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Friday Fun Food Facts – September 15, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • And then there were two. Al’s Burger Shack is opening a second burger shack in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village next Monday, September 18th. The new location will be serving up the same experience as the original Franklin Street shack, but with more seating, free parking and an expanded menu. Check out Al’s here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Owners Missy and Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery announced this week that they will open a new venue inside a Whole Foods Market slated to open this fall at Alston Town Center in Cary. And if that is not enough, they also announced that they would expand their original location into the ABC store space next door in the Preston Corners shopping center in late September. Check out La Farm here.
  • The Person Street Partnership shared the exciting news that Oakwood Pizza Box is now open at 610 N. Person Street on the edge of downtown Raleigh. Congrats to Anthony Guerra, whose family owned Bella Mia. Here is Oakwood’s website.
  • Saw in the Beltline Buzz blog that Aladdin’s Eatery has opened at North Hills in the former Black Cat Cafe location at 4209 Lassiter Mill Road. They also have a location in Raleigh’s Brier Creek. Check them out here.
  • Saw in the ITB Insider update this week that work is now underway on a new restaurant calling itself Hearth Kitchen, which will soon open in the former home of Zydeco at City Market in downtown Raleigh. Permits were issued last week for the space at 208 Wolfe Street. We will keep an eye on this for you.
  • Also in the ITB Insider, they noted that CO Vietnamese, which offers a “modern take on traditional southeast Asian cuisine,” will be opening before year’s end at the AC Hotel in North Hills. The regional restaurant chain, which has locations in Savannah, Charleston, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, and Charlotte, features a menu with a focus on Pho, Ramen, Dumplings, Banh Mi and Sushi. Check them out here.
  • Just got word from Michael DePersia from DePersia & Associates, that they just closed on a lease deal putting Johnny Pavlik from Johnny’s Pizza of Cary into a new store in Wake Forest in the Harris Crossing shopping center off of US1. He plans to open in the first quarter of next year. Check out Johnny’s here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that the Brookside Market & Pizza location on the outskirts of downtown Raleigh at the corner of at Brookside Drive and Glascock Street is getting new life. Duane Williams is renovating the entire building and has lined up a coffee and cocktail bar from the owner of Brew, the coffee shop in nearby Seaboard Station, a Pilates studio and a retro barber shop. He also hopes to bring in a restaurant or other retail for the remaining storefront in the plaza. Williams hopes to open the market before the first of October, the pizza kitchen before the end of October, and have the other tenants in by the end of the year. Read the full article here.
  • In North Raleigh, Rebecca Calhoun notified us that Wayback Burgers will be opening a location at 6320 Capital Boulevard in the Plantation Square shopping center. No word on an exact timeline. They also have a location in Durham. Thanks Rebecca! Get familiar with Wayback here.
  • And finally, it appears as if the Wahlburgers is still coming to Raleigh. The News & Observer reported this week that they still plan on occupying the former Oxford space on Fayetteville Street and should open before year’s end. Will believe it when I see it. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Closings

  • Chapel Hill’s Sandwich announced this week that they would close come mid-September. An exact date hasn’t been announced. That is the terrible news. The “good” news is there is someone coming into that space with a similar focus on “local” and most of the staff will remain. Thanks for the last 12 years Janet Elbetri! And thanks to Kitt Wolfenden for letting us know. Read the full announcement here.
  • Reader Wendy Henderson shared with us this week that the Hillsborough Street location of Pieology in Raleigh has closed.
  • Got word from Michael DePersia that Latin Quarters in the Celebration at Six Forks shopping center  in Raleigh has closed.

Food Trucks

  • Food Truck Friday returns Friday, October 13 from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream. Get all the details here.
  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are winding down, with one in each city remaining for the year. Raleigh has their last rodeo October 8th and Durham’s last is November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope this Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. at the event space at 214 Martin in downtown Raleigh. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event next Wednesday, September 20th to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Celebrate all things pork at The Root Cellar’s 6th annual Porkapalooza on Friday, September 22nd at 6:30 p.m. From country-fried to country ham and everything in between, this evening will be sure to invigorate your taste buds. Tickets are $50-$55. Get details and tickets here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • The owners of Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Luncheonette and Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up to host a special vegetarian Italian wine dinner on Wednesday, September 27th at 7 p.m. Dubbed Caffe Marrone, the six course meal will feature Italian favorites paired with wine for $50 (not including gratuity). The dinner will be at Mel’s at 109 West Main Street in Downtown Carrboro. For tickets and information, click here.
  • On October 8th, from 1-4pm TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana’s Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle’s most beloved chefs from Nana’s, Nanataco, Rise, Foster’s Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt’s Grocery, J. Betski’s, Rue Cler, and more. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • It is getting closer and now (before it is too late) is time to get your tickets for Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival held October 18-21. Celebrating their eighth year, TerraVita has grown into a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.
  • Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on November 5th. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • November 5th also plays host to one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – September 8, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • It is getting closer and now (before it is too late) is the time to get your tickets for Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival held over four days October 18-21. Celebrating their eighth year, TerraVita has grown into a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days. Go. To something. To everything! Thank me later. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saw on the Food Cary blog that Kale Me Crazy has opened its first location outside of Georgia at Waverly Place in Cary. Congrats to owner Jeff Hutto. If you are not familiar with the concept, it is a superfood café offering juices, smoothies, salads and wraps in a sleek, upscale environment. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also on the Food Cary blog they noted that Lenny’s Grill and Subs, formerly known as Lenny’s Sub Shop, is opening its first stores in the Triangle with an expansion into Cary, Raleigh and other surrounding cities. They haven’t identified their Cary location yet, but they already have locations in Asheville and Charlotte. Check them out here.
  • A quick update on last week’s news down in Holly Springs where the former Ricci’s space became Springs Pizza & Wings, which closed to become Sunset Lake Bistro which never happened. Well, Derek Wilkins (of The Butcher’s Market) informed me that it will be Cristo’s Pizza, which has a location in Raleigh’s Quail Corners shopping center. No word on a timeline. But for now, check them out here.
  • In the ITB Insider Update this week they noted that work is now underway in North Raleigh’s Brennan Station on Creedmoor Road on a deep-dish pizza chain called Nancy’s Pizza (no relation, I don’t think, to Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane). We don’t have a firm opening date yet. Get familiar with Nancy’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Good friend Aziz Carrell told me about a new sushi place in Durham called Rockin’ Rolls Sushi Express located just off 15-501 on Hillsborough Road (the shopping center with Chick-fil-A) that just opened. Basically it is an all-you-can-eat conveyor belt sushi experience featuring 50 different sushi offerings. If you see something you like, you can take it directly from the belt. The cost? $10.99 per person (less for children)!  In addition, they offer salad and dessert. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Got word from Mike DePersia of DePersia & Associates (National Restaurant Properties) that Blackfinn Ameripub in Morrisville’s Park West Village closed on September 3rd.

