Firebelly Lounge leaves downtown for Monkey Junction

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Submitted: Fri, 11/15/2013 - 9:45pm
Updated: Fri, 11/15/2013 - 10:38pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you go to downtown Wilmington to eat, you might be wondering where Firebelly Lounge went.

After more than a decade downtown, the bar and restaurant closed its doors and followed a recent trend out of downtown and into Monkey Junction.

Owner Dan Boyle says he opened Firebelly in 1999 as a place where people could come eat, drink and listen to live music. However after a noise ordinance was passed in 2002 and multiple complaints from a neighbor, he was forced to abandon that model and turn Firebelly into strictly a restaurant.

Boyle says the move to Monkey Junction will allow Firebelly to once again have live music, with room to expand seating as well as its Tex-Mex menu. But Boyle says there are other factors that led to the move.

“It’s growing, and it doesn’t stop. It seems like Myrtle Grove has been trending on the upswing now for ten years, and it just keeps on growing,” Boyle said. “This is a market that’s really untapped. I’ve been wanting to get out here for quite some time, and I’ve finally been able to get that.”

Boyle says he hopes the new location in The Village at Myrtle Grove Shopping Center can open some time in early 2014.


  • Vog46 says:

    Should be setting off alarm bells in city hall and in council chambers.

    This is not related to parking, crime, membership fees or anything else.
    It is strictly business.
    The owners says he can do better at Monkey Junction, PERIOD.

    This is VERY bad news for down town.


  • autocorrect says:

    Do you venture downtown, or do you read news articles and assume that your delusional and uninformed opinion matters? Are you aware that Firebellys was on Front Street? Downtown consists of fourth street to water as far as the businesses are concerned. Gun shots are not prevalent. During and after my graduation from UNCW I have remained a bartender downtown, on front street. Ignorance is completely accepted when kept to yourself. However, keep your trolling ignorant posts about downtown out of public media. Many individuals livelihoods rely on their employment downtown in a great work environment, and we do not need narrow minded, uneducated individuals pushing their slander.

  • Ireckon says:

    So we have a college graduate/elitist working as a bartender downtown complaining about “trolling ignorant posts”! Impressive! That says it all! Who is the ignorant one here? Gun shots and crime prevalent, of course not! An occasional occurrence, yes! Enough of such criminal activity to scare people away, yes! Its a fact! Oh by the way, the very alcohol you and others serve is and has been a prime contributor to misbehavior downtown which in itself contributes to the citizens negative attitude!

  • ChefnSurf says:

    Always liked the Firebelly. Glad to see they’re moving to a hassle-free area like the Village at Myrtle Grove and that they’ll be able to get back to their original business model.

    These days, like most people, I go downtown only out of necessity. One day $affo and cronies, and all of the horses behinds who voted for them yet once again, are going to look around and wonder where everyone else went. Probably not a great time to blow several million on a park that won’t be used, except by criminals, that is.

  • Mary says:

    I 1st started going to The Firebelly when I was at CFCC in 2000 and my friend Robin and I would get their $1 Taco special.(I think it was on Monday’s back in the day!) Since I live in MJ, I’m especially excited that they are moving my way. Will you have pool tables when you bring the live music back? Even though I’ve worked downtown for 10 years ~ I am anticipating BIG changes with this move. Way to go Dan :)

  • guesty says:

    I remember dollar taco and dollar beer night and you are correct, it was Monday night. Hopefully they will bring back live music since they no longer have to worry about the people that move into the apartments above a bar and then call to complain about noise. Hello, you moved over a bar.

  • Beach Bum says:

    Downtown took a turn for the worse when Front Street was made into a two way street.

    Wonder how much more stuff CoW can give away to PPD?

  • Guest Reply Redux says:

    Your downtown is BOOMIN’ with B-NIZ’s!!!

  • Jamie Gillis says:

    Booming with gunshots, and screams for help!

  • elizabethi says:

    As a long time resident of the Monkey Junction area, I will be glad to see Firebellys come our way!!!

  • guesty says:

    I enjoy going to Firebelly but being located downtown always made parking a hassle. Moving out to the junction is great news and will make my visits more enjoyable.

  • SMBeez says:

    Sad to see this downtown institution move. However, I will be glad to have The Belly closer to home!!!!!! I have been going to Firebelly Lounge for more than a decade now and I love this place!!!! The Tiki Bar has brought me many memories and Great Times!!!!!! The Belly was always the place to start the night and end the night!!!!! We would all meet to eat and come back later to get some wings and finish out the evening before moving out!!!!! THIS PLACE HAS RAISED A GENERATION!!!! Love FireBelly Lounge!!!!!!!! Many, Many UPS to all who have tended at The Belly!!! Thank You dan for this Awesome Place!!!! Much Luck on the new place!!! See You There!!!!!!!!

  • nc tax payer says:

    like who cares no great lost

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