Among the tables spread out in front of The Flying Biscuit Cafe, three friends who haven’t seen each other in months enjoyed the June sun and their favorite brunch. Senior year at NC State University got cut short for Ashlee Block, Brandi Russell and Anna Perez. “We never got to wrap up our end of college and the end of our friendships as we go our separate ways,” Block explained. “We always came here during the school year. I texted her to ask if it was open, Russell said laughing.
(L-R Anna Perez, Ashlee Block, Brandi Russell)
Phase 2 of reopening following the shutdown of restaurants and retail businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic means The Flying Biscuit is back to serving gourmet Southern fare with a twist, but with some noticeable differences. Block said of her day trip to Village District, “I feel safe with outdoor seating. It’s very open. The servers are wearing masks. I feel like we’re okay.”
That welcome and safe feeling is exactly what Executive Chef Francisco Sarmiento hoped for as they reopened their doors. “We take all precautions. We are six feet apart, washing our hands correctly. The kitchen is safe. We try to make it the best possible for customers,” Sarmiento said.
Staff at The Flying Biscuit Cafe smile and greet customers from behind masks.
Part of the safer experience is the large patio expansion, opening up more space for diners to maintain social distancing while still enjoying the summer menu, but not sharing menus. Block explained that she pulled up The Flying Biscuit Cafe’s menu on her phone to order from a member of the waitstaff wearing a mask. “With all the precautions in place, not sharing menus, using our phones. I feel a lot safer,” she said while referencing another staff member giving customers menus printed on paper for one time use.
The Flying Biscuit Cafe’s newly expanded patio to accommodate customers while maintaining safe distances
The new grads got some shopping in at their favorite Village District stores too. Russell said she has been weary of any store that had long lines or seemed crowded, but said their trip to get some Wolfpack gear at Alumni Hall went great. She felt the store was more spaced out and she could find what they were looking for as new NCSU alums. “I feel safe coming here,” Russell said.
Safe is how we at Village District want all our shoppers and diners to feel. Now more than ever, we need the warm familiarity of being with friends in the heart of Raleigh, in our beloved Village. We invite you to join us in our “Back to the Village” campaign.
How have you returned to Village District? Was it finally getting a new outfit for summer after being at home for months, just because you needed something new? Maybe you grabbed a drink and appetizer on the patio at Cantina 18? How about a sandwich at Village Deli & Grill? Did you just take a stroll with the family to get some air? Did one of our merchants meet you curbside with a purchase you made online? Maybe you supported local businesses by ordering take-out or delivery during quarantine? Tell us about it!
Tag us with the hashtag #BacktotheVillage on Instagram and Facebook. We will continue to update you on openings, hours and precautions in place on our COVID-19 Resource Page. Welcome back, Villagers. Thank you for joining us to stay safe and move forward as a Village.