Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Whiskey Trail Midtown brings burgers, brews, and wings to restaurant’s second location

Though the copper bar isn’t open for now to prevent congregating, Whiskey Trail Midtown has a wide selection of craft beer. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna F. Still)

WILMINGTON — Whiskey Trail, a local favorite best known for its wings and burgers, has opened up a second location in Wilmington.

Opening in the former Dig and Dive, Whiskey Trail Midtown is bringing the same menu and specials from its Masonboro Loop flagship to a new neighborhood. This includes the restaurant’s best-seller, the Cape Fear Burger, topped with homemade white cheddar and jalapeno pimento cheese, bacon, and jalapeno relish.

“What we do at one, we’re going to do at the other,” owner Chris Levesque said. Levesque already had plans to expand before the pandemic ravaged the nation’s restaurants.

“We were already locked in before all this happened,” he said. “It is what it is.”

Aside from reduced sales, down about 50% at the Masonboro location, Levesque said the biggest challenge in opening the new location in the middle of a pandemic has been finding line cooks. He paid a couple of thousand dollars to advertise the openings on a popular job listing website and after two months, he said he received zero resumes.

Below: Left, the Cape Fear Burger, Whiskey Trail’s best-seller; right, a side of wings

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With just two cooks besides himself, Levesque had to reduce the new location’s schedule to Wednesday through Sunday so that the cooks could get a break.

“I think we’re going to be alright,” he said. “The other one is doing great. We’re doing good to-go business. Everything over there is going, not normal — it could be a lot better — but, it’s doing its thing.”

Dig and Dive’s old volleyball courts will soon be developed into new apartment buildings. The restaurant is now about half the size of the former location, featuring 70 indoor seats and 55 outdoor seats (at maximum, non-Covid capacity).

Whiskey Trail brings in a big crowd on Wednesdays when a dozen wings go for $9 and Thursdays when all burgers are $9. Also, any time a big game is on, customers can enjoy draft beer and a hot bite. But for now, while most sports are on hold, Levesque jokes you can come in and watch reruns.

“We’re watching reruns of a hockey game from three years ago,” he said.

Open for lunch and dinner between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. from Wednesday through Sunday, Whiskey Trail Midtown is located at 3525 Lancelot Lane.

Whiskey Trail Midtown features a spacious outdoor seating area.
Whiskey Trail Midtown features a spacious outdoor seating area.
Owner Chris Levesque has plans for a mural at the midtown spot featuring his ’68 Ford pick-up truck that serves as the Masonboro location’s mascot.

Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee Still at johanna@localdailymedia.com

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