Famous Toastery adding to Downtown Winston arts
If you think Sunday is a perfect excuse to take part in that all-American idea of brunch, then downtown Winston-Salem has got just the place for you. Located in the Downtown Arts District on North Trade Street, the Famous Toastery is all about bringing the best of a leisurely weekend to you every day of the week.
Focusing on fresh foods with a bit of a breakfast twist, the Famous Toastery has a rich and relaxed menu that matches up with the atmosphere, from the dÃ©cor down to the service you receive. And over the next few months, you can watch as the restaurant’s look transforms at the hands of some of the area’s most talented artists.
Restaurant owner Bill Bingham explained they wanted to not just settle in and use the local arts scene as a draw, but to be an active part of it as well. “Rather than be in the Arts District, we wanted to bring the Arts District more into the restaurant itself. Right now we’re working on a mural on the outside of the building with local artist Stewart Knight. The mural starts at our patio and will wind its way around and up the building.”
He, and Famous Toastery Marketing Director Sherry Rose, explained that the mural will reflect the city around the building, giving the viewer a perspective almost as if they were looking through the artist’s eyes, through and past the building itself. The hopes are to highlight and accentuate the city’s beauty and history.
The art is going to continue inside and up through the building as well, Bingham said. “We want to use local talent to help us be part of the community â€“ from displaying work from local artists on the walls, to architectural pieces and art installations. Even a good number of the people on our staff are from the School of the Arts here.”
Upstairs, as they open up for evening service with a dinner menu and a full bar, plans are to also unveil a twopoint, dual-angle, isometric perspective piece at the bar that will show off a bird’s eye view of neighboring North Trade Street. “They’ll be able to look at the bar and look down on the street we’re on. The artist said it’s a technique that combines the sketches of Frank Lloyd Wright with the mathematics of M.C. Escher. We really want it to be a conversation piece.”
Near future plans also call for reopening the rooftop area for an elegant place to hang out in the evenings. The prior residents had a huge umbrella-like arrangement up there, he explained, but all that they are keeping will be the sturdy central umbrella pole. That will be used as the central support for a giant copper wire and galvanized steel tree that is also being designed by Stewart Knight, who is doing the mural.
Art aside, a restaurant lives and dies by its food. The Famous Toastery builds around a breakfast theme menu featuring all of the classics of the American morning. They are quite proud of a selection of Eggs Benedict inspired dishes, omelets galore (including an unbelievable meatloaf omelet) and a real selection of gluten free dishes.
Kitchen Manager/Head Chef Edwin Cruz also presents a selection of fresh lobster and crab dishes each weekend including lobster rolls, crab salads and Lobster Benedict.
The menu rounds out with a selection of sandwiches, burgers and salads that won’t look a bit out of place next to a plate of biscuits and gravy. If you’d like a mimosa alongside, or a house special Bloody Mary, that can be happily arranged.
While a good meal is a wonderful thing to give to a community, a good restaurant can put more than that back into its surroundings. Marketing Director Sherry Rose explained that the Famous Toastery will also be working to give back to the community. “We’re big supporters of AFAS (Art For Art’s Sake) and a number of other local charities. We’ll be hosting Tuesdays At The Toastery on the second Tuesday of each month and donating 10 percent of all the sales that day to a local non-profit organization.”
Beyond supporting AFAS , they will also be lining up other organizations in the coming months including local fire and police personnel in September and local Veterans during the holiday season.
The first Tuesdays At The Toastery event will be on Tuesday, July 12 with 10 percent of all sales throughout the day going to benefit Bookmarks and their efforts to start an independent bookstore in downtown Winston- Salem.
Famous Toastery will also be one of the sponsors of the Saturday ART Jams over the summer, Rose said. The ART Jams will be hosted by AFAS at 204 W. 6 th Street on Saturdays from 12:30 â€“ 3 p.m. and are open to all kids.
“They can come, learn, play and create,” Rose said, “and they don’t have to bring anything â€“ all of the supplies will already be there for them!” !
RICH LEWIS is a father, husband, writer and cook who makes his home in Greensboro, NC.
Famous Toastery is located in the Downtown Winston-Salem Arts District on North Trade Street. They are open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, although additional hours may be added in the near future to allow for dinner service. Stop by www.famoustoastery. com or check out the local destination on Facebook for up to date announcements and specials.