Staff photo by Cole Dittmer
Long time Wilmington chefs James Doss, left, and Scott Grimm will open Pembroke’s in the beginning of November at The Forum. Pembroke’s will be an extension of the local, Southern theme Doss started at Rx Restaurant in 2012.
After 10 years heading kitchens and opening new restaurants of their own, longtime Wilmington chefs James Doss and Scott Grimm are joining forces to open Pembroke’s in The Forum.
Doss, who opened Rx Restaurant and Bar in July 2012, said Pembroke’s would be like an extension of the Southern, local theme he has seen success with at Rx.
“It will kind of be like an extension, say if Pembroke’s and Rx each had another menu,” Doss said.
Grimm said he and Doss’ styles would marry perfectly in keeping Pembroke’s slightly different than Rx.
“We are going to use a lot of the same farmers and ingredients, but we are obviously going to try to keep it a little different,” Grimm said. “We want people to go to both, we are not trying to mimic the food at Rx, but James and I have very similar styles.”
Along with using the same local vendors and farmers, one of the main similarities between Rx and Pembroke’s will be the constantly changing menu.
“It is going to evolve with what we can get, what is in season and how we feel about the dishes,” Grimm said. “We might have a menu for four days and then it could change every day after that. It is fun to design menus of what we can get versus saying what we want to do and then go find it.”
In addition to the main menu Grimm said there would be a rotating bar snack menu.
History will be another shared theme between the two. Doss kept the historic Hall’s Drug Store sign on the Rx building at the corner of Castle and 5th streets and the name Pembroke’s was chosen to give a nod to Pembroke Jones, the legendary Wrightsville Sound resident who some believe inspired the phrase, “Keeping up with the Joneses.”
The Pembroke’s location is 4,000 square feet larger than Rx, and both chefs said the interior would stay similar to how it looked as The Kitchen but with minor changes like lighter hardwood floors and vibrant local artwork hanging on the walls. Grimm said he was especially excited about the wood fired grill that came with the space. Stocks of oak, white hickory and cherry have already been cached for use in the grill, he said.
In addition to opening another restaurant on the other side of Wilmington, Doss said he was excited to be back in the Wrightsville Sound area because he and Grimm are familiar with the clientele’s tastes.
Being in The Forum will bring things full circle for the two because they will be in the same strip as James Bain at Epic Food Company, who was their boss at Harvest Moon a decade ago.
“To me this is like a mini restaurant row,” Grimm said. “It is kind of ironic with Bain and us two being in the same strip mall; we worked for him back in the day and now we are right down the road from him, which is pretty cool.”
Pembroke’s is scheduled to open the beginning of November.