A thanks again to readers for the initial tip on the new restaurant from the owner of Chapel Hill's Jujube, and for the scoop on the new restaurant's name, Dos Perros.
Charlie Deal, the new restaurant's owner, was present at Durham Rising at a special booth celebrating his new dining venture. Deal confirmed that Dos Perros Taqueria and Bar is slated to open in early 2008 over at Rogers Alley, the old fire station under renovation by Greenfire Development. Dos Perros represents Greenfire's first big win in bringing in a new restaurant/retail option to one of the buildings they've acquired downtown. With dinner entrees ranging from $12-30, Dos Perros also fits the same niche as Chapel Hill St.'s Rue Cler, which has enjoyed quite a bit of success as the pioneering upscale restaurant inside the loop.
The timing of Dos Perros' opening comes as no surprise -- the renovation schedule for Rogers Alley aside, the start date positions the restaurant perfectly to gear up in time for next spring's opening of the Durham Performing Arts Center, and for the concomitant re-opening of the Bulls for the '08 season. Given Dos Perros' location just north of the DPAC right at Mangum and Parrish Streets, in sight of and a short walk from the new theater, the restaurant looks to be just one of what I suspect will be many dining options to sprout up in anticipation of additional traffic downtown.
At the same time, given the seasonality of downtown dining -- except for Tyler's, which stays busy all year round, the American Tobacco restaurants' dinner crowds are noticeably heavier on Bulls game nights -- a winter opening helps avoid some lean months while still being ready to capitalize on the arrival of the new theater.
Besides dinner, according to the pre-opening menu Dos Perros will also be open for lunch Mondays through Saturdays, featuring daily specials like Yucatan-style pork and pan-roasted snapper, along with a wide range of tacos befitting the taqueria concept. Tacos alone will range from $2-3, with larger-portion taco platters and other lunch entrees running $8-12. Seafood, chicken and beef will all be on the menu for dinnr as well, along with at least a couple of vegetarian entrees.