Food Trucks

  •  Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are winding down, with one in each city remaining for the year. Raleigh has their last rodeo October 8th and Durham’s last is November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  • Also this weekend starting today (September 8th – 10th) the 36th Annual Greek Raleigh Festival is taking place at the Jim Graham Building at the NC State Fairgrounds featuring Greek dancing, music, cooking demos, kid’s crafts & activities and of course food, food, food! Want free admission? Click here.
  • This Sunday, Sept. 10th from 2-5pm Raleigh’s Mandolin Restaurant will hold their second annual BBQ Fundraiser to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle. It will be held across the street from Mandolin at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin Road. They will have live music and lots of great food and drink prepared by chef Sean Fowler which has been donated by Cheney Bros. food distributors, Topo distillery, Locals Seafood, Videri Chocolate, Neuse River Brewing, Lynnwood Brewing and Mandolin Sauces. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also this Sunday, September 10th, the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund will host their 4th Annual Dinner in the Meadow benefit hosted by WUNC’s Frank Stasio and featuring dishes prepared by Triangle area and regional chefs. Held in Franklin County, the dinner is $100 per person. Visit their website to see the amazing list of chefs and menus. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • The Underground Kitchen hosts its second pop up dinner in Raleigh on September 15th (new date) at 7 p.m. Attendees will experience the great outdoors and a deliciously rustic, multi-course dinner in a wilderness-within- the-city locale. Virginia-based celebrity chef J. Ponder will pull out all the stops with a flavorsome exploration of aged meats, time-tested techniques, and truffle wine pairings! Tickets can be purchased here.
  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope on Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. at the event space at 214 Martin in downtown Raleigh. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event on Wednesday, September 20th to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Celebrate all things pork at The Root Cellar’s 6th annual Porkapalooza on Friday, September 22nd at 6:30 p.m. From country-fried to country ham and everything in between, this evening will be sure to invigorate your taste buds. Tickets are $50-$55. Get details and tickets here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • The owners of Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Luncheonette and Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up to host a special vegetarian Italian wine dinner on Wednesday, September 27th at 7 p.m. Dubbed Caffe Marrone, the six course meal will feature Italian favorites paired with wine for $50 (not including gratuity). The dinner will be at Mel’s at 109 West Main Street in Downtown Carrboro. For tickets and information, click here.
  • On October 8th, from 1-4pm TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana’s Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle’s most beloved chefs from Nana’s, Nanataco, Rise, Foster’s Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt’s Grocery, J. Betski’s, Rue Cler, and more. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on November 5th. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • November 5th also plays host to one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – September 1, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • So how does something originally announced in June, 2015 on this very blog make it back into the “featured restaurant news” section? Well, if your name is Ashley Christensen and you just posted instagram photos of a “research tour” in Italy preparing for the opening of PooleSide Pie, that might work. According to her postings, look for PooleSide Pie to open in 2018 featuring Neapolitan-style, wood-fired pizza among other things. It will be adjacent to her Poole’s Diner (see what she did there?) on South McDowell Street in downtown Raleigh. Check out their Instagram feed to see what she is up to.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • So this doesn’t quite make the “Closings” section as the story continues to unfold. But what we do know is that Triangle Business Journal reported this week that the Apex location of Tyler’s  in the Beaver Creek Commons shopping center in Apex will be closing this coming Tuesday (September 6) after a 10 year run. But as that news got out, additional reports of potential partners appeared with hopes of keeping that location open. We will continue to watch this. In the meantime, you definitely have a few more days to get by (and maybe more) as well as the other Tyler’s locations in Durham and Carrboro. Check out Tyler’s here.
  • Back over in downtown Raleigh, Morgan Street Food Hall & Market keeps getting tastier and tastier. It was announced this week that popular food truck Curry in a Hurry and Iyla’s Southern Kitchen will be joining the mix of food vendors . Curry in a Hurry is known for its wide variety of Kati Rolls, an Indian version of a burrito that is a popular street food, a wide selection of curry dishes and Naan sandwiches. Look for Iyla’s Southern Kitchen to offer signature dishes like Chicken and Waffles with homemade Pimento Cheese and Chow Chow slaw. Check out the full list of vendors and the latest developments here.
  • Staying in downtown Raleigh, we have a little more information on Kaiju Bowl & Bao thanks to the folks over at the News & Observer. We learned that Ken Yowell, who owns Oak City Meatball Shoppe and Calavera Empanadas and Tequila, will be opening Kaiju, possibly by year’s end. Yowell resists calling Kaiju just a ramen shop, saying that doesn’t go far enough, noting that it will serve a concept of Asian noodles and steamed buns and lots of surprises. Still no online presence yet, just a Twitter account at this point.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, got a tweet from Hunter Butler that Phat Chicken has opened at 717 E. Martin Street serving up southern-style chicken with their own twist. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Continuing their growth in Wake County, Triangle Explorer pointed out that the second Wake County location of Chronic Tacos will open next Wednesday, September 6th. This one will open in North Raleigh next to Sprouts on Falls of the Neuse Road. They also have a location in Chapel Hill as well as one in Wake Forest. Check out the newest location of Chronic Tacos here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, back in June we told you that Springs Pizza & Wings, which took over the former Ricci’s space, had closed. Well, then we got word that Sunset Lake Bistro was taking over that space. Well, that never happened and now there is a sign up for some sort of Italian place. Let’s just say…stay tuned. Thanks Scott Eaton for your help in keeping up with this one!
  • Over in Clayton, got word from reader Emily Beddingfield that Clayton will soon be home to a new spot called Ingredient of Clayton, a farm to table restaurant and pub concept coming to 101 W. First Street. They are utilizing a historic building and adding nearly 2,000 square feet and sharing a courtyard with a new coffee shop that is also coming in. Look for them to open in 2018. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  The Pie Hole in Durham, serving up sweet & savory pies from scratch along with signature coffee & drinks, will hold their grand opening on Labor Day weekend. They will be located at 810 Ninth Street. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Well that didn’t last long. Got word from one of our readers that Charlie Grainger’s on Chapel Hill Road in Morrisville closes today (Friday) at 5 p.m. They just opened in February. But don’t fret, their website lists 16 new locations coming soon to North Carolina.
  • Got word from reader Matthew Cotton that the Greek Fiesta location in the Falls Pointe shopping center in North Raleigh has closed.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, got word that Italian restaurant, Vespa, on W. Franklin Street has closed.

Food Trucks

  •  Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are back in full swing. Durham’s is this Sunday (September 3rd). Check out the Durham dates here and the Raleigh dates here.

