Healthy eating options in works for Wrightsville Beach


Wrightsville Beach is attracting more dining options that focus on healthy eating, as the town could approve its second eatery this summer that touts a healthy dining menu.

After the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen approved a conditional use permit for Zeke’s Beans & Bowls at 534 Causeway Drive on June 12, the town’s planning board will consider a conditional use permit that would allow Adapt Kitchen & Juice Bar to open inside of Roberts Grocery at 32 N. Lumina Ave. Adapt Kitchen would use the same side counter space that Loops Homemade Donuts once operated.

Zeke’s Beans & Bowls features acai bowls, a Brazilian dish made of frozen and mashed açaí palm fruit, often mixed with granola and other fruits and berries. In addition to gourmet coffee, Zeke’s will also serve poke bowls, a raw fish salad served often served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine, as well as organic egg breakfasts, pitas, salads and other light dishes.

Coming to the spot that was most recently housed Annex Surf Supply, which was moved into its parent store Surf City Surf Shop, Zeke’s will be the third location for the restaurant, which got its start in 2013 in Virginia Beach.

The business will have use of 10 parking spots in the lot for Wrightsville United Methodist Church. A few members of the church asked that restrictions be placed on when the Zeke’s could open on Sundays, but the board enacted no restrictions. Nick Cole, operator of the local location, said ownership was in discussions with the church to minimize any impact the business would have on churchgoers.  The restaurant plans to be open from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Nick Cole said that the business wouldn’t serve alcohol, but would feature local artists on its wall. He said he expected Zeke’s to open no later than mid-August, after the location’s interior can be built out.

“We’ve got a good following. It fits Wrightsville Beach pretty well,” Cole said. Mayor Bill Blair also noted that the business was a “nice fit for the beach.”

Meanwhile, the town’s planning board was set to consider a special use permit for Adapt Kitchen. Owners Chris Curry and Elie Tilghman spent two years planning and researching a unique brand that they could share with Wrightsville Beach. Both owners said they are are passionate about healthy living and have active lifestyles. Throughout their travels across the country and the islands of Hawaii, they developed Adapt Kitchen & Juice Bar.

Adapt’s name is derived from the ingredients that will be used to accompany their plant-based menu items, known as adaptogens. Ingredients like reishi mushrooms and blue-green algae powder may be new to many, but those along with other stress-reducing and healing elements will provide residents and visitors to the island with a new flavor.

While the new venture works through the permit process with the Town of Wrightsville Beach Planning Commission and Board of Alderman in the coming weeks ahead, Adapt celebrated a soft opening last week. Current menu items include fresh or frozen fruits, whole-milk Greek yogurts, and avocado toast to name a few. Currently the eatery is a made-to-order, grab-and-go operation, although Adapt may provide delivery on the island in the future.

Dan Bullard contributed to this report.

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