Popular Durham eatery Monuts Donuts will soon be filling a hole on Ninth Street.
The breakfast and lunch cafe, co-owned by chefs Lindsay Moriarty and Rob Gillespie, will move in November to a space that is two and a half times larger than the current store. Monuts began as a shop on the back of a tricycle and is now a small storefront on East Parrish Street, but space limitations and high demand are causing the cafe to move.
"With this space in particular... it’ll be like leaving your home for the first time," Moriarity said of the current store. "It instantly felt like home for us."
Despite this, she is excited about the opportunities the bigger space will bring. With a larger kitchen, Moriarty hopes to have a more extensive menu with bigger plates, sides and options that are more “kid-oriented” in addition to their donuts, bagel sandwiches and brunch fare. The store will also be open until 9 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. and will serve beer and wine.
“I love cooking, so having the room to have more on my menu is super exciting,” she said.
The new space also will help to alleviate the long line of customers that frequently extends out the door. It will have more seating, an outdoor dining option and a full espresso bar to complement the existing drip coffee selection.
“There will be a much bigger emphasis on seating," Moriarty said. "We’ll have a place for people to actually sit and eat a meal instead of always feeling like they’re in a rush.”
The exact move-in date to Ninth Street depends on construction at the new location, Moriarty explained. There was a fire at the new building in January, where Magnolia Grill resided, leaving significant repair work before Monuts moves in. Once the construction picks up, Moriarty expects the rest of the preparation to move along quickly because the planning, purchasing and design work has already been done.
During the transition between locations, the downtown store will be closed. Moriarty anticipates they will host a “soft opening” in November at the new Ninth Street location, after which the shop will close for a few days and then reopen permanently.
Moriarty said that the physical location of the current store is what she will miss most after the transition to the new space. But though Monuts may be moving, Moriarty explained that she and Gillespie are staying until the end of their five-year lease and want to use the space for something, whether it becomes new store with an entirely new concept or a Monuts outpost that would hopefully quell any local outcry over the move.
Students on campus are happy to have Monuts closer to them. Freshman Savannah Chauvet had her first Monuts experience last week and that it was definitely worth the wait. She was unaware that the store was moving, but says that she is very excited that it will now be within walking distance from East Campus.
Senior Michael Margolis is glad that the transition to the new-and-improved space will occur while he is still a student at Duke. Margolis frequents Monuts, and loves it every time. As he is very familiar with the current menu, he is excited to see the new options and menu items that will accompany the new space.