Friday Fun Food Facts – March 15, 2019

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

Featured Restaurant News

  • In the heart of downtown Raleigh at Moore Square park, the folks over at ITB Insider shared that the $12 million renovation of the park is nearing completion and  is set to reopen late this summer, following nearly two years of construction. The bulk of the remaining work is now focusing on the cafe, the trellis, and the play and fountain areas of the project. Empire Eats, the group behind The Pit (Raleigh & Durham), Raleigh Times, Morning Times, Gravy, Sitti,  and The Mecca, will be leasing the cafe on the property. No word yet on what kind of fare they will be bringing to the park. Will we watching this one closely. Visit Empire Eats here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word from the folks over at NC Triangle Dining that the upcoming Calavera Empanadas and Tequila restaurant will not be opening in the former Tasty 8’s hot dog restaurant space on Fayetteville Street, but will instead take over the old Moonlight Pizza location on Morgan Street, according to owner Ken Yowell. Visit Calavera on Facebook here.
  • And speaking of Ken Yowell, not sure if we officially shared this, but his Acorn at Oak City is now open next to his Oak City Meatball Shoppe on East Davie Street. It replaced Kaiju, a ramen and bao bar, which he closed Feb. 8. They serve breakfast and brunch daily and then switch to small plates accompanied by wine and spirits  in the evenings. Thanks to Drew Jackson and the News & Observer for the update. Visit them on Instagram here.
  • Got word from Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties that he sold the Five Bro’s Pizza (former Toppers Pizza) off Wake Forest Rd on Ronald Dr. (just behind Hooters) to John Molite who plans on opening up his second Triangle location of Manhattan Pizza in the next few weeks. Their original location is  in the former Greek Fiesta spot in the Falls Point shopping center at Durant and Falls of Neuse. Visit Manhattan Pizza here.
  • In Morrisville, got word from reader Joe McGarry a while ago, and just confirmed, that Hickory Tavern is bringing a location to Park West Village in the former BlackFinn Ameripub space. Actual address is 3201 Village Market Place. No word on a timeline. They already have Triangle-area locations in Cary and Carrboro. Check them out here.
  • In Apex got word from Jennifer Willis that the Chick-fil-A at Beaver Creek is closed for renovations. Their Facebook page notes they will be closed through April 15th. So, every day is a Sunday from now until Tax Day for those in Apex. Sorry! Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in the Brier Creek area, got word from from reader Jennifer Buchholz that the Mellow Mushroom is targeting March 25 for their opening. It is located at 9600 Brier Creek Parkway. Follow their social media to confirm their opening. Visit them on their website here and on Facebook here.
  • Well, not exactly Triangle-area restaurant news, but certainly something that impacts anyone in the Triangle that has planned their trips to the coast around a stop at Goldsboro’s Wilber’s Barbecue. Got word from Mike DePersia that the N.C. Dept. of Revenue has shut it down. Will keep an eye on it in the event the situation is rectified.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Durham near the intersection of Mt. Moriah Road and 15/501, the Shiki Sushi Facebook page indicated that they are very close to opening another location of their sister restaurant, Tasu Asian Bistro (was referred to as Tasu Express). They currently have Tasu locations in Raleigh’s Brier Creek and Cary’s Waverly Place. No word on a timeline. Keep up with them here.
  • On a recent visit out to RTP, I noticed a sign for Daily Taco at the corner of Hwy. 54/Chapel Hill Road and Carrington Mill Blvd. That is at the same intersection as Daily Grind Coffeehouse. Hmmm. Not sure if there is a relationship there, but one has to speculate. Stay tuned.
  • A quick update in Chapel Hill. A few weeks ago we shared that a Japan Express was going into the former Pizza Hut location on Estes Drive. Well, reader Davene Mainwaring shared the news that they actually leveled the old Pizza Hut location. Kinda sad, but looking forward to the new development for Japan Express.
  • Over in Carrboro we have solved the “musical chairs” surrounding a couple of restaurants thanks to readers Tom Viemont and Ari Bowers. We now know that Esperanza Empanadas & Tequila has permanently closed. With that closure, One Fish Two Fish Poke has closed their current location BUT will move into and reopen in the Esperanza space. No word on a timeline for the reopening of One Fish Two Fish. Also, no word as of yet what will go into their (now) former space. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page.
  • And down in Chatham County, saw on the Town of Pittsboro Facebook page that Cafe Diem coffee shop (I think it is officially Davenport’s Cafe Diem)  has opened at 439 Hillsboro Street. Filtered brewed coffee, Café au lait, Café & cocoa, Espresso, Cappuccino, Macchiato, Café Latte, Café Mocha, Café Americano and frozen drinks are on the menu. Check their website out here and their Facebook page here.

Closings

  • Gluten-free restaurant Primal Food & Spirits in Durham posted on their Facebook page this past weekend that they were closed effective immediately. Thanks to reader Sammi Van Hoy for alerting us to this.
  • And got word from several readers that the Fiesta Mexicana at the corner of High House and Cary Parkway has closed.
  • And in Chapel Hill, The Daily Tar Heel reported that Roots Bistro & Bar closed last month. They still have their location in Durham.

Food Trucks 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.

Events

  • On Sunday, March 24th Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop present the 7th annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience where 30 of Durham’s finest restaurants are paired with 30 refreshing beers. Unlimited food and beer samplings will be spread throughout all three DPAC floors, plus the On Stage Experience will showcase local food and live music on the DPAC stage. This event is a fundraising event to benefit the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. Get all the details here.
  • Also on Sunday, March 24, Postal Fish Company, Sanctuary Vineyards, and Vino Wine Shop are joining forces to bring you a truly local seafood and wine dinner, Sanctuary Vineyards Wine Dinner, that will change your mind about North Carolina wines. Tickets are $65. All the details and ticket information can be found on their Facebook event page here.
  • Recently Brewgaloo was nominated as one of the top beer festivals in the country! That’s right, in the country! Right now we sit atop the leaderboard, but we need your vote to stay there. Please click through here and keep us there! Thanks to Jennifer Martin for bringing this to my attention.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Tickets are on sale now for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details here. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our first Fork + Bottle Dinner of 2019 is Thursday, March 21. Join award-winning chef Thomas Card as he welcomes local favorites The Kast Brothers to Counting House and 21c Museum Hotel Durham. Alex Kast is the director of Chapel Hill Creamery and brother Max Kast of Broadbent Selections, Inc. is the only Master Sommelier in North Carolina. The night will start with a tour of our current exhibition, Portraying Power and Identity: A Global Perspective, followed by cocktail hour and dinner. Chef Card has designed a menu to pair with Chapel Hill Creamery selections and wine will be poured to accompany the meal. Tickets are $75 a person and a portion of every ticket sold will benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Visit their Facebook event page here for all the details.

