Elon, North Carolina|Friday, January 27, 2017
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Downtown Gets a New Resident: The Oak House 

Just in time for move-in weekend, a new restaurant is opening its doors in Downtown Elon. The Oak House, a coffeehouse, craft beer and wine lounge, will make its home in the space where Town Table used to be.

“I would just like to see people here enjoying the space, enjoying each other’s company, having meaningful conversation, whether it’s about an academic subject or whether it’s just about life,” owner Phil Smith said.

The restaurant already has its roots in the Elon community: Smith worked at Elon for eight years, most recently in the Study USA office.

Opening a restaurant like The Oak House has always been a dream of Smith’s. He says it was actually the Elon students he worked with who convinced him to pursue this new career path.

“Finally the students started pushing me because I would share this story [about owning a restaurant] every year,” he said.

With his business partner, Ryan Vet, a 2013 Love School of Business graduate, Smith began turning his dream into a reality.

“There’s nothing quite like what we’re trying to do around here,” Smith said.

The Oak House’s combination of services is what sets it apart from the other establishments in Downtown. The new restaurant will serve gourmet coffee, fine wine and craft beer, as well as locally made cheeses and pastries.

The Oak House will serve gourmet coffee, fine wines, and craft beer.

The Oak House will serve gourmet coffee, fine wines, and craft beer.


Along with the food and beverages, Smith hopes The Oak House can provide the local community with a welcoming environment.

“I want people to like being here,” said Smith. “And I think if we do the right things, and treat people the right way and serve the right things, the rest will follow.”

Smith says that although he wants The Oak House to be something new, he wants it to fit in with the rest of the Elon community. That’s why he and Vet got people involved from the start with a Kickstarter campaign.

“We wanted to offer a way for everybody for students, alumni, for staff faculty community members to feel like they had a part in making this happen,” he said.

So far, more than $7,000 of the $12,000 goal has been raised. The more money funders pledge on Kickstarter, the bigger rewards they get, like complimentary drinks and free t-shirts.

Smith hopes to raise the last $5,000 by August 6, two weeks before The Oak House is set to open at 7:30 a.m. on August 20.

The Oak House will open its doors August 20.

The Oak House will open its doors August 20.

About the author: Michelle Alfini

Michelle Alfini is a senior broadcast journalism major from Severna Park, Maryland. She has interned at Abc11 News in Durham, WXII News 12 in Winston Salem and 1430WNAV radio in Annapolis, Maryland. Follow her on twitter @MichelleAlf

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