3 Wilmington restaurants sold to Raleigh-based group

3 Wilmington restaurants sold to Raleigh-based group
Osteria Cicchetti was one of three Wilmington restaurants sold to a Raleigh-based restaurant group. (Source: Will Page)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Three prominent Wilmington restaurants have been sold to a Raleigh-based restaurant group.

Urban Food Group (UFG), owned by Kevin and Stacey Jennings, purchased Brasserie du Soleil, Osteria Cicchetti, and Boca Bay, as the company marks its first expansion into the Port City.

Ash Aziz, the former owner of the trio of restaurants and head of Circa Restaurant Group, will retain ownership of his other Wilmington-based eateries: Pizzeria Il Forno, Circa 1922, Junction 421, and a new concept planned for River Place in downtown.

“These much-loved restaurants are very similar to our group’s in concept, service approach, pricing, location – everything,” said Kevin Jennings. “We love Wilmington but hadn’t planned to expand here yet. When we learned these restaurants were going to be available – as Circa owner Ash Aziz began thinking about retirement – it seemed serendipitous.”

“Ash is old school,” Jennings added. “He’s active in the community. Many of his employees have been with him for a long time. Our philosophies are very similar.”

Jennings said he doesn’t plan to change much about the newly-acquired restaurants.

“We’ll maintain Ash’s commitment to quality, staff and guests,” Jennings said. “The restaurant names won’t change, the staff – we sincerely hope – won’t change and the food quality won’t change.”

Jennings added that UFG will, over time, introduce new technology to aid servers, kitchen and back office staff, but those changes won’t be felt by guests.

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