If you know Double Oaks at all, you might know it as a quaint historic bed & breakfast sitting prominently at the entrance to the Westerwood neighborhood off of North Mendenhall and Friendly. For being such a stately mansion, what’s going on there largely stays just below the radar, as they don’t do a lot of promotion.
But Double Oaks has slowly been building up a culinary program that is gaining steam amongst Greensboro’s in-the-know foodie scene.
Owners James and Amanda Keith attribute the growth, surprisingly, to COVID.
“When the pandemic hit, we lost all our reservations and private events,” Amanda says. “We had to think fast about what we could do to survive and keep providing a valuable service.”
Before the pandemic, their regular Wine Wednesdays had already become a happening spot for great live jazz and drinks in the beautiful backyard garden. They’d started serving pizzas, including a unique weekly special pizza, with punny names like “The Bleu Steel” and “The Brussel Crowe.”
It turns out, the pizzas were the right bridge. During the early days of the pandemic, they started doing takeout pizzas and wine, which was a huge hit especially in the Westerwood neighborhood where Double Oaks is nestled. Once it was safe enough to allow outdoor dining, they utilized the generous backyard space to start doing table service and building up a menu.
Double Oaks Bed & Breakfast
204 N. Mendenhall St.
Thus, the food program was born. They went from two employees at the beginning of the pandemic, to a crew of fourteen between the hotel and restaurant today.
Wine Wednesdays are still happening, and they’re more popular than ever. If you show up on a fair-weather Wednesday, you’ll find one of the liveliest jazz scenes in the city, and you can hear the music beckoning as you walk up the driveway into the backyard. Attendance has regularly hit 150 plus, and the open jazz session includes anywhere from five to sometimes 15 or more musicians. The menu still includes pizzas, but now also wings with a killer sauce called Bee Sting created by brothers Jared and Dane Hugg of Hugg the Chefs.
For the past year, Double Oaks has added more days of public restaurant service, now serving dinner on Thursday and Friday nights. The menus at Double Oaks are curated and well-sourced, with the finesse of fine cooking, but they’re accessible enough to not feel fussy or too fancy.
“We want folks to feel comfortable showing up in a pair of jeans,” says James.
Their Sunday brunch features goods from other local small businesses like Black Magnolia Southern Patisserie and Borough Coffee.
“We’re always looking for new ways to bring the community in,” he continues. “When we bought the place, it was a private home, and we thought such a grand home ought to be opened up as a place for the public to gather and relax. Double Oaks is one of Greensboro’s grand historic homes, so everything we do here is not only focused on visitors to Greensboro, but also on giving locals opportunities to come hang out and imbue the place with local flavor. Good food and drinks tend to be the best way to draw people in.”
Dinner nights at Double Oaks are a great counterpoint to Wine Wednesdays. Diners enjoy table service and a more extensive menu and beverage choices, though a small selection of pizzas are always available. Chef Jared Hugg conjures up new dinner specials each week as well, to keep things interesting.
“Our dinner nights are one of the best-kept secrets in Greensboro,” James says.
Amanda jumps in: “Where else in town can you have an intimate, gourmet meal under twinkle lights in a place that feels like the Secret Garden? It’s pretty magical.”
If you’re looking for a different kind of going out experience, one that feels more like home in all the best ways, Double Oaks might just be your new favorite spot.
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