Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Bon Appetit bids adieu after 22 years, A Thyme Savor to carry on tradition

The Costa family operated Bon Appetit off Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington for 22 years. In a bid to carrying on the restaurant-catering tradition, A Thyme Savor will soon move in.

Claudia Costa, owner of Bon Appetit catering and restaurant, wraps up closing details during her last week of business in the catering facility after 22 years in business. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)
Claudia Costa, owner of Bon Appetit catering and restaurant, wraps up closing details during her last week of business in the catering facility after 22 years in business. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)

WILMINGTON — A long-running Wilmington breakfast and catering staple will soon wrap up its business for good. Bon Appetit, located on Carolina Beach Road, will close Friday after 22 years in business.

The heart of Bon Appetit’s business is its original owner, the late Gene Costa. After Costa passed unexpectedly in 2016, his wife and family continued to run the business for nearly three years.

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“I tried to do the best I can knowing what my husband would have wanted me to do,” Claudia Costa said. “If you came in there and you were sad, he was going to make you smile. ”

The business’ last day is Friday. Since announcing the closure, Costa said the restaurant has been slammed. She said she kept it running as long as she could, but no one could replace what Gene left behind. After the restaurant wraps up, Costa said she will tend to family matters.

After operating the oldest rotisserie in Harlem, earning a proclamation from New York City in 1986, catering Robert De Niro’s 50th birthday, serving up food for Wilmington-produced shows including Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill, and being featured on the Food Network, Costa said it was an honor to carry on her late husband’s legacy at the restaurant.

“It wasn’t just a job or a business for him,” Costa said. “He had passion for it.”

Costa said A Thyme Savor, another Carolina Beach Road catering business, had been in touch following her husband’s passing. The business helped to coordinate plans to continue on a catering and restaurant tradition at the location, Costa said. When A Thyme Savor moves in, it will offer its food restaurant-style for the first time, and continue to operate its catering service, she said.

Lauren Costa, Claudia and the late Gene Costa's daughter cleans up at Bon Appetit after one of her last shifts at the restaurant. Just a couple years older than the restaurant itself, Costa said she helped out in the restaurant since she was 14. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)
Lauren Costa, Claudia and the late Gene Costa’s daughter, cleans up at Bon Appetit after one of her last shifts at the restaurant. Just a couple years older than the restaurant itself, Lauren Costa said she helped out in the restaurant since she was 14. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)

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

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