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 8, 2019

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

Featured Restaurant News

  • This could be the best news to come out of RTP ever (if you are a foodie). Boxyard RTP, a 15,000-square-foot cargotecture development (i.e. shipping containers) with space for up to nine food and beverage vendors, will be coming to the Frontier RTP campus (Highway 54 near T.W. Alexander Drive) in 2020. The outdoor venue/food court/retail spaces will feature covered spaces for seating, special events and performances. Check them out here or follow them on Instagram here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saw on Ashton Mae Smith’s Twitter feed that Longleaf Swine BBQ, a very popular BBQ truck around the Triangle, is opening a permanent location in the Transfer Co. Food Hall. The venture brings Adam Cunningham’s Eastern North Carolina background and Marc Russell’s Puerto Rican background blended together in a unique, whole-hog, wood fire experience. Check out their announcement here.
  • Just outside of downtown Raleigh, renovations are nearing completion of the Gateway Plaza shopping center. One of my favorite Raleigh institutions has remained open through the entire renovation – Gateway Restaurant – and will soon be joined by Union Special, a new bakery run by the baker behind the bread at all of chef Ashley Christensen’s restaurants; Brew Coffee, a Raleigh-based coffee shop that has a shop at Seaboard Station; and Mordecai Beverage Co., a small brew pub. Visit Gateway Restaurant on Facebook here.
  • Think you can’t impact the food scene in the Triangle? Check this out. Reader Kristin Stewart shared with me that she is a big fan of Denver-based breakfast spot Snooze, an A.M. eatery. On a recent visit after inquiring about opening a location in the Triangle, she was told they were coming to Charlotte. She expressed her disappointment and encouraged them to consider the Triangle. On her most recent visit to Denver, she was given the news that they had decided to come to the Triangle instead of Charlotte (perhaps they will do that further down the road). How about that! Well done Kristin! Now, get familiar with the concept Kristin is such a big fan of here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, we got word that local owner David Morris opened a location of Firehouse Subs at 11704 Retail Drive, near the intersection of Highway 98 and US 1. Check out Firehouse Subs here.
  • For the folks down in Garner, get ready. WRAL reported this week that there is a “Now Hiring” sign outside the Big Ed’s location in Garner’s Timber Crossings shopping center (231 Timber Drive) where it took over the former Just Cookin’ space. This will be their third location. Visit Big Ed’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Big news out of Durham. Getting word that we are just days away from the opening of the new Durham location of Dame’s Chicken and Waffles. Located in the Liberty Warehouse Apartment building at the corner of Foster Street and W. Corporation Street replaces their former location over on Main Street that closed for the move many, many months ago. This follows on the footsteps of the news last week that Dame’s is also bringing their concept to Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street. The Chapel Hill location will be their fourth location (Greensboro and Cary). Check them out here for any announcements about their opening before trying to go.
  • The other big news out of Durham is we got multiple reports of seeing the sign going up on the building outside the much-anticipated Durham Food Hall also in the Liberty Warehouse building (530 Foster Street) with Dame’s. Get all the details and a list of the vendors here.
  • And got word from the News & Observer that Mattie Beason recently sold his Black Twig Cider House to Denver-based Stem Ciders, and the bar will be renamed The Northern Spy. This sale marks Beason’s exit from the Triangle food scene – last year he sold Mattie B’s Public House and was originally part of the group behind the now shuttered County Fare food truck venue. The new owners plan to reopen this spring with a new menu and more beer options mixed in with cider. The new Northern Spy also will dedicate about half its space to its bottle shop. Get familiar with them here.

Closings

  • Got word from reader Kent Del Castillo that Sawasdee up on Capital Blvd. has closed, ending all locations now in the Triangle.

Food Trucks 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.

Events

  •  Cooking for a Classic 2019 Finale is March 11at 1705 East in Raleigh! The chase for the prize (a restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler) is down to the final TWO. Tickets are $125 for the Finale. You can get all the details here and tickets here. The evening features six plated courses. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle. Get all the details here. And tickets here.
  • Tomorrow, March 9th, is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, water and a raffle to win a $1700 Myron Mixon BarQ-1700 Pellet Cooker. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.
  • Toast to the Triangle is this Sunday, March 10 from 6-9pm at the McKimmon Center on NC State’s campus. The event brings together 30 of the Triangle area’s best restaurants and beverage providers competing to be the favorite flavor of the night by providing samples of their fare. In between bites, guests can bid on over 100 silent auction items and packages, purchase a mystery bottle of wine, snap a photo in the green screen photo booth and more! All of the money raised is to support the Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation for the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities. Tickets are $100 each for the event and can be purchased here.
  • On Sunday, March 24, Postal Fish Company, Sanctuary Vineyards, and Vino Wine Shop are joining forces to bring you a truly local seafood and wine dinner, Sanctuary Vineyards Wine Dinner, that will change your mind about North Carolina wines. Tickets are $65. All the details and ticket information can be found on their Facebook event page here.
  • Also this past week, Brewgaloo was nominated as one of the top beer festivals in the country! That’s right, in the country! Right now we sit atop the leaderboard, but we need your vote to stay there. Please click through here and keep us there! Thanks to Jennifer Martin for bringing this to my attention.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Tickets are on sale now for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details here. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our first Fork + Bottle Dinner of 2019 is Thursday, March 21. Join award-winning chef Thomas Card as he welcomes local favorites The Kast Brothers to Counting House and 21c Museum Hotel Durham. Alex Kast is the director of Chapel Hill Creamery and brother Max Kast of Broadbent Selections, Inc. is the only Master Sommelier in the Southeast. The night will start with a tour of our current exhibition, Portraying Power and Identity: A Global Perspective, followed by cocktail hour and dinner. Chef Card has designed a menu to pair with Chapel Hill Creamery selections and wine will be poured to accompany the meal. Tickets are $75 a person and a portion of every ticket sold will benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Visit their Facebook event page here for all the details.

