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The Royce proves a pandemic opening can be done

The Royce proves a pandemic opening can be done

Nicholas Youngblood

New Polaris restaurant uses Mama’s recipes and a little nostalgia for success

Despite opening in the midst of a pandemic that has been especially rough for restaurants, The Royce rolls on.

The Royce, a new dining experience in Polaris, debuted July 6, and owner Walter Carpenter said the response has been fantastic.

“I come to work and just kinda pinch myself, because it’s truly, truly a blessing,” he said.

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The establishment boasts lavish decor, elevated cuisine, and class-A service, all without the stuffiness of fine dining. The menu contains such luxuries as baked oysters, sea bass, and craft cocktails, balanced by Carpenter’s family favorites: peach cobbler and macaroni and cheese, based on his own mother’s recipes.

“I told [the chef] when he’s mixing the ingredients, I want him to add a little salt, a little pepper, but a little nostalgia as well,” said Carpenter.

This family attitude extends to all aspects of the restaurant. The Royce is named after Carpenter’s wife (a far more interesting name than Walter, in his opinion), and his entire family pitches in at the business. Carpenter is aiming for an experience that can feel intimate and opulent all at once. 

“We know that, in the age of technology, you can take a picture of the food, but you really can’t take a picture of how we can make your heart feel,” he said.

To that end, Carpenter said he wants everyone to feel comfortable dining with him, especially given the circumstances. The restaurant is fortunate to have ample space and ventilation thanks to large open windows in its four seasons room in addition to outdoor seating. Despite it being his first time opening a restaurant, Carpenter said he has extensive experience in the food service industry, and he takes his patron’s safety very seriously.

The Royce is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Brunch is offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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