Events

  •  The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9th and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • On Sunday, Sept. 10th from 2-5pm Raleigh’s Mandolin Restaurant will hold their second annual BBQ Fundraiser to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle. It will be held across the street from Mandolin at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin Road. They will have live music and lots of great food and drink prepared by chef Sean Fowler which has been donated by Cheney Bros. food distributors, Topo distillery, Locals Seafood, Videri Chocolate, Neuse River Brewing, Lynnwood Brewing and Mandolin Sauces. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also on September 10th, the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund will host their 4th Annual Dinner in the Meadow benefit hosted by WUNC’s Frank Stasio and featuring dishes prepared by Triangle area and regional chefs. Held in Franklin County, the dinner is $100 per person. Visit their website to see the amazing list of chefs and menus. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • The Underground Kitchen hosts its second pop up dinner in Raleigh on September 15th (new date) at 7 p.m. Attendees will experience the great outdoors and a deliciously rustic, multi-course dinner in a wilderness-within- the-city locale. Virginia-based celebrity chef J. Ponder will pull out all the stops with a flavorsome exploration of aged meats, time-tested techniques, and truffle wine pairings! Tickets can be purchased here.
  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope on Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. at the event space at 214 Martin in downtown Raleigh. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event on Wednesday, September 20th to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to our warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – August 25, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • So now we know what is going into the former McAlister’s Deli space on East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Saw on a Yelp message board that BonChon Chicken, the fast casual Korean fried chicken chain, is opening its first Triangle-area location at the 205 E. Franklin Street address. No word on a timeline. Get familiar with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • According to the News & Observer, Anthony Guerra, whose family owned Bella Mia, will open Oakwood Pizza Box at 610 N. Person St. (a few doors down from Crawford and Son where he works as the general manager). Check them out here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, several people pointed out to me this week that there is a sign in the window for “Kaiju” in the space next to Oak City Meatball on E. Davie Street. Unfortunately, our online search didn’t turn up any additional information. We’re just going to have to be patient on this one. Stay tuned.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, alerted me to the news that a Culver’s, with their signature ButterBurgers and frozen custard, is now open in Wake Forest at 2819 Rogers Road next to the new Rite Aid drug store near The Factory sports and retail complex on Main Street. This is their Triangle-area debut, but likely won’t be their only. Check them out here.
  • Got word from reader Paul Prause that Pickled Onion Restaurant & Bar will close its current location on Falls of the Neuse Road on August 27th and relocate to 10750 Wakefield Commons in Wakefield. Look for them to open in the new location in mid-September. Keep up with their move on their Facebook page here.
  • And reader Jane Bell noticed construction activity at the former Lone Star Steakhouse location in the Townridge shopping center in Raleigh. No indication as of yet as to what is going in there.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Johanna Kramer reported this week that after closing Alivia’s Durham Bistro in June, owners Fergus Bradley and Jason Sholtz are teaming up with barbecue chef Brian Stinnett to open Maverick’s Smokehouse and Taproom on West Main St. in September. Maverick’s will offer slow smoked barbecue pork, beef brisket, ribs, chicken, turkey, sausage, fish and more. Visit their website here.
  • Got word from Cherith Andes that Babalu Tapas & Tacos has set next Monday, August 28th as the opening date for their latest location in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Crossing. I’m getting an early tasting tonight and super excited! This is the Triangle’s first location and will feature latin-inspired taco and tapas dishes with a Southern twist. And I’ve heard the drinks are pretty amazing as well. Check them out here.
  • The Pie Hole in Durham, serving up sweet & savory pies from scratch along with signature coffee & drinks, will hold their grand opening on Labor Day weekend. They will be located at 810 Ninth Street. Check them out here.
  • As if you needed another reason to get to Scott Howell’s NanaSteak in downtown Durham, reader Sara Bill informed us that they will begin brunch service this Saturday. Check out NanaSteak here.
  • This will make your mouth water. Merritt’s Grill in Chapel Hill celebrates this month the 25th anniversary of serving up their (now world famous) BLTs. Hard to believe it has been 25 years! And they will have events and activities all day tomorrow (Saturday, August 26th) from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Check out Merritt’s here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership reported that Perennial Coffee & Pastries is now open at 403 W. Franklin Street right next to the Cuban Revolution Express. The only online presence we could find was the partnership’s posting about it opening. Here it is.

Closings

  • Learned from the folks over at Taste Carolina that after just six months, Wedgies at American Tobacco campus, has closed. You can still visit their original location in Southern Pines.
  • Was sad to learn from reader Jeanette Hauser that the Morrisville location of Danny’s BBQ has closed. That’s the bad news. The good news is their Cary and RTP locations remain open.
  • Art Sheppard, aka The Wandering Sheppard, notified us this week that the brick-and-mortar location of Porchetta (at Streets at Southpoint food court) has closed. But you can still catch the truck all over the Triangle. Keep up with them here.
  • Several people, including The Wandering Sheppard himself (Art Sheppard) that the Bruegger’s Bagels in Pleasant Valley has closed. Follows closely on the footsteps of the one that closed at North Hills just a few weeks back.
  • And reader Gloria Waters notified me this week that the Triangle Town Center location of California Pizza Kitchen closed. They still have locations in Durham at Streets at Southpoint as well as at RDU International Airport.

Food Trucks

  •  The Lazy Days Festival in Cary has expanded to two days, August 26 & 27. In addition to arts and crafts tents, it will feature more than 25 food vendors and trucks! It is not a party until a food truck rolls up! The entire festival is wonderful, but if you want to plan your food strategy before you go, do so here. 
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.