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 1, 2019

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

Featured Restaurant News

  •  WRAL reported that Raleigh’s own Ashley Christensen is a semi-finalist for a national James Beard Foundation award, often referred to as “The Oscars of Food.” Christensen, who owns Poole’s, Death and Taxes, Beasley’s, and Chucks, is up for the award for Outstanding Chef in the country. She was a finalist for the honor last year and was awarded the best chef in the southeast in 2014. Durham’s own Sean Lilly Wilson of Fullsteam Brewery is a semi-finalist for outstanding wine, spirits or beer producer in the country. And the best chef in the southeast award semi-finalist list includes: Steven Devereaux Greene of Herons in Cary; Oscar Diaz of The Cortez in Raleigh; and Cheetie Kumar of Garland in Raleigh. The James Beard Award finalists will be announced March 27. The awards will be presented at a gala on May 6 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. See the full list here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word from Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties that up in Wake Forest, Filippo Fanfani has purchased Bruno’s Italian Bistro located at 1248 S. Main St and will bring many recipes from his Italian homeland. He will also rename the restaurant Amalia’s Authentic Italian Restaurant. Don’t have a website for Amalia’s, but you can visit Bruno’s Italian here.
  • Over in Raleigh, reader Hugh Autry noticed that a Eastern Gate Cafe has opened in the old Applebee’s spot at the corner of Hillsborough Street and Gorman Street. It is a coffee shop/hookah bar. Not much on their website, other than a really cool car parked out front. See for yourself.
  • And down in Fuquay-Varina, got the official press release that Vicious Fishes Brewery has expanded to a second location, opening a new restaurant in downtown Fuquay Varina at 132 S. Fuquay Avenue. Named Tap & Kitchen to reflect the presence of a taproom and full restaurant, the 8,350 square foot location features 16 taps of Vicious Fishes beer and an eclectic food menu, as well as wine, local cider and a full liquor bar. Get to know them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Chapel Hill, Michael DePersia also shared that the old Sugarland space on Franklin Street will be the new home to Blue Spoon Microcreamery serving up ice cream made in-house with liquid nitrogen. The Daily Tar Heel added that Cindy and Dave Somasunderam will open the ice cream shop on April 1.  They’ve been making ice cream for 45 years and have owned ice cream shops all over the US. We were unable to find an online presence, so stay tuned.
  • Also on Franklin Street, The Daily Tar Heel also shared the news that restaurant chain Peño Mediterranean Grill plans to expand to Chapel Hill to replace Tama Cafe at 105 Franklin Street that recently closed. The new Chapel Hill location will be the seventh for the franchise. Their menu includes gyrö sandwiches, wraps and bowls. Their site also indicates a location is coming to Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • Reader Nidia Salazar shared the news that Pho Happiness has opened on the West end of Franklin Street at 508-A Franklin Street in the former Guru India Restaurant spot (next to Italian Pizzeria III). She notes that they offer great food, prices and amazing bahn mi all day long! That will make anyone happy! Check them out here.
  • And rounding out the news in Chapel Hill, reader Charles Harrington shared that a sign for Japan Express is up in front of the former Pizza Hut location on Estes Drive in Chapel Hill. There was a Japan Express on Elliott Road, and there is one in Durham. But I don’t know if there is any relation to either of these. Stay tuned. Thanks Charles!

Closings

  • None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.

Events

  •  Cooking for a Classic 2019 is in full gear at 1705 East in Raleigh! The chase for the prize (a restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler) enters the second round next week and the Finale is March 11. Tickets are $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle. Get all the details here. And tickets here.
  • On Tuesday, March 5, participating restaurants are donating a percentage of sales to the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake as part annual gala week. The proceeds from this evening will help to support children and their families who are facing a critical illness. View a (growing) list of participating restaurants here.
  • BBQ lovers should put March 9th on their calendar. That is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, water and a raffle to win a $1700 Myron Mixon BarQ-1700 Pellet Cooker. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.
  • Toast to the Triangle will be on Sunday, March 10 from 6-9pm at the McKimmon Center on NC State’s campus. The event brings together 30 of the Triangle area’s best restaurants and beverage providers competing to be the favorite flavor of the night by providing samples of their fare. In between bites, guests can bid on over 100 silent auction items and packages, purchase a mystery bottle of wine, snap a photo in the green screen photo booth and more! All of the money raised is to support the Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation for the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities. Tickets are $100 each for the event and can be purchased here.
  • Brewery Bhavana announced that they will host a Soft Beer Fest on Sunday, March 31 from 2 to 6 p.m. featuring beer and cider samples from Brewery Vivant, Civil Society, Fonta Flora, New Belgium, Oxbow, Shacksbury, Trve and Zillicoah Beer Co. The festival will be centered on soft and delicate beers, full of flowers, soft music, and friendly faces. The full beer list and band list is expected to be announced in the next two weeks. Only 300 tickets will be sold for the event. Those tickets, which are $70 each, go on sale online at noon on March 6. Your ticket covers unlimited pours, food and music. Get all the details here.
  • Also this past week, Brewgaloo was nominated as one of the top beer festivals in the country! That’s right, in the country! Right now we sit atop the leaderboard, but we need your vote to stay there. Please click through here and keep us there! Thanks to Jennifer Martin for bringing this to my attention.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Tickets are on sale now for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details here. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our first Fork + Bottle Dinner of 2019 is Thursday, March 21. Join award-winning chef Thomas Card as he welcomes local favorites The Kast Brothers to Counting House and 21c Museum Hotel Durham. Alex Kast is the director of Chapel Hill Creamery and brother Max Kast of Broadbent Selections, Inc. is the only Master Sommelier in the Southeast. The night will start with a tour of our current exhibition, Portraying Power and Identity: A Global Perspective, followed by cocktail hour and dinner. Chef Card has designed a menu to pair with Chapel Hill Creamery selections and wine will be poured to accompany the meal. Tickets are $75 a person and a portion of every ticket sold will benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Visit their Facebook event page here for all the details.

