Press Releases

The District -- Popular Student-Run Restaurant Unveils New Menu with Emphasis on More Taste via Small Plates

By: The Art Institutes

May 6, 2016

RALEIGH-DURHAM, N.C. (May 2, 2016) - Small plates that pack more value are on the new menu at The District at 410 -- the student run restaurant of The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, a campus of South University.

“The trend in restaurants is that people want to taste a lot of things, but they aren’t necessarily interested in a traditional big heavy meal,” says Chef John Boretti. “That’s why tapas bars are so popular. While a tapas plate might only offer two bites, we offer more than that, providing just the right size for lunch.”

The District’s current quarter runs through June 10, with the restaurant open for lunch from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., most Thursdays and Fridays.  Favorites on the new menu include pan seared scallops served with creamy polenta and balsamic drizzle; slider burgers featuring grilled certified Angus Beef® hamburger; crispy fried Brussels sprouts with prosciutto, banana pepper and parmesan cheese;  savory baby carrots glazed in butter and brown sugar and brûléed orange tart.

However, according to Chef Boretti, the cuisine is only half the story.

Customers Grade Each Meal, Students Huddle and Learn

Chef Boretti and Chef Shawn Holland, the front of the house instructor, manage the seven culinary students who, as a team, run the restaurant and regularly swap jobs -- so that a waiter one day is a chef the next. Collectively, they prepare the 46-seat restaurant at the bustling American Tobacco Campus and clean up after the last guest leaves.

This soup-to-nuts experience is essential, says Chef Boretti, as the students set their sights on eventually landing positions not only amid the Triangle’s burgeoning restaurant scene, but throughout the region.

“The students are sponges absorbing everything,” he says. “My goal is to share my restaurant knowledge with them. For example, we talk about food costs, service, prep time and guest experience, helping fully prepare them for the real culinary world. ”

Following lunch, each guest is asked to complete a comment card. The students review all the cards after lunch, as well as analyze hard data on how the quantities of each item sold. They then make team decisions on everything from future supply orders to performance improvements.

“It’s all about reinforcing the mindset that we are one team,” says Chef Boretti. “We help each other out. That’s how we succeed. And, of course, as with all restaurateurs, seeing return patrons is our goal.”

Planning Lunch at The District

Founded in 2010, the District at 410 is open most Thursdays and Fridays through June 10 from noon-2 p.m. with the exception of Thursday, May 12, when the restaurant will be closed for a private party.

Prices range from $2.50-$5.50 for small plates, $6.50-$12.50 for large plates, $2 -$2.50 for sides and $4 for desserts.

The District is located in the lobby of the Fowler Building at American Tobacco Campus in Durham, 410 Blackwell St.  Reservations are recommended; drop-in patrons will be seated as space is available. For reservations, please call 919.317.3200 or email

About the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham
The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, a campus of South University is one of The Art Institutes, a system of over 50 schools throughout North America. Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Several institutions included in The Art Institutes system are campuses of South University or Argosy University. The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, a campus of South University, 410 Blackwell Street, Suite 200, Durham, NC  27701 © 2016 The Art Institutes.  All rights reserved. Our email address is

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By: The Art Institutes

May 6, 2016