Events

  • How does beer and fresh produce sound? Count me in! The Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market at University Place will hold their annual Brewfest on Saturday, August 26 from 8 a.m. until noon. The event will feature brews from 11 different breweries. Check out their Facebook event page here for all the details.
  • The Underground Kitchen hosts its second pop up dinner in Raleigh on August 30 at 7 p.m. Attendees will experience the great outdoors and a deliciously rustic, multi-course dinner in a wilderness-within- the-city locale. Virginia-based celebrity chef J. Ponder will pull out all the stops with a flavorsome exploration of aged meats, time-tested techniques, and truffle wine pairings! Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9th and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • On Sunday, Sept. 10th from 2-5pm Raleigh’s Mandolin Restaurant will hold their second annual BBQ Fundraiser to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle. It will be held across the street from Mandolin at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin Road. They will have live music and lots of great food and drink prepared by chef Sean Fowler which has been donated by Cheney Bros. food distributors, Topo distillery, Locals Seafood, Videri Chocolate, Neuse River Brewing, Lynnwood Brewing and Mandolin Sauces. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also on September 10th, the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund will host their 4th Annual Dinner in the Meadow benefit hosted by WUNC’s Frank Stasio and featuring dishes prepared by Triangle area and regional chefs. Held in Franklin County, the dinner is $100 per person. Visit their website to see the amazing list of chefs and menus. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope on Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. at the event space at 214 Martin in downtown Raleigh. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event on Wednesday, September 20th to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • This is the LAST weekend for Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week. Participating restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe dinners for either $21 or $31 per person, depending on the venue (tax and tip not included). As a special amenity to downtown employees and other daytime downtown visitors, some restaurants will be offering $5 and $10 lunch specials during Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week only! And NEW THIS YEAR, they are partnering with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to donate $1 from each Restaurant Week dinner sold to those in need! Get all the details here!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – August 18, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.
Featured Restaurant News
  • The big news this week was the confirmation that A Place at the Table, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit pay-what-you-can cafe, has secured a permanent location in the former Café de los Muertos space in downtown Raleigh. This new restaurant is expected to begin renovations soon and will open in the fall of 2017 (hearing November) at 300 W Hargett Street. Check them out here.
Wake County Restaurant News
  • Learned this week that Heirloom Brewshop, a specialty coffee shop, premium tea house and sake bar, will be opening their first location at The Dillon in downtown Raleigh. The Dillon is located in the Warehouse District at 223 S. West Street. Look for Heirloom to open in the summer of 2018. Get more information on the entire project here.
  • Got word from reader Paul Prause that Pickled Onion Restaurant & Bar will close its current location on Falls of the Neuse Road on August 27th and relocate to 10750 Wakefield Commons in Wakefield. Look for them to open in the new location in mid-September. Keep up with their move on their Facebook page here.
  • Saw in Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly email that Raleigh Downtown Living Advocates reported that a new BBQ joint called Southern Charred is coming to a spot at 510 Glenwood South. They will offer a NC-style que blended with Memphis and Texas influences. This is from the same folks behind Anchor Raleigh, The Milk Bar and Mofu Shoppe. No word yet on an open date. Keep up with them here.
  • We got a little more detail this week on the opening of Morehead City’s HappyCakes Cupcakery in Cary. Reader and Morehead City native Monica Williams tells me that the Cary location will be at Shoppes at Weston Corners off Chapel Hill Rd. Get familiar with them here.
  • Thanks to the sharp eyes of Barbara Calise we now know that PokeGo, Poke & Noodles is going into the former Yogurt Mountain location on Creedmoor Road (8107 Creedmoor Road) in Raleigh. No other details are available at this time.
  • This isn’t exactly restaurant news, but cool nonetheless. CurEat, a restaurant app that provides you with a list of unique, locally owned restaurants from food and beverage insiders, is now available on Android (it released on iTunes back in January). To find out more about CurEat and to create your own account, visit them here.
Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News
  • Saw this week that Saint James Seafood Restaurant and Raw Bar, housed in the iconic historic building that was formerly Fishmonger’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar in Durham, is slated to open in early September. Focusing on sustainability, the menu celebrates the South’s plethora of seafood. Saint James will be Matthew Kelly’s fifth restaurant in Durham, joining a family of restaurants that include Mateo Bar de Tapas, Vin Rouge, Mothers & Sons Trattoria and Lucky’s Delicatessen. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • On a recent drive down Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street (getting my solar eclipse glasses from Morehead Planetarium) I noticed that Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza is now open at the corner of Franklin and Rosemary streets. Get familiar with them here.
  • And finally (didn’t think they would ever open), we got word from Cherith Andes that Babalu Tapas & Tacos has set August 28th as the opening date for their latest location in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Crossing shopping center. This is the Triangle’s first location and will feature latin-inspired taco and tapas dishes with a Southern twist. And I’ve heard the drinks are pretty amazing as well. Check them out here.
  • And they are now open! Namu Restaurant and Coffee Bar is the collaborative effort between Bulkogi Truck & Bo’s Kitchen. They are located at 5420 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd. where Bohme was and before that Straw Valley Food + Drink. Get the latest on their Facebook page here.
  • Got word from my Twitter friend Burgeoningbaker that Rose’s Meat Market & Sweet Shop has reopened with their new concept – as a restaurant and bakery after 4 years as a combination whole animal butcher shop and sweet shop. They are located at 121 N. Gregson Street in Durham, just down from Brightleaf Square. You can get all the details on their newly designed website here.
  • The Pie Hole in Durham, serving up sweet & savory pies from scratch along with signature coffee & drinks, will hold their grand opening on Labor Day weekend. They will be located at 810 Ninth Street. Check them out here.
Closings
  • Reader Jackie Atlas was the first to notify us that Crepe Traditions has closed their location on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. They still have two locations in Raleigh at North Hills and on Hillsborough Street.
Food Trucks
  • The RDU Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) is holding their first annual Tacopalooza Food Truck Rodeo & Competition this Sunday, August 20, at Knightdale Station located at 810 N First Ave. in Knightdale. It will run from 12-4 p.m. Get a listing of trucks (10) and all the details here. 
  • The Lazy Days Festival in Cary has expanded to two days, August 26 & 27. In addition to arts and crafts tents, it will feature more than 25 food vendors and trucks! It is not a party until a food truck rolls up! The entire festival is wonderful, but if you want to plan your food strategy before you go, do so here. 
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.

Events

  •  Join North Carolina brewers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for their fourth annual Natural Selections event on Friday, August 18. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind evening of beer and science among the museum’s dioramas. Sample unique creations fitting the museum’s natural science focus from more than 20 North Carolina breweries. Enjoy hands-on science of beer activities, a panel discussion, games and live music by Handsome Al and the Lookers. Vote for your favorite beer during the event and award the second annual Natural Selections People’s Choice Award to one lucky brewery. $65 VIP; $40; $25 for Friends of the Museum members. Price includes beer samples, activities, tasting guide, and collectible Natural Selections tasting glass. You must be 21 years or older to attend. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • And not to miss out on the Solar Eclipse hype, Krispy Kreme doughnuts will launch the first-ever Chocolate Glazed Doughnut Aug. 21 and during special evening Hot Light hours Aug. 19-20 in Raleigh. Learn more about the yumminess here.
  • How does beer and fresh produce sound? Count me in! The Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market at University Place will hold their annual Brewfest on Saturday, August 26 from 8 a.m. until noon. The event will feature brews from 11 different breweries. Check out their Facebook event page here for all the details.
  • The Underground Kitchen hosts its second pop up dinner in Raleigh on August 30 at 7 p.m. Attendees will experience the great outdoors and a deliciously rustic, multi-course dinner in a wilderness-within- the-city locale. Virginia-based celebrity chef J. Ponder will pull out all the stops with a flavorsome exploration of aged meats, time-tested techniques, and truffle wine pairings! Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9th and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • On Sunday, Sept. 10th from 2-5pm Raleigh’s Mandolin Restaurant will hold their second annual BBQ Fundraiser to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle. It will be held across the street from Mandolin at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin Road. They will have live music and lots of great food and drink prepared by chef Sean Fowler which has been donated by Cheney Bros. food distributors, Topo distillery, Locals Seafood, Videri Chocolate, Neuse River Brewing, Lynnwood Brewing and Mandolin Sauces. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also on September 10th, the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund will host their 4th Annual Dinner in the Meadow benefit hosted by WUNC’s Frank Stasio and featuring dishes prepared by Triangle area and regional chefs. Held in Franklin County, the dinner is $100 per person. Visit their website to see the amazing list of chefs and menus. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope on Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event on Wednesday, September 20th to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!
Food Bank Corner
  • Go ahead and mark your calendar for Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week August 21-27. Participating restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe dinners for either $21 or $31 per person, depending on the venue (tax and tip not included). As a special amenity to downtown employees and other daytime downtown visitors, some restaurants will be offering $5 and $10 lunch specials during Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week only! And NEW THIS YEAR, they are partnering with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to donate $1 from each Restaurant Week dinner sold to those in need! Get all the details here!