Friday Fun Food Facts – February 22, 2019

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Saw on a twitter post from blogger EatRaleigh that the The Acorn at Oak City, a small plate and craft cocktail joint, and sister project of Oak City Meatball Shoppe and Calavera Empanadas and Tequila Bar, is on its way to 170 East Davie Street in the former Kaiju Bowl and Bao spot. No word yet on a timeline, but keep up with them on Instagram here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Reader Hugh Autry shared the news from Raleigh (near Garner) that Yemen Kitchen is now open in the former Bruegger’s location at 117 Small Pines Drive, across from Walmart.  If you’ve never had the opportunity to try Yemeni cuisine, check them out here.
  • Over in Cary got word that LemonShark Poké, a “fine-casual” premium poké concept known for serving top-quality locally-sourced ingredients, will opens its first North Carolina restaurant in Cary at  Stone Creek Village (corner of Davis and High House) this Saturday, February 23. This location is owned by Conner Dingman. They are in the former Daily Grind location. Check them out here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, got word from David McCreary that fast food seafood restaurant Skrimp Shack (no, I didn’t spell that wrong) has opened in the former Hwy. 55 Burgers Shakes and Fries location at 7224 Alford Highway. They have locations up and down the east coast from Florida to Virginia. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Durham, Amber Watson of Bites of Bull City shared that the next pop-up vendor at the American Tobacco Warehouse in Durham March 1-27th will be the Filipino cuisine from food truck operator The Bamboo Cookhouse. Get to know them here.

Closings

  • None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.

Events

  •  This Saturday,  February 23 Transfer Co. Food Hall will hold a Winter Seafood Jubilee which is the grand opening of the newest Locals Seafood fresh fish market. They are celebrating with Locals Oyster Bar hosting a fish fry on the Transfer Co. Food Hall patio, with additional food and raw oysters available at the bar. The event is free and open to the public and will be serving fried seafood platters for $12, in addition to our raw bar & counter service menus. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • Chatham OutReach Alliance (CORA) invites the public to the 9th Annual Chatham Empty Bowls Fundraiser on Sunday, February 24th at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington in Pittsboro. Empty Bowls is an event designed to raise awareness and funds for our battle to end hunger in Chatham County. Get all the details here. Purchase tickets here or at the door.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – kicks off next week! The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from Plates vs. Jonathan Blackley form Vidrio; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • On Tuesday, March 5, participating restaurants are donating a percentage of sales to the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake as part annual gala week. The proceeds from this evening will help to support children and their families who are facing a critical illness. View a (growing) list of participating restaurants here.
  • BBQ lovers should put March 9th on their calendar. That is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, water and a raffle to win a $1700 Myron Mixon BarQ-1700 Pellet Cooker. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.
  • Brewery Bhavana announced that they will host a Soft Beer Fest on Sunday, March 31 from 2 to 6 p.m. featuring beer and cider samples from Brewery Vivant, Civil Society, Fonta Flora, New Belgium, Oxbow, Shacksbury, Trve and Zillicoah Beer Co. The festival will be centered on soft and delicate beers, full of flowers, soft music, and friendly faces. The full beer list and band list is expected to be announced in the next two weeks. Only 300 tickets will be sold for the event. Those tickets, which are $70 each, go on sale online at noon on March 6. Your ticket covers unlimited pours, food and music. Get all the details here.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our first Fork + Bottle Dinner of 2019. Join award-winning chef Thomas Card as he welcomes local favorites The Kast Brothers to Counting House and 21c Museum Hotel Durham. Alex Kast is the director of Chapel Hill Creamery and brother Max Kast of Broadbent Selections, Inc. is the only Master Sommelier in the Southeast. The night will start with a tour of our current exhibition, Portraying Power and Identity: A Global Perspective, followed by cocktail hour and dinner. Chef Card has designed a menu to pair with Chapel Hill Creamery selections and wine will be poured to accompany the meal. Tickets are $75 a person and a portion of every ticket sold will benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Visit their Facebook event page here for all the details.

Friday Fun Food Facts – February 15, 2019

Featured Restaurant News

  •  John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared the news this week that Gonza Tacos y Tequila founders, Gonza Salamanca and Carlos Rodriguez, have announced their newest venture, Macondo Latin Cuisine, which will open in Sojourn Glenwood Place Apartments in Raleigh (near the intersection of 440 and Glenwood Avenue). Macondo will feature small tastes of traditional Latin flavors that will rotate seasonally. Look for them to open this fall. In the meantime, keep up with their progress on Facebook here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • High school classmate Kevin Stavredes shared the news that Saints & Scholars had finished their remodel and had re-opened (February 2) at 909 Spring Forest Road. Kevin noted that they are back open with many of the same great made-from-scratch menu items that made them famous…great burgers, wraps, unbelievable fresh salads (the Mediterranean is my favorite), great appetizers, and great Main Plates including a nice fresh Salmon entree, homemade Jambalaya, pot roast and shepherd’s pie – plus great bar drinks. Check them out here.
  • Reader Jennifer Buchholz shared that Poke Bros. at 780 Alexander Place, Suite 110 in Brier Creek has opened (did so on Feb. 2). They offer fast, fresh, fit. high-quality, sushi-grade fish and farm-fresh veggies in an authentic Hawaiian poké bowl. Get familiar with them here.
  • The folks over at ITB Insider shared the news that McNeill Pointe along Wake Forest Road will soon be adding yet another new restaurant to their growing list of offerings: Chido Taco. Chido, a Spanish language equivalent to the American slang word “cool,” does not appear to be a chain of any kind. However, we can’t find an online presence for them. Stay tuned.
  • John Huisman also shared the news that Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center is bringing their bowling alley/restaurant concept to 4020 Capital Blvd. in Raleigh (Ashton Square shopping center). No word yet on an opening date. Keep up with any announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • Also in Raleigh, WRAL shared the news that Burney’s Sweets & More has opened a location at 4500 Falls of Neuse Road. They are known for their original recipe glazed and filled croissants, 15-Layer cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, donuts, pastries, ice cream, and coffee (they had me at glazed and filled croissants!). You can get to know them here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, WRAL’s Kathy Hanrahan shared the news that Rosati’s is just temporarily closed and will reopen soon under new ownership and new management. They are located at 2101 S. Main Street. We will keep our eyes open for their re-open date. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Down in Fuquay Varina friend David McCreary shared the news that Tsuru Sweets & Coffee opened its doors for business yesterday at 411 Broad Street in Fuquay-Varina. Check them out here.
  • David also shared that Fera’Wyn’s Artisan Chocolates has opened at 652 Holly Springs Road at Holly Springs Crossings shopping center in Holly Springs. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Chapel Hill, reader Tom Viemont shared with us that he noticed that Swasdee Thai Restaurant on Columbia Street (near the intersection with Franklin Street) was closed for renovations. A little snooping on my part revealed that it is being converted to a Cajun Crab House just like what was done with the former Swasdee location in Raleigh. Both establishments are owned by the Oriental Hospitality Group (also own Tamarind Asian Fusion Bistro). No word on a timeline. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Durham, Amber Watson of Bites of Bull City shared that Soul Cocina will be the featured “pop-up” at the American Tobacco Campus (359 Blackwell Street)through February 22nd. They are accompanied by Chocolatay Confections. If you can’t make it there, you can also find Soul Cocina at Chapel Hill’s Blue Dogwood Public Market at 306 W. Franklin Street. Check them out here.

