The latest is a new concept from an old hand on the Durham business scene: Seth Gross, the co-owner of the popular Wine Authorities shop in the Rockwood neighborhood.
Gross is branching out, going back to what he says was a love before his wine days: craft beers and brewing.
Bull City Burger and Brewery is the name of the place, set to inhabit the Greenfire building at 107 E. Parrish St.
(That's the green-painted structure to the southwest of Dos Perros, set in on Parrish St. and featuring recreated advertisements on its western exterior wall overlooking the Trinity UMC parking lot.)
The restaurant, slated for opening in February 2011, will feature burgers, hot dogs and similar fare along with an on-site brewery featuring beers with links back to the history of Parrish St. and of Durham itself.
And it's not a place with small ambitions.
"We want to be someday added to the list of the great burger joints in the United States," Gross says.
Gross is planning to go local in a big way, from using locally-sourced, grass-fed, antibiotic-free beef ground daily for burgers, to making their own all-beef hot dogs on site.
The waste resulting from the brewing process will even be recycled back into hog feed, Gross hopes.
He announced the endeavor along with Greenfire Development's Allison Moy at a recent Partners Against Crime District 5 meeting as part of a community input process linked to a city Office of Economic and Workforce Development grant program.
Gross and Greenfire will be applying for a building improvement grant, which can provide up to $75,000 in municipal funding for developers investing at least $225,000 in renovation of structures in targeted districts to become retail-ready.
"We're applying for the building grant to try to bring down the costs of tenant improvement for Seth," Moy told the PAC5 crowd last week at Blue Coffee Cafe downtown. The space is currently in "cold, dark shell" condition, Moy noted.
Gross, who has now signed a lease on the space with Greenfire, expects to have outdoor dining in the rear of the building and a kids play area like what is implemented at Wine Authorities.
A stand-up dining bar at the front window will provide eat-and-go space for those diners who don't want to grab one of the available tables.
Inclusive of the bar area, Gross plans to provide seating for 90, along with a private dining space for meetings or events (with A/V capabilities).
And despite the beef-and-brew menu, healthy options will abound.
Veggie burgers will be available, and Gross pledges to use no hydrogenated oils or corn syrup -- even to the point that high fructose corn syrup sodas won't be sold on premises.
After its initial ramp-up period, Gross plans to have the restaurant open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
Gross will continue his active involvement in Wine Authorities, but his passion for getting back to the brewing work he's long loved is clear, as is his excitement to be starting a venture in the city center.
"I've always wanted to have something downtown, to be part of the renaissance of our city," Gross said.
The entrepreneur brewed beer professionally under the tutelage of Greg Hall at Chicago's Goose Island brewpub; he's also a graduate of the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.