 

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Friday Fun Food Facts – August 11, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Awaiting the re-opening of “H-Street 2.0” with the return of student’s to NC State, we instead got news from the News & Observer that H-Street Kitchen is no more. Instead, Pizza La Stella’s owners bought the space and, together with the H-Street owners, will launch La Stella Wood Fired sometime next month featuring a menu of wood-fired food. This will be a second location for Rudy Theale and his team, with Pizza La Stella remaining on Fayetteville Street. Check out La Stella here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word from reader Allison Littrell that HappyCakes Cupcakery out of Morehead City is headed to Cary with a second location. I’m not familiar with them, but Allison tells me they won Cupcake Wars on Food Network and their cupcakes and cookies are super yummy. What I do know is the word “cupcakery” does nothing but bring a smile to my face. They are targeting an October opening. Not sure on the location, but Cary isn’t that big…and did I mention cupcakery? We will keep an eye on this (someone has to!). Get familiar with them here.
  • And for those missing your convenient morning brew that was available from Bruegger’s at North Hills, the Triangle Explorer, aka John Huisman, brought it to my attention that the good folks at Oak City Coffee Roasters are operating a “pop-up cafe” just outside of the now-closed Bruegger’s Monday thru Friday from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. Check out Oak City here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Saw on Namu’s Facebook page that they are cleared and scheduled to open next Wednesday, August 16th. Namu Restaurant and Coffee Bar is the collaborative effort between Bulkogi Truck and Bo’s Kitchen. They will be located at 5420 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd. where Bohme was and before that Straw Valley Food + Drink. Get the latest details on their opening on their Facebook page here.
  • We also got word this week that The Pie Hole in Durham, serving up sweet & savory pies from scratch along with signature coffee & drinks, will hold their grand opening on Labor Day weekend. They will be located at 810 Ninth Street. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Here is your chance to help prevent a closing. Courtney’s Restaurant has been in Raleigh for nearly 30 years. This past year owner Jeff Seidenstein was diagnosed with cancer and has plans to close the restaurant this Sunday. However, the employees launched a GoFundMe page to try and keep the institution open. If you feel inclined, visit and donate to their page here. Thanks to the folks over at The Point for bringing this to our attention.

Food Trucks

  • The Lazy Days Festival in Cary has expanded to two days, August 26 & 27. In addition to arts and crafts tents, it will feature more than 25 food vendors and trucks! It is not a party until a food truck rolls up! The entire festival is wonderful, but if you want to plan your food strategy before you go, do so here. 
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.

Events

  • Join North Carolina brewers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for their fourth annual Natural Selections event on Friday, August 18. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind evening of beer and science among the museum’s dioramas. Sample unique creations fitting the museum’s natural science focus from more than 20 North Carolina breweries. Enjoy hands-on science of beer activities, a panel discussion, games and live music by Handsome Al and the Lookers. Vote for your favorite beer during the event and award the second annual Natural Selections People’s Choice Award to one lucky brewery. $65 VIP; $40; $25 for Friends of the Museum members. Price includes beer samples, activities, tasting guide, and collectible Natural Selections tasting glass. You must be 21 years or older to attend. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • And not to miss out on the Solar Eclipse hype, Krispy Kreme doughnuts will launch the first-ever Chocolate Glazed Doughnut Aug. 21 and during special evening Hot Light hours Aug. 19-20 in Raleigh. Learn more about the yumminess here.
  • How does beer and fresh produce sound? Count me in! The Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market at University Place will hold their annual Brewfest on Saturday, August 26 from 8 a.m. until noon. The event will feature brews from 11 different breweries. Check out their Facebook event page here for all the details.
  • The Underground Kitchen hosts its second pop up dinner in Raleigh on August 30 at 7 p.m. Attendees will experience the great outdoors and a deliciously rustic, multi-course dinner in a wilderness-within- the-city locale. Virginia-based celebrity chef J. Ponder will pull out all the stops with a flavorsome exploration of aged meats, time-tested techniques, and truffle wine pairings! Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9th and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • On Sunday, Sept. 10th from 2-5pm Raleigh’s Mandolin Restaurant will hold their second annual BBQ Fundraiser to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle. It will be held across the street from Mandolin at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin Road. They will have live music and lots of great food and drink prepared by chef Sean Fowler which has been donated by Cheney Bros. food distributors, Topo distillery, Locals Seafood, Videri Chocolate, Neuse River Brewing, Lynnwood Brewing and Mandolin Sauces. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope on Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • Go ahead and mark your calendar for Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week August 21-27. Participating restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe dinners for either $21 or $31 per person, depending on the venue (tax and tip not included). As a special amenity to downtown employees and other daytime downtown visitors, some restaurants will be offering $5 and $10 lunch specials during Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week only! And NEW THIS YEAR, they are partnering with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to donate $1 from each Restaurant Week dinner sold to those in need! Get all the details here!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – August 4, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The big news of the past week was the surprise closing of Motto in Durham. But that bit of sad news quickly turned to the news that Pete Susca is coming into that space with a concept called It’s a Southern Thing: Kitchen and Bar. Pete was Motto’s bar manager and previously ran LaRussa’s in Chapel Hill’s Meadowmont. Matt Kulp will be the chef – he had stints with McCormick & Schmick’s, Garland in downtown Raleigh and the former Zely & Ritz on Glenwood Avenue. Look for them to open in 6-8 weeks with a southern-focused menu. Thanks to Michael DePersia of DePersia & Associates who represented the sale.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Bill King tweeted last week that Tulum Mexican Restaurante & Bar is now open in the former La Volta space at 411 Fayetteville Street in City Plaza. Looks like they opened on July 25th. Check them out here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, this weekend is the official “Grand Opening” celebration for MOFU Shoppe in City Market. Stop by anytime (check their hours on their website), but they will also be debuting their late night menu (served 11 p.m. til 2 a.m.). Will be a fun weekend to stop by and check out the latest in downtown dining. Get all the details here.
  • Over in Cary, a Yelp message board posting noted that it looks like the restaurant being built on Walnut Street in Cary (in front of the Harris Teeter) is going to be an Outback Steakhouse. Still being built, but they just put the Outback signs up this past week. Stay tuned.
  • And over in Fuquay-Varina reader Kimberli Holton was the first to notify us that a Dan Sushi Hibachi Japanese Restaurant was coming soon. This week we got word from David McCreary that it has in fact opened at 1313 N. Main Street. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Learned from friend Rebecca Richard that there is a new dining option on Chapel Hill’s W. Franklin Street (and it is not pizza!). The Purple Bowl, at 306 W. Franklin Street, features acai bowls and toast. And did we mention healthy and oh so yummy! Can’t wait to get by and check it out! In the meantime, get all the details on their story, including their menu, here.
  • Over in Durham, got word from Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson that the latest location of Joe Van Gogh has opened (soft opening again today with regular hours beginning on Saturday) on W. Chapel Hill Street. They are sharing the renovated gas station with Local Yogurt. Get the latest on their Facebook page here.
  • Also in Durham, Indy Week reported this week that the third location of the popular coffee hangout Cocoa Cinnamon will open in mid-August. It will be located at 2013 Chapel Hill Road. Keep up with the latest on their website here.

