Raleigh restaurant and its sister bar close after being open only 6 months

A promising Raleigh bar and restaurant closed this month after a short-lived run in one of the city’s most unique spaces.

The culinary pair of Prospects Craft Kitchen and Devereaux Lounge closed earlier this month, with the final service held June 9.

Chef Alex Ricci and owner Justin Tatnell opened Prospects in late 2023 as one of the Triangle’s most intriguing new restaurants.

Ricci said the decision to close was announced to the dining room on the final service night.

“We looked at the books, what we expected to come in that week and the fiscally responsible decision was to say, ‘This is it,’” Ricci said. “I said to my business partner, ‘I think we announce tonight to who is in the restaurant.’”

Propsects and Devereaux Lounge took over the former Rainbow Luncheonette (and its rainbow floor) and Pink Boot spaces on West Street in Raleigh.

Ricci grew up in North Carolina, but has cooked in major dining scenes like Miami and Las Vegas, but returned to the Triangle to cook at restaurants like Young Hearts Distilling, Cucciolo Terrazza and in the Giorgios Hospitality Group.

Ricci hoped to expand the restaurant’s seating with an outdoor Streetery, but said construction by the city was slow to begin. The restaurant filed its Streetery permit in March but withdrew it this month as the restaurant decided to close.

With Prospects, Ricci seemed to be bursting with creativity, running often-changing menus — frequently highlighting North Carolina ingredients — putting out playful dishes like amberjack crudo with tomato jelly and strawberry vinegar, smoked meatballs and Filipino-style duck adobo.

This was Ricci’s first restaurant with an ownership stake and full control of the menu. He said he took some hard lessons, but is proud of the food that left the kitchen.

“I’m really proud of the food we did, it was a special place,” Ricci said. “It can be very daunting at times, it’s a humbling experience....But it opened me up to the idea of what real hospitality means. I got to speak and interact with my guests every day.”

Ricci said the timing of the bar and restaurant may have been a bit early, with nearby development of the neighboring Smoky Hollow Park Project planned in the next couple years, adding 14-acres of public space and a $13.5 million investment.

“In the next couple years, it’s going to be a great location,” Ricci said. “I think right now it’s very hard fro people to find us. It’s a hard location. It’s a situation where you can do everything right and it never really took off.”

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