Daring to be Different

by Dec 1, 2022Restaurants & Bars, The Blog, Wilmington

Wilmington’s newest beer garden, The Eagle’s Dare, is in a refurbished garage on the growing north end of Downtown.

“Those Who Dare Win.”

A sign with those words hangs above a couch shaped like the tail end of a ’57 Chevy in Joe Apkarian’s new craft beer and cocktail bar called The Eagle’s Dare.

Named in part for the famous movie starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, this place dares to win and exhorts you to do so too.

Located on the corner of Red Cross and N. Third streets in Wilmington, the business is housed in a long-abandoned, refurbished 1950s gas station.

Apkarian, a Marine vet who came home from Dubai to establish himself in Wilmington, has two other establishments up and running — Taco Baby and The Pour House. All of his businesses give back, especially to the Marine Raider foundation.

Bill Saffo & Joe Apkarian

His bar manager from TacoBaby, Whitney Moore, was on hand to help handle the crowds who came to attend The Eagles Dare’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 7. Those attendees settled in the main bar, the walls of which are adorned with very cool artwork.

Also on hand was Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, who relished the opportunity to welcome another business moving uptown to the Northside. He happily signed the ribbon for Apkarian to hang in his new bar.

Apkarian, who lives just two blocks from his garage, also indicated that this end of town is blossoming at just the right time.

Eagles Dare Bar

“You’ve got businesses, high-rises, and condos all pushing farther north to take advantage of Wilmington’s explosive growth,” Apkarian says. “We’d love to give them a unique place to go.”

Sidling up to a bar where hydraulic lifts once hoisted autos high for repairs was undoubtedly unique. The interior design was handled entirely by a young woman named Morgan Dail, who owns and manages Deeply Rooted Interiors. She barely looks old enough to drink, and I’d have carded her if she sat at my bar, but she surely has a deft touch when it came to the design and accoutrements of the former garage.

Inside Eagles Dare

The Eagles Dare has a pleasant outdoor beer garden and games area, where both children and fur babies are welcome, provided the fur babies are leashed and their owners clean up after them. Nestled under two leafy trees that provide welcome shade on days when the sun is blazing, the beer garden faces N. Third Street.

Inside consists mainly of two rooms: the main bar and the backroom bar.

Guests can also be forgiven if they think (as yours truly did) that the floors in that back room have just been mopped, as the epoxy coating is mirror-smooth.

Eagles Dare Patio

Sporting a wide array of craft beer, some of it local, the bar specializes in craft cocktails served by smiling bartenders, like the aforementioned Whitney and Rachel. New Anthem made a beer called Scream with Me just for the Dare.

The space is available for rent for private events. Plans are in progress to have food trucks visit, and the ample parking area in front of The Dare should accommodate most any size food wagon. That free parking is both welcome and critical, given the usual dearth of free spots in downtown Wilmington.

By daring to do something very different with The Dare, it appears that Joe Apkarian is following the advice of the sign under that ’57 Chevy couch.

And the smart money says he will win.

Want to go?

The Eagle’s Dare
420 N. Third Street, Wilmington
The Eagle’s Dare | Facebook