NEW HANOVER COUNTY — There’s something a little different coming to the former Flaming Amy’s Bowl location just north of Wilmington. Think sushi — and then think bigger.
That’s the idea behind Roll On In, a Cincinatti-based restaurant with four locations that is opening its first ever franchise on North College Road in the Northchase-Murrayville area. It’s both a new and an old dream for owner Harry Papanikolau (Papa-nick-oh-lao, the last syllable rhymes with “wow”).
Papanikolau, who moved to Wilmington with his wife and three children in 2000, has worked in food service for over two decades. Like many in the industry, he’s dreamed of having his own place.
“Everybody does, right? But did I think it would be sushi? No,” Papanikolau said, adding that he’d never really tried sashimi or nigiri until recently.
When he did, he quickly became a convert, and when Roll On In approached him to open a Wilmington-area restaurant, he jumped at the chance, even though the idea sounded crazy to him at first.
“A sushi burritto? When I first heard it, I said, ‘that’s crazy. What would that even be?’ But then we went to Cincinatti,” Papanikolau said. “I mean, the Facebook has photos, and everything looks good, but until you actually go and eat it you don’t understand how good it is.”
On the menu
The Roll On In menu includes the burrito-sized sushi rolls and bowls, both of which run between $10 and $15, both of which can be customized, with a choice of base, proteins, fillers, toppers and sauces. There are also a host of other options and appetizers, including sushi and wonton tacos — also, there’s the arch-enemy of many New Year’s fitness resolutions: the crab rangoon. (You can take a peak at the Cincinnati-location menu here.)
Roll On In will serve wine and beer, and will deliver through a variety of services – DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc. – to all of New Hanover County.
Standing in empty location, Papanikolau said as equipment is set to come in he was getting increasingly excited for an opening, planned for late February. He added that, once the restaurant is up and operating, guests can count on some new surprises — although he was mum on what they might be. Could it be a new take on dessert? Papanikolau smiled, but wasn’t talking.
Roll On In is located at 3224 N. College Road, in the former Flaming Amy’s Bowl location in the Food Lion shopping center. For more information, check out the Roll On In Wilmington Facebook page.
Send comments and tips to Benjamin Schachtman at firstname.lastname@example.org, @pcdben on Twitter, and (910) 538-2001.