Closings

  • So, if a restaurant never existed, and we report that it closed….does that mean it still never existed? OK, I misread one of our reader emails last week. There was never a Golden Corral in Holly Springs, but there was a Highway 55 Burger. But it closed. Sorry about the error (it was so cool to see how many people emailed/tweeted me – you folks rock!).
  • Got word from reader Samantha Leach that Raleigh’s Tasca Brava was not renewing their lease. It was confirmed this week on their Facebook page, simply posting, “With great sorrow, after sixteen years, Tasca Brava lost.”
  • And over in Durham, TGI Fridays on Erwin Road has closed. The fun part is that they are liquidating all their furniture, fixtures and equipment in an online auction here. Browse (and bid) here.

Food Trucks

  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are back in full swing. Raleigh’s next is this Sunday NIGHT (August 6th) and Durham’s next one will be in early September. Check out the Durham dates here and the Raleigh dates here.

Events

  •  This summer, chef John May is partnering with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. The last one is August 10 with the theme Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. The cost is $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • Also on August 10th, Raleigh Nightlife Media, Paragon Wine Group and Bulleit Bourbon are holding a Whiskey & Wine Walk (think of it as grown up Hillsborough Street Hike) where attendees (50 max) will enjoy a 2 oz. wine and 2 oz. whiskey pour at Dram & Draught, Players’ Retreat, Aloft Raleigh and Mitch’s Tavern. Tickets are $25, but you can enter coupon code TFG at checkout to save yourself $5. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Join North Carolina brewers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for their fourth annual Natural Selections event on Friday, August 18. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind evening of beer and science among the museum’s dioramas. Sample unique creations fitting the museum’s natural science focus from more than 20 North Carolina breweries. Enjoy hands-on science of beer activities, a panel discussion, games and live music by Handsome Al and the Lookers. Vote for your favorite beer during the event and award the second annual Natural Selections People’s Choice Award to one lucky brewery. $65 VIP; $40; $25 for Friends of the Museum members. Price includes beer samples, activities, tasting guide, and collectible Natural Selections tasting glass. You must be 21 years or older to attend. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • How does beer and fresh produce sound? Count me in! The Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market at University Place will hold their annual Brewfest on Saturday, August 26 from 8 a.m. until noon. The event will feature brews from 11 different breweries. Check out their Facebook event page here for all the details.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9th and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • Go ahead and mark your calendar for Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week August 21-27. Participating restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe dinners for either $21 or $31 per person, depending on the venue (tax and tip not included). As a special amenity to downtown employees and other daytime downtown visitors, some restaurants will be offering $5 and $10 lunch specials during Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week only! And NEW THIS YEAR, they are partnering with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to donate $1 from each Restaurant Week dinner sold to those in need! Get all the details here!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – July 28, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • It is time to get your grub on – really get your grub on. Grub Durham, the latest project from Durham-born restaurateur Wendy Woods, who co-owns Piper’s in the Park, Nosh and Jo Rae Cafe, is now open. Grub’s home is in a 61-year-old renovated service station on West Chapel Hill Street complete with a rooftop bar. This space is super cool and the menu looks amazing. Check it out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Downtown Raleigh is a couple of weeks away from getting another cool rooftop space atop the new 10-story Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown. 10th & Terrace will have a spectacular view overlooking the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and will have lots of comfortable seating, a small plates menu that changes seasonally and a local beer and craft cocktail list that should make this an immediate hit for hotel guests and other visitors to downtown Raleigh. It will be accompanied by The Overlook, the indoor restaurant. Check it out here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream opened its first brick and mortar location this past week in Cary after starting as The Freezing Pointe, an ice cream catering business. It is located at Cary Park Town Center at 10120 Green Level Church Rd. Check them out here.
  • Had a couple of folks inform me that the next location of Nothing Bundt Cakes is coming to Falls Village (6643 Falls of Neuse Road) in Raleigh. Many thanks to Katie Page and Rebecca Calhoun. Sign in the window says it will open in the fall of 2017. Also noticed on their website that they have another location coming to Hope Valley Commons shopping center in Durham. Check them out here.
  • Also in Raleigh, reader Jeanette Hauser got word to us that a new Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Sure is coming to the Celebrations at Six Forks shopping center next to Tokyo House (corner of Six Forks and Saw Mill). Unfortunately, we don’t have any additional information on it at this time. But we will keep an eye on it…for sure (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City tipped me off to the fact that Durham is now home to a new Ethiopian restaurant called Goorsha. They moved into and renovated the former Rainbow Chinese restaurant on W. Main Street (910 W. Main Street). I tried Ethiopian food for the first time a few weeks ago with friend Aziz Carrell and his family and look forward to getting over there soon with him. Check them out here.
  • Last week we told you about the closing of Old Chicago Pizza. Not long after that news broke, the News & Observer reported that Hops Burger Bar, which TripAdvisor called the best burger spot in the nation in 2015, is opening in the former Lime Fresh Mexican Grill space on West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. They currently have two locations in Greensboro and are slated to open the Chapel Hill location in January, 2018. Check them out here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, Carolina Brewery will be celebrating their 22nd anniversary with lots of changes – following renovations to the physical space at their W. Franklin Street brewpub, they will unveil a number of menu changes. All offer a new, refreshing feel that reflect the community that surrounds them. The new menu will be unveiled next Monday, July 31. Keep up with the latest on their website here.

Closings

  • Two Golden Corral closings – 1420 E. Broad Street in Fuquay Varina and 7224 Alford Hwy in Holly Springs. Surprisingly, there are still 40 locations sprinkled throughout North Carolina. Thanks to Chris Creighton for the tip.
  • Over in Cary at the Shoppes of Kildaire, reader Jeanette Hauser notified us that Hurricane Grill has closed.
  • Also in Cary, reader Donnie Darr informed us that Ledo Pizza on High House Road closed.

Food Trucks

  •  And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are back in full swing. Raleigh’s next date is next Sunday, August 6th and Durham’s next one will be in early September. Check out the Durham dates here and the Raleigh dates here.

