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O'Town Restaurant Closes
September 24, 2019

hris and Kim Daniels opened O’Town in April 2016. In the summer months, patrons enjoyed burgers, salads, and sandwiches on the open deck overlooking Oriental Harbor Marina.

O'Town Pub
O’Town Restaurant.

Come early fall, everything moved inside to the ‘Pub’, a warmer space serving cottage pie and fish & chips. The Pub was also rented out for events.

O'Town Pub
Inside O’Town Pub. When the weather became too chilly for dining on the deck, patrons moved inside.
O'Town Pub
The bar at O’Town Pub.

That came to an end in September 2018. Hurricane Florence came to town, bringing 9 1/2 ft flood waters with her.

It wasn’t the first time the building had suffered from high waters. The building had flooded in Hurricane Isabel (2003), Hurricane Irene (2011), and again with Hurricane Florence (2018). In Florence the roof was also damaged.

After Florence, Daniels says the old building housing the Pub was determined to be beyond repair by the landlord.

O'Town Pub
Chris Daniels sits among the damaged floor joists of the Pub just after Hurricane Florence.

In November 2018, the building housing the O’Town Pub was demolished. This was a deep loss for Oriental. The brick building was a century old, and had been the home of the famed Trawl Door restaurant in the 1980s & 1990s.

Still, that didn’t end O’Town. Kim and Chris decided to take O’Town seasonal, continuing operations on the deck. They relaunched in April 2019, intending to stay open until mid October.

Hurricane Dorian changed their plans. Fearing another flood, O’Town closed just before the storm. Food and supplies were relocated to the Daniels’ other restaurant, The Silos.

O'Town Pub
November 2018: Walls of the O’Town Pub are demolished after Hurricane Florence.

Dorian wasn’t as devastating as Florence, but having lost power to the kitchen and facilities, it would take a health inspection to open the restaurant again. The end of the season was only weeks away.

The decision was made to close O’Town. O’Town was meant to run year-round, and Daniels found that operating a restaurant for just part of the year wasn’t viable.

We opened O’Town to run a full-time restaurant by the water. A seasonal operation just doesn’t work. It’s hard to hire staff for only part of the year, people aren’t going to wait 6 months to be rehired. And if we’re not open, people look for other places to eat.
Unfortunately, it’s no longer the business we signed up for. We thank the many customers who enjoyed dining at O’Town for its three years. Our efforts will now be simply focused on our original restaurant – The Silos.
Chris & Kim Daniels

O'Town Pub

Posted Tuesday September 24, 2019 by Keith N. Smith

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