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DURHAM, N.C. — Triangle residents Young and Surelyne Lee are getting ready to introduce a slice of Los Angeles to the Bull City in the form of sweet and savory pies and specialty coffee drinks served on 9th Street, within walking distance to Duke University.
This husband and wife duo from Cary, NC were on a quest to find a different kind of date spot in the Triangle, which led them to investigate franchise opportunities that would fulfill that need. “We were looking for a place that would offer a unique, delicious menu, along with gourmet coffee specialties with the addition of alcohol,” says Lee. Their search led them to The Pie Hole, Los Angeles and they could not be more thrilled to bring the concept to Durham in September.
“We chose to open on Ninth St. in Durham because we were looking for a place with a great neighborhood and community feel—not your typical cookie-cutter strip mall,” Lee shares. “We love the walkability and uniqueness that Ninth St. offers; it has the vibe of an old downtown with a modern vibrant community. Plus, we wanted to establish ourselves where we could make a difference in the community.”
The Lees have partnered with local businesses, such as Bull City Designs, to commission custom wood bartops and tables for the interior, and local sign maker McCorkle Sign Company for the custom sign on the exterior.
The Lees are not strangers to the restaurant industry: For four years, they owned and operated an independent quick service café/scoop shop in Georgia before relocating to the Triangle. The Pie Hole is a family-run organization created by a mother and son duo, Becky Grasley and Matthew Heffner, who long dreamed of opening a place where they could share their love of pie. Along with family friend Sean Brennan, and Matty’s wife Lindsay Hollister, they set out to bring back the “all-American pie shop.”
Every pie is baked from scratch, by hand, using only the highest quality ingredients—never frozen or from a can. Founder, Matty Heffner, says he always knew what time of year it was by the pie his mom was baking; with that in mind, The Pie Hole’s menu rotates to reflect the freshness of each season and uses several recipes passed down in the family for five generations, along with more modern inventions like Earl Grey Tea Pie. Pies are served by the slice, individual-sized, whole pies to order, and can even be catered.
Coffee adds an extra layer of comfort to The Pie Hole experience with fair trade beans roasted by an award-winning micro-roaster for the drip, cold brew and nitro infused exclusive Pie Hole Blend. In addition, beer, wine and specialty alcoholic coffee drinks will be available.
The Pie Hole is set up to become your favorite local pie shop, community gathering space, date night location, and home away from home. The grand opening will take place over Labor Day weekend (September 2-4, 2017).
About The Pie Hole: The Pie Hole’s Durham location will be at 810 Ninth Street, Suite 130 on the ground floor of 810 residential building. The Pie Hole has five other locations in the LA-area and two in Tokyo, Japan. The Pie Hole strives to be the ultimate destination for comfort food and a perfect cup of coffee, infusing the founder’s mom (Becky’s) motto of “Pie Is Love,” along with the idea that they serve “Happiness, One Slice At A Time.”
About the Owners of The Pie Hole in Durham: Young Lee has over 30 years of sales, marketing and management experience in the telecom and automotive industry. Born and raised in New York City, Young was introduced to the restaurant industry at a very early age—his father co-owned several Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, NY, including the legendary Hop Kee. Growing up, he worked at the restaurant in every capacity as well as working at his father’s liquor store. He has a love of great food and discovering new restaurants in the Triangle area.
Surelyne Lee, Young’s wife, is also a native New Yorker. At an early age, she was surrounded by food, whether it was the traditional family-style Chinese cooking at home, the Americanized creations of her sous chef father, or the wonderful cuisines surrounding the ethnic neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan. Insatiably curious about food, Surelyne loved reading cookbooks as a child and has been preparing meals for friends and family ever since. In addition to her love of cooking and baking, Surelyne has over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical/medical sales as well as customer service.
Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
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