Events

  • This is my annual shout-out/reminder to my good buddy Tim CoyneSmith – this weekend is the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival being held again this year at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater on July 28 and 29. Basically it is two days of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, and barbeque eatin’. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • Also this weekend in Raleigh, is the 12th Annual NC Japan Summer Festival which has expanded and will be held at the State Fairgrounds! This Saturday, July 29th from 1-8 p.m. you can experience delicious traditional Japanese food, interesting cultural displays and activities, and lots of music, dancing and other entertainment and games for families and couples. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Catering Works will hold their next “Foodcation” at their event space, The Laurelbrook, on Thursday, August 3rd with the “destination” being Asia! “Travel” through the Southeastern territories for their signature spin on authentic Asian street fare and onward to inspired Indochina fusion delicacies! Tickets are $45 for the seven-course meal/trip. Get all the details here.
  • This summer, chef John May is partnering with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. The last one is August 10 with the theme Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. The cost is $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • Join North Carolina brewers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for their fourth annual Natural Selections event on Friday, August 18. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind evening of beer and science among the museum’s dioramas. Sample unique creations fitting the museum’s natural science focus from more than 20 North Carolina breweries. Enjoy hands-on science of beer activities, a panel discussion, games and live music by Handsome Al and the Lookers. Vote for your favorite beer during the event and award the second annual Natural Selections People’s Choice Award to one lucky brewery. $65 VIP; $40; $25 for Friends of the Museum members. Price includes beer samples, activities, tasting guide, and collectible Natural Selections tasting glass. You must be 21 years or older to attend. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • How does beer and fresh produce sound? Count me in! The Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market at University Place will hold their annual Brewfest on Saturday, August 26 from 8 a.m. until noon. The event will feature brews from 11 different breweries. Check out their Facebook event page here for all the details.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9th and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • Go ahead and mark your calendar for Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week August 21-27. Participating restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe dinners for either $21 or $31 per person, depending on the venue (tax and tip not included). As a special amenity to downtown employees and other daytime downtown visitors, some restaurants will be offering $5 and $10 lunch specials during Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week only! And NEW THIS YEAR, they are partnering with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to donate $1 from each Restaurant Week dinner sold to those in need! Get all the details here!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – July 21, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Chapel Hill’s iconic Carolina Coffee Shop has new owners. A group of UNC alumni and friends, led by Jeff Hortman, have purchased the institution. Things will pretty much continue the same through the fall before renovations and tweaks over the winter. Thanks to Michael DePersia at DePersia & Associates for the heads up on this news. Check out Carolina Coffee Shop here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The ITB Insider reported this week that the next location of Chopt will reside in the former Tribeca Tavern building in the North Ridge Shopping Center on Fall of the Neuse Road. No word on an open date. Get familiar with Chopt here.
  • The folks over at Morgan Street Food Hall announced another tenant this week – MKG Kitchen. MKG Kitchen is from the same creators of Mekong Vietnamese Cuisine in Morrisville. Get the latest details on the Morgan Street Food Hall here.
  • In Brier Creek this week the big news was the opening of the new Harris Teeter (which has a wine and beer bar in it!)at the corner of T.W. Alexander and U.S. 70. However in that same center, it was announced that pizza chain Your Pie and breakfast joint First Watch would join Harris Teeter. No word on open dates.
  • Over on Hillsborough Street, Ashton Mae Smith noted that Pho Vietnam, already with a location on Buck Jones Road, has opened. They are located in the 2811 Building at the corner of Hillsborough Street and Dan Allen Drive. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Congrats to Sara Coleman Fitzpatrick and the team over at The Cupcake Shoppe in Raleigh as they celebrate 10 years of bringing yumminess to the Triangle. They will have a ‘neighborhood birthday party” all day on Thursday, July 27th with free mini cupcakes, t-shirt giveaways, and more (with additional specials running through the weekend). Check out the latest on their website here.
  • And over in Cary, reader Hugh Autry brought it to our attention that Cary is going to get a second Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, this one adjacent to the Craft Public House near the intersection of Tryon Road and Walnut Street. Check out Shuckin’ Shack here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Durham, got word from Michael DePersia at DePersia & Associates that Los Dos Sombreros (formerly Cinco de Mayo) located at 4818 NC Hwy 55 has been sold to Basera Indian Cuisine, a successful Indian restaurant franchise out of Plano, Texas. They should open later this month after completing renovations. We will keep you posted. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Durham, WRAL reported that Local Yogurt has opened in their new location at 1114 W. Chapel Hill Street, conveniently located between downtown Durham and Duke University. Check them out of Facebook here.
  • WRAL also reported that a new coffee shop in Durham called Kaffeinate will be taking over the former Respite Cafe spot at 115 N. Duke Street. No word yet on an open date. Get to know Kaffeinate here.
  • Bites of Bull City blogger Amber Watson first reported that there is a new Latin-flavored ice cream/popsicle/milkshake shop at 1918 Perry Street (near Duke) called Pincho Loco. According to WRAL, they will hold their grand opening this weekend, Friday through Sunday. Check them out here.
  • In Chapel Hill, Carolina Brewery will be celebrating their 22nd anniversary with lots of changes – following renovations to the physical space at their W. Franklin Street brewpub, they will unveil a number of menu changes. All offer a new, refreshing feel that reflect the community that surrounds them. The new menu will be unveiled on July 31. Keep up with the latest on their website here.
  • Got word from the Chatham County Convention and Visitors Bureau that Phoenix Bakery Market Cafe will hold their grand opening in their new location at 664 West Street in Pittsboro on August 19th. Bagels, pastries and cakes oh my! Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Also in Chatham County, just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill, Marco’s Pizza will have their grand opening on July 23 in the space in front of Harris Teeter where Fig & Honey used to be. From 1 – 4pm they will have free pizza samples, DJ, face painting and other children’s activities. Get all the details here.

Closings

  • Got word from Christine Rhyne Johnson that the Marco’s location in Apex has closed.
  • In Cary, got word this week from several sources that the Train Station across from the Amtrak station in Cary has also closed.
  • Over in Durham, Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson reported that George’s Java on Ninth Street has closed.
  • And in Chapel Hill, the News & Observer reported that after more than three years on West Franklin Street, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom will serve its last slice in Chapel Hill this weekend.

Food Trucks

  •  The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town this Sunday, July 23rd, from 12-4 at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl and the kids have can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include FREE face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun. Get all the details here.