Closings

  • The News & Observer broke the news that after less than a year in business, the weekly food truck rodeo County Fare has closed indefinitely. County Fare closed at the end of last year for winter break, and its four-person ownership group says the project is now for sale.
  • Blogger Eat Raleigh shared the news that Kaiju Bowl and Bao closed this past weekend for a few weeks while they reconcept.
  • And in Cary, friend Suzanne Smith shared the news that LaShish Mediterranean Cuisine has closed their doors.

Food Trucks 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.

Events

  • Chatham OutReach Alliance (CORA) invites the public to the 9th Annual Chatham Empty Bowls Fundraiser on Sunday, February 24th at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington in Pittsboro. Empty Bowls is an event designed to raise awareness and funds for our battle to end hunger in Chatham County. Get all the details here. Purchase tickets here or at the door.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from Plates vs. Jonathan Blackley form Vidrio; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • On Tuesday, March 5, participating restaurants are donating a percentage of sales to the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake as part annual gala week. The proceeds from this evening will help to support children and their families who are facing a critical illness. View a (growing) list of participating restaurants here.
  • BBQ lovers should put March 9th on their calendar. That is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, and water. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – February 8, 2019

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Things are really starting to get busy at Raleigh’s newest food hall – Transfer Co. Food Hall with the opening this week of Benchwarmers Bagels and the upcoming grand opening celebration of Locals Seafood fish market with a fish fry on February 23. The current list of open operators are: Benchwarmers Bagels, Burial Beer Co., Captain Cookie & The Milkman, Che Empanadas and Locals Oyster Bar. Coming up next (over the next few weeks and into the Spring) include: Bul Bowl (a Japanese Izakaya); Chhote’s (Indian Street Food); and Dank Burrito. Check out the Facebook event page for the Locals Seafood fish fry. And get all the details on the entire food hall here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Big news this week for Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar fans! They will be opening The Kitchen Table at Relish-Biscuits, Brews, and Boardgames next door in the former Dos Taquitos space some time in the Spring of 2019. Let me breakdown the three components for you. The biscuits will feature the classic buttermilk biscuits, iced blueberry or blackberry biscuits, bacon and chive biscuits, jalapeno and corn biscuits, cinnamon biscuits, and vegan biscuits just to name a few. Brews means rotating selections from NC’s 130+ craft breweries as well as locally roasted coffee. And Boardgames means they already have a collection of over 400 board games! In other words, put your phones down! Until then, check out Relish here.
  • And today (February 8) is the day for the grand opening of the much-anticipated Oak Steakhouse in The Dillon in downtown Raleigh. A tip-of-the-hat to Crash Gregg for the mouth-watering photos he shared via social media of a pre-opening event he attended (and forgot to invite me!). They also have locations in Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte and Nashville. Check out Oak here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that J&S New York Pizza, which has locations in Apex and Fuquay-Varina, will be opening up a new location in Cary. The restaurant, known for its New York-style pizzas, will take over the Ruckus Pizza & Pasta spot at the Arboretum at the intersection of Weston Parkway and Harrison Avenue. Ruckus Pizza, which opened in 1999, still has four locations in the Triangle, including restaurants in Raleigh, Apex, Morrisville and Tryon Village in Cary. Check out J&S here.
  • NC State fans have something to celebrate following a week that saw their men’s and women’s basketball teams fall to the Tar Heels – Guasaca’s newest Raleigh location opened on the ground floor of the Target at 2512 Hillsborough Street. The restaurant is known for their delicious arepas and has locations in Morrisville, Durham and their original location on Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • On the other side of State’s campus on Western Boulevard, Dana McCall shared that Biscuitville is going into the old Wicked Taco spot. Thanks for the tip Dana! Check out Biscuitville here.
  • Back in November we told you that Fred Chason’s Grandsons Buffet was coming to south Raleigh near Garner in the former Larry’s Southern Kitchen spot at 4205 Fayetteville Road. Hugh Autry reported this week that it is now open. Check them out here.
  • And just down the road  in Garner, Hugh Autry also reported that a Honeybaked Ham store is coming to the White Oak Crossing shopping center next to Krafty’s Burgers and Brews, close to Regal Cinemas. Also in Garner, Autry shared that a Jersey Mike’s is going into the former Beef Jerkey Outlet spot, near Blaze, Five Guys and Cabelas. Thanks for the Garner updates Hugh! 
  • And this is a fun read – the the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau posted on their site this week a list of the oldest restaurants in Raleigh. If you are looking to mix-up your dining options, this list includes some tried-and-true institutions that are well worth a visit. Check the list out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared via Twitter this week that the Cat Tails Cat Cafe in Chapel Hill is shooting to open next week. It will be located at 431 W. Franklin St., Suite 210, which is in the Courtyard (where Kipos and Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe are). In addition to 12 free-roaming adoptable cats, the cafe will serve coffee, beer, wine and tasty treats. Check them out here.
  • Fresh off of his research and development trip to Rome, chef-owner Teddy Diggs of Coronato plans to host two pop-up events before the grand opening of his new Roman-style pizzeria this summer in Carrboro. The first is slated for Monday, February 18th at Fox Liquor Bar in downtown Raleigh, NC and the second is Thursday, March 7th at TOPO Organic Distillery in Chapel Hill, NC. You can get details on both pop-up events on the Coronato Facebook page here.

Closings

  • Was sad to learn this week that Moonlight Pizza, a spot that often landed on lists of the the top pizzas in Raleigh, has closed.
  • And the Taco Mac location in Cary’s Waverly Place also closed this week. That leaves them with two locations in North Carolina, both in the Charlotte area. 
  • And not exactly a closing, but learned of a restaurant for sale thanks to a Facebook post by childhood friend Julie LiddleCafe Buongiorno’s (Cafe B as it is affectionately known)in the Bedford community is for sale, but it will be “business as usual” until they have a buyer. So, if you are interested, you can contact the cafe here.

