Snuff Mill Restaurant opens in Independence Mall in Wilmington

Photo by Joel Plotkin Photography

With fresh dishes and a robust wine list from Swigg, this new farm-to-table restaurant brings an intimate experience to Wilmington.

Everything served in Independence Mall’s new restaurant has a story.

Snuff Mill Restaurant, Butcher and Wine Bar, located at 1601 Concord Pike in Wilmington, officially opened on July 20. The 28-seat restaurant offers an intimate dining experience with thoughtful, local dishes. You can also buy local meats and cheeses to prepare at home at the butcher’s cashier.

Operated by Bill Irvin, Chef Robert Lhulier and David and Joanne Govatos, the quartet wanted to bring a farm-to-table micro-restaurant in Wilmington.

Photo by Joel Plotkin Photography

The Independence Mall space was previously home to De La Coeur Café and Patisserie and Chefs’ Haven Cafe. After the latter left, Irvin saw an opportunity to bring this restaurant concept to life. Recruit Lhulier, a renowned chef from Wilmington, and the Govatos, owners of Swigg Real Wine Craft Beer and Spirits, they created a team ready for success.


Photo courtesy of Snuff Mill Restaurant, Butcher Shop and Wine Bar.

Lhulier says he didn’t expect to open a restaurant now, especially after everything food has been through with the COVID-19 pandemic. But this team and the concept felt good.

“Now that we’ve kind of got past that bump, it kind of feels like we’re doubling down [on fine dining]. We’re going to do something really unique, ”he says.

The menu emphasizes locally sourced seasonal dishes. Lhulier follows the classic cooking style of making every component of the dish intentional and leaving the unnecessary.

Current dishes include summer burrata and stone fruit, Green Circle Farms chicken breast, and Berkshire Pork Porterhouse. The menu also includes a variety of steaks, fresh salads, cold cuts and a dessert menu.

The wine and drink list is curated by David Govatos. He also owns Swigg, which is now across the street from the restaurant at Independence Mall and was also a former tenant of the Snuff Mill space. David says he wants the menu to work in tandem with the food menu, highlighting “farm-to-glass” wineries.

There is also a specialty cocktail menu and a full dessert cocktail menu dedicated to amaro, an Italian herbal liqueur, and after-dinner wines.

“[Chef Lhulier] create all the music, I put in the lyrics, ”says David.

In its first week, the Snuff Mill team is already hearing positive praise for their concept. Irvin attributes this to the intimate experience and offering a unique menu.


Photo by Joel Plotkin Photography

“It’s not going out for dinner, you go here because you want to live the experience,” says Irvin.

After cooking for a private club and then his own catering business, Lhulier is excited to bring his food back to the city of Wilmington for all.

“It feels good to be able to have people I haven’t cooked in a while or even those I cooked for come and sit and be taken care of. It’s really exciting, ”says Lhulier.

Snuff Mill Restaurant, Butcher & Wine Bar
1601 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 691-7149

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