Events

  • This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • The Rickhouse will host Durham’s 3rd Annual PickleFest on Sunday, July 23 – a pickle-packed tasting event and market place showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi. Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips. Only 100 VIP tickets available for early bird entry at Noon! $15 VIP includes: (1) drink ticket, early entry and the thrilling announcement of the home pickler contest winner!! $5 General Admission Session 1 from 1 – 3pm; Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Check out the event on Facebook here.
  • Raleigh’s newest dining concept, 41Hundred (the new concept inside the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel), is holding their grand opening celebration on Tuesday, July 25 from 5-8 p.m. Enjoy complimentary bites from the 41Hundred menu and samples from TOPO Distillery, Bombshell Beer Company and Aviator Brewing Company. Check them out here.
  • The Second Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will take place on Thursday, July 27 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features twelve teams of Rise chefs partnered with a local brewery or beverage company. Each team will prepare a special biscuit and donut that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. With biscuits, donuts and beer, you can be sure this will sell-out fast. Get your tickets here.
  • This is my annual shout-out/reminder to my good buddy Tim CoyneSmith – tickets are on sale now to the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival being held again this year at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater on July 28 and 29. Basically it is two days of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, and barbeque eatin’. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • Catering Works will hold their next “Foodcation” at their event space, The Laurelbrook, on Thursday, August 3rd with the “destination” being Asia! “Travel” through the Southeastern territories for their signature spin on authentic Asian street fare and onward to inspired Indochina fusion delicacies! Tickets are $45 for the seven-course meal/trip. Get all the details here.
  • Join North Carolina brewers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for their fourth annual Natural Selections event on Friday, August 18. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind evening of beer and science among the museum’s dioramas. Sample unique creations fitting the museum’s natural science focus from more than 20 North Carolina breweries. Enjoy hands-on science of beer activities, a panel discussion, games and live music by Handsome Al and the Lookers. Vote for your favorite beer during the event and award the second annual Natural Selections People’s Choice Award to one lucky brewery. $65 VIP; $40; $25 for Friends of the Museum members. Price includes beer samples, activities, tasting guide, and collectible Natural Selections tasting glass. You must be 21 years or older to attend. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9th and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • Nearly 300,000 children in the Food Bank’s 34 counties rely on the free and reduced-cost meals at school to get them through the day. For them, summertime doesn’t mean a fun-filled vacation. For them, no school means no meals. Stop Summer Hunger is the Food Bank’s annual initiative to provide additional food to feed these children and their families during this season of increased need. For example: A donation of $35 will feed a child for two months; A donation of $75 will feed a family of four for one month; and a donation of $150 will feed a family of four for two months. Help reach the goal of 3.4 million meals before July 31 and ensure that children will receive the daily, nutritious meals they need to grow healthy and strong! Click here to donate and find out more.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – July 14, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Sunday is National Ice Cream Day! And to help you celebrate, popular food truck Two Roosters Ice Cream will open their brick-and-mortar location in North Raleigh’s Greystone Village shopping center (7713 Leadmine Road). The grand opening will be Sunday from 2-7 p.m. They are located in the same shopping center as Gonza Tacos Y Tequila and Sola Coffee. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Raleigh-based food truck Pho Nomenal Dumpling has opened its brick-and-mortar location, Mofu Shoppe, in downtown Raleigh’s City Market. Located at 321 S. Blount St., the restaurant features an expansive menu of fun takes on Asian street food. The name is a combination of the Mandarin Chinese words Mo (more) and Fu (fortune). Check them out here.
  • It was announced earlier this week that former AN Asian Cuisine sushi chef Hyun-Woo Kim has been named the new executive chef at popular sushi restaurant SONO in downtown Raleigh. He is joined by general manager James Yang, who joined SONO in 2016 after seven years at AN. Additionally, there has been an extensive menu update and interior redesign. Check out the latest on their website here.
  • Donovan’s Dish owner Jill Donovan announced the exciting news this week that they will be opening a second location of their Take Out Market. The new location will be in Raleigh’s Brier Creek at 10251 Little Brier Creek Pkwy (near Pei Wei). The Take Out Market features fresh and frozen chef prepared meals to go, hors d’oeuvres, soups, sides, sweets as well as local NC products. They are planning a mid August opening. Check out their original location in downtown Apex here. (Editor’s note: Order now and you can use code D2DTFG for free delivery!)
  • In downtown Raleigh, the News & Observer reported that Benny Capitale’s opened this past week at 121 Fayetteville St., in the former Crema coffee shop location. The Virginia-based company specializes in HUGE (28 inches!), but simple pizzas with just a few toppings available. There is also a location in Chapel Hill (Benny Cappella’s). Check them out here.
  • Somehow I missed the news that Mr. Cool Ice Cream opened in Apex in the Beaver Creek Commons shopping center (1011 Beaver Creek Commons Drive). Not much on their website at this point, but their Facebook page has plenty of pictures to entice you to come out and enjoy a scoop or two!
  • Also in Cary, Davina Ray and her husband Craig Wishart purchased Mithai House of Indian Desserts, renovated it, and rebranded it as Mithai Indian Café. It is the Carolinas’ first and only local artisanal Indian sweet manufacturer. They are located at 744-F East Chatham Street in Cary and can be found online here.
  • Down in Apex, it was announced this week that Pei Wei will open their newest location at 1107 Pine Plaza Drive in Nichols Plaza on Monday, July 31. They currently have two locations in Raleigh and one in Cary. Check them out here.
  • And up in Wake Forest, the new Chronic Tacos location will hold their grand opening on Saturday, July 15th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. It is located at 1000 Forestville Road. Check out their website here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Triangle Business Journal reported this week that joining the Target that will open on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street on July 23rd, will be the dining options of B.Good (the fast-casual, locally-sourced, fresh food restaurant with a location in Morrisville and 2 locations in Raleigh) and Pizza Press (North Carolina’s first location of the California-based, make-your-own pizza chain). No word yet on either open date. Check out B.Good here and Pizza Press here.
  • In Durham, Hope Valley Brewing Company has rebranded itself as Hope Valley Bar & Grill. Along with that comes the hiring of general manager Justin Schilo who has plans to transform the space to become the “Cheers” of Durham. Check them out here. Keep up with the changes here.
  • Also in Chatham County, just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill, Marco’s Pizza will have their grand opening on July 23 in the space in front of Harris Teeter where Fig & Honey used to be. From 1 – 4 pm they will have free pizza samples, DJ, face painting and other children’s activities. Get all the details here.

Closings

  • Colleague Glenn Gillen notified me that Amante Pizza on South Roxboro Street in Durham has closed.
  • Got word from reader Craig Zeni that the Dickey’s BBQ in Cary’s Crossroads shopping center has closed. It was confirmed by Yelp and that they are no longer listed on the site.

Food Trucks

  •  The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town on Sunday, July 23rd, from 12-4 at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl and the kids have can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include FREE face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun. Get all the details here.

Events

  • This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • The 16th Annual Acme Tomato Festival is here this weekend – July 14th – 16th. It’s Acme’s yearly deep-fried, wide-eyed, rarified, and, oh yes, justified belly-flop into the outright deliciousness that is summer. Over the festival weekend in downtown Carrboro, they’ll go through some 700 pounds of tomatoes. And please don’t think for a moment that these are any old tomatoes. No way, José. These are the Carrboro Farmers Market’s finest. Get all the details here.
  • The Rickhouse will host Durham’s 3rd Annual PickleFest on Sunday, July 23 – a pickle-packed tasting event and market place showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi. Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips. Only 100 VIP tickets available for early bird entry at Noon! $15 VIP includes: (1) drink ticket, early entry and the thrilling announcement of the home pickler contest winner!! $5 General Admission Session 1 from 1 – 3pm; Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Check out the event on Facebook here.
  • The Second Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will take place on Thursday, July 27 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features twelve teams of Rise chefs partnered with a local brewery or beverage company. Each team will prepare a special biscuit and donut that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. With biscuits, donuts and beer, you can be sure this will sell-out fast. Get your tickets here.
  • This is my annual shout-out/reminder to my good buddy Tim CoyneSmith – tickets are on sale now to the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival being held again this year at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater on July 28 and 29. Basically it is two days of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, and barbeque eatin’. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival go on sale tomorrow (July 15 – 10 a.m.). Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • Nearly 300,000 children in the Food Bank’s 34 counties rely on the free and reduced-cost meals at school to get them through the day. For them, summertime doesn’t mean a fun-filled vacation. For them, no school means no meals. Stop Summer Hunger is the Food Bank’s annual initiative to provide additional food to feed these children and their families during this season of increased need. For example: A donation of $35 will feed a child for two months; A donation of $75 will feed a family of four for one month; and a donation of $150 will feed a family of four for two months. Help reach the goal of 3.4 million meals before July 31 and ensure that children will receive the daily, nutritious meals they need to grow healthy and strong! Click here to donate and find out more.

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