Food Trucks…are back! 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.

Events

  • Chatham OutReach Alliance (CORA) invites the public to the 9th Annual Chatham Empty Bowls Fundraiser on Sunday, February 24th at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington in Pittsboro. Empty Bowls is an event designed to raise awareness and funds for our battle to end hunger in Chatham County. Get all the details here. Purchase tickets here or at the door.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from Plates vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • BBQ lovers should put March 9th on their calendar. That is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, and water. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – February 1, 2019

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

Featured Restaurant News

  •  This is one of those events that makes you realize how very great it is to be in America. Saturday, February 2nd is National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (and no, that is not something Sean Lennard nor Tim Coynesmith made up). And our good friends at Maple View Farm Ice Cream in Chapel Hill/Hillsborough are helping us fulfill our childhood fantasies with ice cream for breakfast! Can I get an AMEN!?! Proceeds from this sugar rush of a morning will go to Angel’s Among Us Team TumorNators, an organization supporting those fighting brain tumors. The special menu will feature pancakes, waffles, doughnuts and cinnamon roll sundaes. Wear your pajamas or superhero attire to support the cause. For more information, visit them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • As the tenants at Transfer Co. Food Hall continue to ramp up, you can now add Benchwarmers Bagels to the list. Blogger EatRaleigh informed us that the wood-fired bagel and coffee shop from the folks at Boulted Bread and Jubala Coffee is set to open today, February 1, at Raleigh’s newest food hall. Get familiar with them here.
  • Saw online that Oak City Fish and Chips is holding their grand opening for their second location this Saturday, February 2nd. The second location is in Farmington Square at 2822 New Birch Drive in Raleigh. They also have a location inside the Morgan Street Food Hall as well as 3 mobile units traveling all over the Triangle. Stop by their newest location tomorrow and try some Fried Lobster Tail! Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The folks over at the ITB Insider reported this week that permits were issued last week for the much-anticipated Pooleside Pies pizzeria from Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen. The new restaurant, next door to Poole’s, will feature Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizzas. Built in 1915, the building at 428 S. McDowell Street is now undergoing a nearly $400k renovation. Keep up with the progress through their Instagram account here.
  • Got word via Twitter from a reader that Chinese restaurant Peking Garden in the Colony Shopping Center on Millbrook Road was sold earlier this year and is under new management. The new owner is renovating the restaurant and the menu and food is very different. Peking originally opened in 1990. Visit them here.
  • Got word from my high school buddy (and award-winning dentist) Dana McCall that Cava is opening soon in the old Bob Evans location at Crossroads over in Cary. Cava just opened in Chapel Hill and has plans for stores in Raleigh. Get to know them here.
  • Also in Cary, got word from WRAL this week that Dean’s Kitchen and Bar has completed the transition into Der Biergarten. Look for it to replicate a “typical” German establishment where beer and local food are served, typically at shared tables, surrounded with games for entertainment. The menu will feature classic American fare (and some favorites from Dean’s) as well as German inspired dishes and a Sunday brunch buffet. Get all the details on their site here.
  • Months ago we told you about McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks announcing their departure in June of this year. Well, things progressed a little quicker than anticipated and reader Lisa Galanis notified us that they have already closed up shop. Not sure what that does to the timeline for Uncle Julio’s to fill that spot. Stay tuned and get familiar with Uncle Julio’s here.
  • And down in Holly Springs, got word reader Chris Creighton that Eggs Up Grill is now open at 4216 Lassiter Road, next to the recently opened Butcher’s Market. This marks their second Triangle area location with the first over in Fuquay-Varina. Get to know them here.
  • And while this isn’t “technically” Triangle area restaurant news, it is worth sending a kudos to a local team/couple growing their restaurant empire! Kevin and Stacey Jennings, owners of Urban Food Group (Vivace, Coquette and Chow in Raleigh; Vivace in Charlotte; and Avelina in Denver), announced their expansion into the Wilmington market according to Neal DePersia of DePersia & Associates who represented the Jennings. They recently purchased Boca Bay, Brasserie Du Soleil and Osteria Ciccheti, three highly successful restaurants in Wilmington that will continue to operate with the current menus and staff. Visit Urban Food Group here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Reader Holly Deng notified us that Sister Liu’s Kitchen has opened in Durham  in the space in front of New Hope Commons near the intersection of 15-501 and Interstate 40 (same complex as Namu). She noted that they are serving up homemade dumplings, northern Chinese “hamburgers”, and a few cold plates all prepared using family recipes. Check them out here.

Closings

  • None to report! Keep eating local, folks! (Other than McCormick & Schmick’s noted above)

Food Trucks…are back! 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.

Events

  • Today, Feb. 1, the Cary Rotary Club will raise money to fight hunger around the world and in our community with its 16th Annual Chili Dinner. The meals, consisting of chili, pasta salad and cornbread, are available for $8 each and will be prepared by Whole Foods Market. Lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m. and dinner will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, 200 High Meadow Dr. in Cary. Tickets are available at the door or from members of the Cary Rotary Club. Get all the details here.
  • Chatham OutReach Alliance (CORA) invites the public to the 9th Annual Chatham Empty Bowls Fundraiser on Sunday, February 24th at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington in Pittsboro. Empty Bowls is an event designed to raise awareness and funds for our battle to end hunger in Chatham County. Get all the details here. Purchase tickets here or at the door.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from 18 Seaboard vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – January 25, 2019

