Scratch Owner Serves Up Seasonal Sensations at The Lakewood

Scratch Owner Serves Up Seasonal Sensations at The Lakewood

Phoebe Lawless turns her attention to her new restaurant, which offers an array of both small and large bites and, of course, a longer-than-average dessert list


Phoebe Lawless, a five-time James Beard award semifinalist.

It’s no secret that Phoebe Lawless is a busy woman. Between her beloved Scratch on Orange Street downtown – which she now lovingly calls “Mama Scratch” … we’ll get to that in a second – and her months-old restaurant The Lakewood, she spends most of her time at the latter. “When I started Scratch, I baked, I made lunch, I learned how to do coffee, I did it all because we had such a limited staff,” Phoebe says. “Technically I’m not on the schedule here [at The Lakewood], but I’m cooking brunch this weekend, I expedite, I run food, I’m still doing all of it, so I can essentially be on the support staff for what is needed, and that’s great. I really like that.”

She’s also working to get an upstairs event space outfitted and to get “Baby Scratch,” the bakery attached to The Lakewood, off the ground. “It’s essentially just a smaller version, believe it or not, of Scratch,” Phoebe says. “Scratch seats 20; this will seat about 10. But it’s full coffee service, it’ll be a retail outlet for pastries and our expanded bread menu.” Expected to be open by the time you’re reading this, hours should be 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Phoebe predicts.


Do not sleep on brunch! Especially now that you may enjoy a boozy breakfast at 10 a.m. on Sundays. The Lakewood offers brunch on Saturdays as well, featuring fried chicken biscuits, cheese omelettes, sourdough pancakes and carafes of house cocktails (you read that correctly) including bloody Marys and mimosas.

Previously home to the Davis Baking Company, many of the building’s historic elements remain – including the wonderful marquee sign, original windows and much of the original tin ceiling. But the place has been spruced up with the help of interior designer Alicia Hylton-Daniel, adding attractive-yet-minimalist lighting and decor.

Adventurous menu items rotate on and off depending on seasonal ingredient availability or, “if we get a cockamamie menu idea, then we can put it on and see how it works,” Phoebe says. Highlights include the grits souffle with charred chicken liver mousse and onion jam, cheesy mac, grilled okra with togarashi, seared chicken leg with summer squash and farmer’s cheese casserole, and the fried eggplant stack with mozzarella and fresh tomato gravy. For dessert, try the double chocolate chess tart. Make a reservation during the week – try Wednesday, Phoebe says, when it’s not so busy – or come to just have a few drinks and snacks on the roof. Either way, you’re in for a treat!

Pan-seared N.C. fish with roasted tomato chilaquiles, charred corn and purslane,
and achiote oil.


A truly neighborhood restaurant, The Lakewood has garnered much excitement as one of the first walkable dining options in the area, providing an array of both small and large bites and a longer-than-average dessert list (naturally) that utilizes seasonal, local ingredients. Plus, a rooftop patio where you can enjoy a specialty cocktail, glass of wine (they’ve got a couple on draft!) or a beer or cider.


If you’re not hoofing it, take a look at The Lakewood’s website before you go; it offers a helpful map explaining parking. Guests are encouraged to use the lot at The Shoppes at Lakewood; it’s a quick walk up to the restaurant from there. There is also street parking and a few handicap spots directly in front of the restaurant.



Photography by Briana Brough

Amanda MacLaren
Amanda MacLaren is the executive editor of Durham Magazine. Born in Mesa, Ariz., she grew up in Charlotte and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in journalism. She’s lived in Durham for seven years. When she’s not at work, you can usually find her with a beer in hand at Fullsteam, Dain’s Place or Bull City Burger or getting takeout from Guasaca.