Richland Creek Plaza brings Zaxby’s, Dunkin’ Donuts to town
By David Leone
WAKE FOREST — The opening of Richland Creek Plaza this week puts chicken and waffles together, though not in the same building.
Zaxby’s chicken and its next-door-neighbor, a Rose Mart gas station and convenience store with attached Dunkin Donuts, held soft openings over the past few days.
The businesses make up the remainder of Richland Creek Plaza, situated on Durham Road at Wake Union Church Road, next to the Wake Forest Waffle House.
With Zaxby’s opening, Wake Forest now has five dedicated chicken eateries — all within a short drive from each other. The more traditional Bojangles and KFC are just east off Durham Road. And Chick-fil-A and a recently opened PDQ are off Retail Drive and Dr. Calvin Jones Highway, one exit further south on Capital Boulevard.
But franchise co-owner Tom Little is not concerned about the competition. This is his ninth store in the Raleigh area and he has at least four more planned. During their non-advertised opening, customers of other Zaxby’s and the generally curious came in to eat.
“A lot of people coming in here today are Zaxby’s fans already,” Little said Monday. “They’ve been waiting for us to open.”
Zaxby’s serves up chicken finger sandwiches and other chicken items and has fresh cut salads which are a popular item, he said, adding that all the food is made to order and non-fresh menu items are not kept on the shelves.
“The chicken is never frozen” he said.
Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The restaurant has a drive through. Pre-orders can be made for large party platters.
Little has employed 40 local people and will probably hire another eight to 10 as business picks up, he said.
Little doesn’t own the Zaxby’s chain, just area franchises. But those he does own are heavily involved in the community, he said.
His stores are currently running a promotion to benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation, donating up to 30 percent of proceeds from an order from participating customers. Other charitable promotions may follow.
“We’re excited to be here,” said Little.
Time to make the donuts
Next door, the RoseMart gas station and convenience store opened with a Dunkin’ Donuts embedded inside, both operating with the hours from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Dunkin’ is a smaller size shop and will receive its first batch of doughnuts from the Wakefield Dunkin’, filling its own shelves the remainder of the day with the oven on site.
“We make doughnuts as we run out,” said shift leader Dan Gizzi, a Falls community resident.
Aside from popular doughnuts and sandwiches sold by the chain, every month they’ll have a doughnut of the month and coffee of the month. Selling well since opening day on Friday is the peach cobbler, Gizzi said.
“We’ll add a new thing every month just to spice it up a little,” he said.
The gas station and convenience store, co-owned by Wakefield Plantation resident Mahendria Patel, is Wake Forest’s second Rose Mart. Another Rose Mart is in the relatively new shopping strip on South Main Street at Forestville Road.
In addition to the usual assortment of necessities: milk, beer, cigarettes and sundry items, the new Rose Mart will also soon share a familiar neighbor.
The owners of the Main Street Grill, located on South Main street adjacent to that Rose Mart, plan to open a pizzeria and Italian restaurant next to the new Rose Mart in Richland Creek Plaza. The sign is up, but the restaurant is not yet ready to open.
Pastry and coffee
Odette’s Cafe just opened in the space formerly occupied by the late G.H. Harding, barber for many years.
The cafe is on Wait Avenue, just east of South Main Street in downtown Wake Forest, adjacent to Mimosa Home & Gift shop.
The business is owned by Noor Ahmed, who named it for her mother, “who was very French,” she said.
Currently the shop only serves hot coffee, tea and pastries, though Ahmed is considering adding other items, such as sandwiches.
The pastries — muffins, coffee cake, bear claws, cupcakes and the like — come from Raleigh’s Neomond Bakery.
The Boston native also owns a Raleigh furniture business.
The shop hours are still in flux, but it will be open days and Fridays and Saturdays until 8 p.m.
She hopes people will come to the shop for a quiet coffee experience, to meet and talk or eat dessert after dining out downtown.
“Being a resident of Wake Forest, I love the quaintness of the downtown area,” she said.
Other places to eat
Other restaurants have appeared on the scene in Wake Forest in recent weeks and months. They include:
•Hatsu Sushi, 927 Durham Road,
•Euro Café, 2101 S. Main St. in the former Remington Grill spot, and
•Lumiere Bistro, an adults-only fine-dining restaurant operated by the the owners of DaVinci’s Prime Meats and Deli, 3325 Rogers Road.