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

Featured Restaurant News

  •  A popular dining spot on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street is going dormant, but just temporarily, after the Super Bowl. Got word from reader Jordan Kab that East Village Grill will be closing after Super Bowl Sunday on February 3 as the land between Daisy Street and Dixie Trail will be redeveloped into an apartment complex. That’s the bad news for EVG fans. The good news is they will reopen in the brand new space on the ground floor when it opens in 2020. Get there before February 3rd and then keep up with them during the transition on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Also along Hillsborough Street, noticed in Ashton Mae Smith’s newsletter that Sushi Mon has opened at 105 Friendly Drive offering up sushi and Japanese small plates. Get to know them on Facebook here.
  • Over at North Hills it was announced this week that Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, a seafood restaurant offering Maine lobster and shrimp rolls, will be opening in the Main District at North Hills. Located between Bartaco and the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel, the restaurant is projected to open in 2019. This will be their first restaurant in North Carolina but they have other locations in Maryland, South Carolina, Delaware and Virginia. Get to know them here.
  • Got word via a Facebook chat group that Boondini’s at Celebrations at Six Forks is closing that location before the end of the year. Apparently they are unable to renew their lease and Billy has decided to retire. Unless you know someone that is willing to take over. Boondini’s began in Buies Creek before moving to Tryon Hills and eventually to its current location on Six Forks Road in 1986. Pay Boondini’s a visit here.
  • And this is terrible news. Just last Friday, after months of wondering when they would ever open, Mami’s opened on Glenwood Avenue on the way to the airport near the intersection with Duraleigh. That’s the good news. The bad news is the very next day they suffered an electrical fire that leaves it closed indefinitely. Keep up with any news on their Facebook page here.
  • And in other “Glenwood” news, a reader shared with us that the Sawasdee Thai restaurant has been converted into the Cajun Crab House. The restaurant is under the same ownership and will keep a few popular dishes from the Sawasdee menu but they now come with seafood options only and most other dishes will be served at Tamarind Asian Fusion Bistro, which is their sister restaurant in Brier Creek Commons. Check out the Cajun Crab House here.
  • The folks over at ITB Insider reported this week that The Melting Pot on Wake Forest Road  is about to expand into the vacant space in the rear of the building that was once an Enterprise Rent-a-Car. No exact word on the timeline. Check them out here.
  • Got word this week that Coleen Speaks is beginning brunch service at her Hummingbird restaurant on Whitaker Mill Road this weekend. Brunch service will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Also, be on the lookout for new additions to the regular breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, including large plates in the evening. Check out Hummingbird here.
  • Also in Raleigh, we are getting closer to the opening of the Mellow Mushroom at Brier Creek according to my friend Neha Shah. It is located at 9600 Brier Creek Parkway across from the  Duke Medical Center and Walgreens complex. They are in the middle of their job fair, so we are getting closer! Keep up with their announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Cary, Hugh Autry brought it to my attention that Havana Grill on Chatham Street has closed and been “replaced” by a concept called Tacos Estilo Hidalgo #3. I haven’t had a chance to go by yet, but a Yelp posting noted that the Havana Grill menu is still posted on the wall inside, so might be more of a rebranding. Stop by and check it out. The Yelp page is all we’ve been able to find online.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The Daily Tar Heel reported over in Chapel Hill that there is a new sign in the window at the closed Asia Cafe indicating that Curry Point Express, an Indian fast food restaurant located in Durham, have bought the establishment. The space will be renovated and upgraded, and the menu will retain some of Asia Cafe’s favorites. Mike DePersia of National Restaurant Properties oversaw the sale of Asia Cafe. Get familiar with Curry Point Express here.

Closings

  • Got a note from Keri Owen that The Twisted Fork at Triangle Town Center is closed and all their equipment is being auctioned off next week.

Food Trucks…are back! 

  • This Saturday, January 26th, Bull City Ciderworks on Roxboro Street in Durham  is hosting their first Mini Food Truck Rodeo of the year. The last Saturday of each month they will host four (4)  trucks serving up delicious treats from 2 – 7 p.m. This month will feature Will & Pop’s, Mr. Wingz & Mrs. Thingz, Saigon Lily and Holy Moly Cannoli. Get all the details here.
  • And this Sunday, January 27th Durham Central Park will host the Winter Food Truck Rodeo from 12 noon until 4 p.m. – and the weather looks fantastic – sunny and in the 50s! And while you are adding this to your calendar, go ahead and mark down the rest of the dates for 2019 – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the details on Sunday’s rodeo here.

Events

  •  On Friday, Feb. 1, the Cary Rotary Club will raise money to fight hunger around the world and in our community with its 16th Annual Chili Dinner. The meals, consisting of chili, pasta salad and cornbread, are available for $8 each and will be prepared by Whole Foods Market. Lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m. and dinner will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, 200 High Meadow Dr. in Cary. Tickets are available at the door or from members of the Cary Rotary Club. Get all the details here.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from 18 Seaboard vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – January 18, 2019

Triangle Restaurant News

Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

Featured Restaurant News

  • In downtown Raleigh the News & Observer shared the news that the Days Inn motor-lodge, the aging hotel on your way into Raleigh, will soon become a boutique hotel called the Longleaf Hotel. Which is great, but the BIGGER news, me thinks, is going to be the adjoining restaurant (ish) Delicatessen at Longleaf. (ish) is the creation of Matt Fern, a veteran of Raleigh’s food and beverage scene, who was the longtime beverage director of Ashley Christensen’s AC Restaurants. The deli will be built in a stand-alone building next to the hotel, formerly the NC Deli, serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’re looking at about nine months for the renovation to be complete. Keep up with this development through their Instagram here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In North Raleigh, got word from John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, and Donald Richardson (Don Rio’s and The Caterhaus) that 13 Tacos & Taps opened this past Tuesday in North Raleigh in the former Chubbys Tacos spot in Falls River. Check them out here.
  • Also in North Raleigh, reader Adrian Emerson shared with us that the Raleigh location of Rockin’ Rolls Sushi Express opened this week at 9650 Strickland Road. The original Triangle-area location is in Durham on Hillsborough Road. Check them out here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh news, the folks over at ITB Insider reported that a bake shop is coming to West Street as work began on the Layered Croissanterie bake shop at the old Rainbow Upholstery Building at 911 N. West Street. Look for them to open in the summer of 2019. It is developed by husband-and-wife team Mark and Kawsar Chavez. Follow them on Instagram here.
  • If you are traveling anytime soon, you’ll soon notice some changes in the dining options out at RDU according to the Triangle Business Journal. Looks like Five Guys Burger and Fries is out come February, but making way for BurgerFi, which is looking to open in that space by early July. BurgerFi made its Triangle debut in Cary in 2012 and also has a location in Raleigh. The restaurant serves “natural” burgers, hot dogs, fries, onion rings and frozen custard, along with craft beers and wine. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Cary they like to drink, apparently. According to the Triangle Business Journal, Cary will add a new brewery when Brent Webb opens Cotton House Craft Brewers in a historic home next to the Mayton Inn at 307 Academy Street. The brewer will follow in the steps of Cary breweries such as Fortnight Brewing Co., Jordan Lake Brewing Co. and Bond Brothers Beer Co. No exact word on an open date, but the website says 2019. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • One of my favorite little guys in Chapel Hill, Teagan Coynesmith, noticed on a recent trip home with his mom (the legendary ‘First Lady of Awesomeville’ – Tina Coynesmith) that Sal’s Pizza has reopened after a successful move into the former coffee shop space just across the breezeway at 2811 Homestead Road. Thanks Teags for keeping your eyes open for me! Check out Sal’s here.
  • Got word from Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties that they facilitated the sale of [B]Ski’s at 147 E Franklin St. in Chapel Hill to Michael Newell of Dame’s Chicken & Waffles. Word is they will remodel and hope to be open before March Madness! Now, if we can get Dame’s back open in Durham! 🙂 Check out [B]Ski’s here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, we first told you back in November about Haw River Grill at 243 S. Elliott Road in the Elliott Square shopping center just down from Jersey Mike’s. Got word this week from multiple readers that they are now open. Get to know them here.
  • Over in Durham, WRAL reported that vegan restaurant Earth to Us Kitchen, featuring American and Latin vegan comfort food, just opened in The Shops at Northgate (1720 Guess Road), right next to Northgate Mall, facing Guess Road. You may recognize the name from their food truck. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Also in Durham, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared the news that Jeddah’s Teahouse is coming to downtown Durham this summer. No word yet on an exact location, so you’ll have to follow them on Instagram here to keep up this developing story.

