Circa 1922 is a Timeless Dining Option

Posted Jul 16th, 2019 in Foodie Fodder


The beauty of Circa 1922 lies in its deceptive image. The façade on Front Street comprises three elegant archways that frame the door and adjacent windows. The stone-fronted building dates back to the 1800s and the charming arched entrance tells little of the restaurant within—it appears dark and mysterious, yet inside, is a seamless combination of old and new.

The restaurant is narrow, yet extends back a long way and is framed on one side by a bar and an elegant staircase that ascends to an upper level dining and event space. The original wooden steps and exposed brick walls are a reminder of the age of the structure. However, the recently refurbished interior includes polished wood flooring and navy blue soft furnishings that add to the sophisticated appearance. Booths line the wall opposite the staircase and tables form a central vein in a space that seats up to 200 people, including upstairs.

Despite the restaurant having all the characteristics of fine dining, restaurant manager Julia Ross says there is no dress code and customers are welcome to dine in beach casual clothing. She says customers are often pleasantly surprised by the friendly atmosphere and good value.

Circa 1922 is one of the oldest and one of the biggest restaurants in Downtown Wilmington. Established in 2000, the restaurant serves food created from the best ingredients and mostly local produce. The Chef de Cuisine has been with the company for many years and has recently upgraded the menu to reflect the season.

Although much of the food is tapas style, you can order larger plate items too.  Favorites include paella and shrimp and grits. If you’re looking for something different, try the new grilled octopus. The menu has a good selection of gluten-free and vegetarian options, salads and seafood as well. Children’s menus are also available and the desserts change daily. For the budget-conscious, there’s a three-course, prix-fixe menu for $24.95 served Sunday through Thursday and a $5 bar menu seven days a week (it ends at 7:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays) where you can enjoy small tapas while you socialize.

If you’re a wine connoisseur, you’ll be in your element with over 200 wines to choose from. Circa 1922 also has North Carolina craft beers and upscale cocktails. Be sure to test your palate mid-week during half-price wine Wednesdays.

On Saturday nights, you can enjoy live music from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. played on the grand piano at the foot of the staircase. This is where the final mystery of Circa 1922 is solved. The piano that was left by the previous owners is engraved with the numbers, 1922!


Hours: Sun-Thurs, 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Fri, Sat, 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

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Circa 1922
8 N Front St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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