Triangle Spotlight: Team Isaac Hunter's
"As locals to a cap city in constant limbo, teetering on the edge of a humble history and a booming up-build, sometimes we crave a relic of our roots—a regard for that space from where we came. And sometimes, we really do just wanna go where everybody knows our name.
Enter quintessential Raleigh sip spot Isaac Hunter’s Oak City Tavern, etched faithfully on the Capitol-end of Fayetteville Street by a trio of self-made late-twenty to early-thirty-somethings—Ben Yannessa, Zack Medford and Brad Bowles—who built their bar on a dream, a hard-earned dollar and a decade-plus of tavern-esque training, from pounding the pavement at local poolside snack bars to cookin’ up cocktails at cross-coast pubs.
Florida-born, 31-year-old Yannessa shaped his heady hospitality know-how hocking lemonade and turkey legs at a Florida renaissance fest at the ripe age of 13, before making the move to Raleigh two years later. Traversing his new turf’s terrain, he went to Appalachian State University in Boone, before trekking eastward and back westward again. In Wilmington, he began to wrangle the rotgut ropes at a Hilton with basics like vodka tonics, before bouncing back to Boone for a few years and earning his bar-biz stripes at Blowing Rock's Six Pence Pub. He then made the fortuitous return to Raleigh in 2003, landing at Fox & Hound, where he doled drinks to sport-savvy fans for more than five years, until meeting Medford."