Closings

  • WRAL reported this week that after an eight-year run, Gigi’s Cupcakes on Oberlin Road has closed their doors. Their last day was yesterday.
  • The bad BBQ news continues this week with the closing of The Q Shack at North Hills (open until 7 p.m. this Saturday) after a 15-year run and (not exactly the Triangle, but still….) the announcement that Bill Ellis Barbecue in Wilson has closed.
  • And down in Fuquay-Varina, reader George Cronk shared the news (and confirmed by David McCreary) that the Lin Hibachi Buffet that opened in the old Golden Corral location has closed.

Events

  • The annual Triangle Restaurant Week returns January 21-27, 2019. Triangle Restaurant Week is a week-long celebration of culinary excellence designed to incorporate the premier Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding area restaurants. During TRW, participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, a great opportunity for residents and visitors alike to indulge in the area’s finest cuisine! No reservations, tickets or passes required. Pricing for the event is $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $20,$25, $30 or $35 for a 3-course dinner. Price is for each person and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Get all the details and a listing of participating restaurants here.
  • On Friday, Feb. 1, the Cary Rotary Club will raise money to fight hunger around the world and in our community with its 16th Annual Chili Dinner. The meals, consisting of chili, pasta salad and cornbread, are available for $8 each and will be prepared by Whole Foods Market. Lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m. and dinner will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, 200 High Meadow Dr. in Cary. Tickets are available at the door or from members of the Cary Rotary Club. Get all the details here.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from 18 Seaboard vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – January 11, 2019

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Raleigh fell in love with Jake Wood as chef de cuisine at 18 Seaboard (and before that with stints at 42nd Street Oyster Bar and The Cowfish). And so you likely heard a collective deep breath when it was announced he was leaving for a new venture. We can all breathe easy now as it was announced this week that he would stay here locally, taking over as the head chef at Plates Neighborhood Kitchen on Glenwood South. Not only does Wood bring his newly designed menu to Plates, but a new dining atmosphere with fresh paint, new lighting fixtures, shiplap walls and a new decor setting the tone for his new menu. Check out the new Plates here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Burial Beer Company opened “The Exhibit” next to Transfer Co. Food Hall at 500 E. Davie Street on January 5. It’s an exhibit space, a cafe for craft beer. On most days it’s a get off work, stop and sample a beer, take a 4 pack for home type vibe. On release days it’s a communal marketplace to access limited beers. Stop by or check it out here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, Jason Howard’s Atlantic Lounge opened at 620 North Person Street (below Crawford and Son) in downtown Raleigh. Keys, which are required for entrance, were offered to locals in surrounding neighborhoods first. Those interested in an invitation are encouraged to inquire with friends who are members or contact The Atlantic Lounge. You can keep up with them on Instagram.
  • Got word from Derek Wilkins that they opened their third installment of The Butcher’s Market this past Saturday at 4200 Lassiter Rd in Holly Springs in the Holly Lakes Center. They also have locations in Raleigh’s Quail Corners and Cary’s Saltbox Village. Stop in and check them out. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Over in Cary, got word from reader Michael Janni that Alex & Teresa’s Pizzeria & Trattoria has opened, transforming the old Randy’s Pizza place at the Northwoods Shopping Center at 941 N. Harrison Avenue. The restaurant is owned and operated by two former employees of Enrigo Italian Restaurant, along with a chef from Naples, Italy. Check them out here. Get to know them here.
  • Back over in Raleigh, got word from Jeanette Hauser that a Jersey Mike’s is coming to the Corners at Brier Creek shopping center (think Harris Teeter) in northwest Raleigh

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Over in Chapel Hill, the Triangle Business Journal was the first to report that after years of sitting empty, the once-beloved Ramshead Rathskeller restaurant space in a Franklin Street alley will soon be home to Gizmo Brew Works’ 4,500-square-foot taproom. Get familiar with Gizmo here.
  • Saw on their Twitter feed that Boxcar Bar + Arcade opened their third location, this one in downtown Durham at 621 Foster Street overlooking the historic Durham Athletic Park, at the corner of Foster and Geer streets. The new hangout offers over 70 arcade games, a full bar including 24 craft American drafts, private event space and a Neapolitan-style pizza kitchen. They also have locations in Raleigh and Greensboro. Get to know them here.
  • Glenn Gillen happened upon a Mr. Shark Fish & Chicken on S. Roxboro Street where Amante Pizza used to be. Like Glenn, I’m not certain what “Chicago style” fish and chicken exactly means. Here is their Facebook page.

Closings

  • Got word from multiple readers that both Freddy’s and Wendy’s on High House at Davis Drive in Cary.

Events

  • The annual Triangle Restaurant Week returns January 21-27, 2019. Triangle Restaurant Week is a week-long celebration of culinary excellence designed to incorporate the premier Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding area restaurants. During TRW, participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, a great opportunity for residents and visitors alike to indulge in the area’s finest cuisine! No reservations, tickets or passes required. Pricing for the event is $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $20,$25, $30 or $35 for a 3-course dinner. Price is for each person and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Get all the details and a listing of participating restaurants here.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from 18 Seaboard vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • And this week was the announcement of the return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.