A Hot New Restaurant on Glenwood Avenue…The Oakz!!!

A great new restaurant in Downtown Raleigh that specializes in American cuisine...A Must Eat Place!!!

A great new restaurant in Downtown Raleigh that specializes in American cuisine…A Must Eat Place!!!

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Wine to Water fundraiser presented by the Raleigh Rotaract Club at The Oakz. It was my first visit to this new restaurant, located at 510 Glenwood Avenue in the former High-5s space. I met one of the owners, Ira Freedman and we talked about wine…after all, it was a wine tasting. He gave a glowing report to the extensive collection of American wines that he had to offer at his new restaurant.

The Oakz is an American Cuisine restaurant that has tremendous food and an inviting atmosphere. Last Friday, we dined there for the first time and the food and wine were exquisite. Once again, I spoke briefly with Ira and he donated four $25 gift cards to the 5th Annual Jack Andrews Memorial Golf Tournament presented by the Rotary Club of North Raleigh. This isn’t the reason I like the restaurant, but his willingness to support this event shows the type of person he is. He had also donated a gift card to the Rotaract fundraiser.

He and his daughter, Jaclyn Starritt are the creators of this concept and the name is a collection of the first letters of his grandchildren, (Oakleigh, Annie, Karli and Zack) realizing later that it was perfect for the City of Oaks (with a slight spelling correction).

This is the first restaurant the duo has owned, but Ira has spent many years managing restaurants and nightclubs for other owners. He always dreamed of owning his own restaurant and his daughter was no different.

Ira is a native of North Carolina, but spent several years in New York where he met his wife. They returned to the Old North State 22 years ago with their two daughters. Jaclyn spent many years in the industry while working her way through high school and college, and earned a Ph.D in Psychology and currently has a practice in Cary.

Together, they have formed a great restaurant with a focus on customer satisfaction. The atmosphere is impressive and the staff if very friendly. As time progresses, they will begin to feature new regions or states in our country. The executive chef, Jabari Wadlington has created all of the dishes. I have yet to try many of the fares on the menu, but the ones I tasted have been tremendous to include delicious Oakz Mac, which is a blend of three cheeses, Gouda, Gruyere, and sharp Cheddar.

Though they have been opened for several weeks, the official Grand Opening will be Friday, May 9th. I will be there and will have to have the mac again. Even though I am not a professional food critic (a Realtor instead), I would highly recommend this restaurant. My wife and I really enjoyed our experience here and believe it can be the next Bogarts for this building that has struggled to keep these restaurants spaces filled.

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