Thursday, December 8, 2022

Wilmington’s newest restaurant opens on site of 1922 elephant rampage

Dram Yard is now open as part of the ARRIVE Wilmington campus — the hotel is expected to open at the beginning of June (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)

Located on 2nd Street and Dock Street, Dram Yard is Wilmington’s newest restaurant and part of the ARRIVE Hotel campus

WILMINGTON — There’s plenty of history at Wilmington’s newest restaurant, Dram Yard, but one incident, in particular, stands out amongst the rest — the story of Topsy the elephant.

As the story goes, the year was 1922 when Topsy decided she had enough of the circus life and decided to take in the finer sights of the Port City, going on a two-day rampage around town.

“One stop on her big adventure was Eureka Pressing Company & Dye Works on the corner of 2nd and Dock Street, the building that now houses the Dram Yard restaurant at ARRIVE Wilmington,” according to ARRIVE.

Topsy then broke into the building, spent a day refusing to come out until finally busting through the walls to make her great escape — but not before splattering fabric dye throughout the building, Jamie Schaible managing director for the entire ARRIVE project said.

But guests at Dram Yard don’t need to worry about rogue circus animals, instead, they can look forward to a range of globally inspired cuisine crafted by Executive Chef (and general manager of the restaurant) Kat Myhand and her sous chef Brian McKinney.

Myhand is no stranger to the Wilmington food scene having served in both front- and back-of-the-house roles, notably as executive sous chef at the Cape Fear Country Club.

A full menu for Dram Yard can be found online (Port City Daily/Courtesy Dram Yard)
A full menu for Dram Yard can be found online. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Dram Yard)

When it came to deciding on the menu for Dram Yard Myhand said they took inventory of what is being done in the area and tried to be different.

“We looked at all the Southern restaurants and all the American restaurants, and everyone is doing a great job, but we were like, ‘okay, everyone is doing risotto so we won’t do that …’ So we purposely tried to generate a menu that is inspired by global influences and different tastes but sourced locally as much as possible,” Myhand said.

The menu is broken up into three simple sections: snacks, mains, and desserts and the entire restaurant is based on a “shared experience,” she said.

Dram Yard is open Thursday – Monday from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., however, the last seating is at 9 p.m. The restaurant is located at 101 S. 2nd St., more info can be found online here.


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