Brent’s Bistro is one of several newly-opened Wrightsville Beach area shops, restaurants

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Diners and shoppers in the Wrightsville Beach area have a few new options in the area to consider, including the first restaurant from a longtime chef

Brent William’s Brent’s Bistro, which opened last week, has drawn a “great response” for the chef with more than 30 years experience, most coming at restaurants that are just a stone’s throw from the new restaurant’s Wrightsville Avenue location.

With the American grill format, Williams is offering a menu replete with fresh seafood, meats and local ingredients, with plans for offering new options in the future.

“With an American grill, you can do anything you want,” Williams said. “You can go to Italy. You can go to China.”

So far, the seafood dishes have proved most popular at Brent’s Bistro include the almond/basil pesto rubbed mahi-mahi and the sundried tomato rubbed broiled flounder. The restaurant’s 7110 Wrightsville Ave. location in the Cross Point Plaza  features a white tablecloth decor that seats 63, while all entrees are priced less than $25. The restaurant is open Tuesday – Sunday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. After considering a Sunday brunch option, Williams said he is opting to keep his focus on dinner service.

William’s cooking may be familiar to local diners, as the University of North Carolina Wilmington graduate has been a cook or chef at several area eateries during the past three decades, including David’s Deli & Restaurant, Sweet & Savory, Jerry’s Food, Wine & Spirits and the Country Club of Landfall.

In striking out on his own, William’s said he had been eyeing the locations which formerly housed Shukai Thai and Sushi Bar, and took the opportunity to take over renting the location and purchase the fixtures.

“The bones were here, it just needed a face lift,” Williams said of the location. “I had always thought this was a great location.”

But as Williams said he expected, running the business has been a new challenge for the chef, who said he has relied on his chef James Matthews to handle the kitchen while he works out staffing, inventory and any other issues that come up.

“I’m surprised at how much I have been pulled away from kitchen,” he said. “I’m glad I have James there.”

New shops at Cross Point Plaza

Anita Turner, of Wrightsville Beach, targets coastal fashions at The Girls Style Boutique  in Cross Point Plaza. Staff photo by Terry Lane.

Anita Turner, of Wrightsville Beach, targets coastal fashions at The Girls Style Boutique in Cross Point Plaza. Staff photo by Terry Lane.

The new Cross Point Plaza restaurant is just one of several new businesses in the shopping center. Recently, several stores have opened in the center that cater to women’s clothing and fashion.

Wrightsville Beach resident Anita Turner moved her retail women’s clothing sales business The Girls Style Boutique from its startup space in nearby gift store Tickled Pink at Lumina Station to Cross Point Plaza. The shop specializes in clothing that fits the “laid back lifestyle of the coastal area.”

“I have three daughters and I wanted a shop where I could find things that they would love too,” Turner said. “It spans the ages. We have clothes for any woman drawn to trendy looks.”

Turner said her store is one of a number of recently opened businesses at Cross Point Plaza that is transforming the shopping center into a “one stop shop” for boutique shopping and dining.

Next door is Soul Shoetique, a boutique shoe store opened by Michaela Batten. There’s Thrive Activewear, opened by Lauren Hancock, which features premium activewear, accessories and natural oils. En Vie Interiors offers a Cross Point Plaza location to shop for antiques and furniture, where Sage Salon & Spa provides shoppers with hair, massage and beauty services.

Other new options for an evening out

Artist Judi Niemann led the group in a painting of the Wilmington riverfront at Wine & Design's grand reopening on July 9.  Staff photo by Terry Lane.

Artist Judi Niemann led the group in a painting of the Wilmington riverfront at Wine & Design’s grand reopening on July 9. Staff photo by Terry Lane.

The Wine & Design in Landfall Center recently relaunched in a renovated studio space, where it hosts interactive painting lessons where patrons can bring food and drinks. The business was recently purchased by Tom and Kathleen Barber, who sold their local chain of Great Clips three years ago.

“It’s different and it’s fun,” said Tom Barber. “You don’t have to be able to paint a straight line.”

Another new local option for food and wine is Grand Cru Food & Wine in Lumina Station, where a menu of meats, cheeses and small plates accompanies a 300-bottle wine list, with several by-the-glass options.

email terrylane@luminanews.com

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