Saturday, January 28, 2023

Beat Street flips on neon sign, brings worldwide flavors to food scene

Beat Street opened at 10 a.m. Thursday in the former Mess Hall location at the corner of 16th and Hutchison Lane in a renovated quonset hut. (Photo by Matt Ray Photography)

WILMINGTON — The Cargo District has officially welcomed its newest tenant, Beat Street, an eatery launched by Chef Bobby Zimmerman and his We Are True Blue team.

Beat Street opened Thursday in the former Mess Hall location at the corner of 16th and Hutchison Lane in a renovated quonset hut. Zimmerman told Port City Daily at the end of November the concept of the fast-casual eatery is to bring authentic street food to Wilmington, with menus constantly in flux every four to six weeks.

READ MORE: Expanded coworking space, new bar sets the stage for food hall and more in Cargo District

He and his chefs from True Blue Butcher and Barrel, True Blue Butcher and Table, Mariposa and True Blue Bakery have been culling a list of 3,000 food items from around the world. The debut menu consists of tacos, ramen, mac and cheese, handhelds — steam buns, burger, lobster roll — ssam, kabobs and more.

Static specialties representing different countries will be offered off-menu daily as well.

Ssam and kabobs are on the Beat Street menu. (Photo by Matt Ray Photography)

For instance, one day a week will be dedicated to empanadas — essentially pocket pies prepared the Venezuelaean way: deep fried, crispy and stuffed with beef, chicken, or potato and cheese.

“We will make around 200 or 300 to serve on a first-come, first-serve basis,” Zimmerman told PCD in November.

Beat Street shares communal dining spaces with Alcove Beer Garden, located behind it. The counter-service restaurant welcomes diners to order from the 16th Street-facing side before taking a seat anywhere in the vicinity of the quonset hut.

Leslie Smith, developer of the Cargo District, renovated the hut five years ago, which first welcomed an outpost of Bespoke Coffee before transitioning into the burger joint Mess Hall.

Owner Sam Steger moved Mess Hall out in the fall. He and Smith are in the process of renovating a restaurant on the opposite end of the Cargo District on Wrightsville Avenue — a brick-and-mortar that will expand the the size of his upstart into 3,000 square feet.

Smith told PCD earlier this week Mess Hall will be open by early spring.

Beat Street’s hours are Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Catch up on PCD’s November story about Beat Street below.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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