Traveled Farmer to close, Painted Plate Catering to open in its place
By: Jennifer Zeleski, Katie Murawski
Traveled Farmer announced today that the restaurant will be closing on Dec. 23. Almost immediately following, Painted Plate Catering will open as an event space in the same building.
Traveled Farmer offered the Triad community seasonal dishes based on local ingredients, a handcrafted drink menu and to-go meals for your home with “some assembly required,” according to the website, for just over a year.
It was a new restaurant next to RED Cinemas spearheaded by general manager and executive chef Jay Pierce, and bartender Mark Weddle, who in 2016 YES! Weekly’s Triad’s Best awards were named Best Chef in the Triad and Best Male Bartender, respectively.
The restaurant offered everything from Saturday morning breakfast biscuits with fried chicken and their house-made “not” pimento cheese, to late night weekend pop-ups with bowls of miso pork or tofu ramen.
All of their produce and protein were sourced from local farmers in the surrounding Piedmont Triad area. The farm fresh eggs were served Scottish-style, reminiscent of the English-pub fare from Pierce’s former restaurant in the same location, Marshall Free House.
After being named the “Best New Restaurant” in the Triad by YES! Weekly readers, and lengthy, raving reviews on their Facebook page, this might be hard news to bear for some readers.
Bart Ortiz the president and chief operating officer of Kick Ass Concepts announced the news over the phone and in a press release sent on Dec. 5 at approximately 2:30 p.m., he wrote that big changes were coming for Kick Ass Concepts.
“It is sad because we loved the restaurant but at the same time it is exciting because we are going to be hosting fantastic events,” Ortiz said in a phone interview.
Ortiz added that current employees of Traveled Farmer will not be displaced, but rather moved to another restaurant (Burger Warfare, Darryl’s, etc.) where they are best fitted. Ortiz said this merger and closure of The Traveled Farmer has created new opportunities for employees and patrons.
According to the release, Brad Semon, Marty Kotis and Ortiz are thrilled to announce the merger of Painted Plate Catering (Painted Plate and Lester & Lloyds BBQ) and Kick-Ass Concepts (Darryl’s Wood Fired Grill, Burger Warfare, RED Cinemas and Pig Pounder Brewery).
“Marty and I have shared many meals and even more hours talking about food, wine and restaurants as friends over the years,” Semon said. “Finally along with Bart we have found a way to channel that passion and keep that energy here at home in Greensboro. We enjoy the process, and our long relationship has been tempered around more than one big fire accompanied by the smell of sizzling meat.”
The press release states that Ortiz, Kotis and Semon, are all bound by both a love of food and the long relationship and history of bringing world-inspired cuisine to the Greensboro community through “a myriad of restaurant affiliations.”
The press release states that the unified company will better serve guests who want “craveable food in a variety of fun venues and concepts.” Painted Plate, according to the release, is known as one of the top caterers in the state and has worked with a veritable who’s who of local business, international furniture clientele and the areas most discerning hosts. Painted Plate also has a management arm that most recently oversaw the culinary program at Starmount Forest CC and a large camp and retreat in Clayton, Georgia. Kick Ass Concepts has developed some really unique and fun concepts in the Midtown area while revitalizing the core Darryl’s brand.
“I’m thrilled to be part of a team where there is a shared passion for food, fun and unique experiences around dining and community,” Ortiz said. “Over the course of my career, I’ve had the good fortune to work with some amazing people. Adding Brad Semon, someone that I have respected and admired for a long time on that list is significant. Together as a team with Marty Kotis, the three of us have a unique perspective to add to each of the projects we are involved in. This is going to be a lot of fun.”
According to the release, the combined team will have an array of menus, spaces and price points to offer guests. A new entertainment venue and conference center, Oakville Cross, will be developed in early 2018 on Whitehurst Court (the former Steak Street near Village Tavern) in Greensboro. Painted Plate will relocate from the Empire Room (soon slated to be the Westin Hotel) and occupy the current Traveled Farmer building.
Ortiz said in a telephone interview that the flagship restaurant of the new venture will be Darryl’s Wood Fired Grill. Darryl’s is located at Gate City Boulevard and Ortiz said another one is in the works for Greensboro ( and will be located at the former Ham’s Lakeside on Cone Boulevard) and there are three Darryl’s in planning – Fayetteville, Raleigh and Myrtle Beach.
“I’m excited about working with my friends Brad and Bart on all these great concepts and venues,” Kotis said. “We sit around and talk about food and ideas all the time – now we’re doing that as a corporate team. I’m also glad to be showing the Darryl’s concept the love that it deserves as our flagship while having the opportunity to explore different cuisines.”
According to the release, Darryl’s is a beloved brand in the Carolinas – having originated in Raleigh in 1971. The Gate City location received a total revamping in 2010 and is getting a “little work done” in coming months so that it will look as stunning as its new sister restaurant, Darryl’s Lakeside, which will open in late 2018.
The release tells readers to watch for a test kitchen, centralized commissary, food trucks and several new small concepts in the next few years including Hey Mon Caribbean Café (likely in 2019).
According to the release, options for event locations include the new Oakville Cross Event Center, Painted Plate (currently Traveled Farmer), Burger Warfare, RED Cinemas, Pig Pounder Pavilion, Tracks Bazaar, Darryl’s and Darryl’s Lakeside. Each space has unique attributes from a large outdoor urban environment to luxury reclining seats and flexible conference space and adjacent breakout rooms to conditioned outdoor patios.