Friday Fun Food Facts – December 13, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Here’s some sweet news! The folks over at Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken listened to what, I’m sure, became a bit of a deafening demand – Donuts!!! They are bringing back the donuts! Well, at least some of them…the classics — Double Glazed, Vanilla Icing with Sprinkles, Chocolate Icing, Apple Fritter and a Special Seasonal that will change throughout the year. So, I guess something is better than nothing. But at least we know they listen. So if you don’t see a donut you really want, speak up! Check their site to see which donuts are being carried at the location closest to you.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • A few menu changes have arrived at chef Tom Cuomo’s Papa Shogun at Seaboard Station, the unique restaurant concept featuring classic Italian dishes that incorporate traditional Japanese ingredients and techniques. Chef Cuomo’s newly invented space and menu reopened this week and will only be open dinner hours this week, with regular lunch and dinner hours returning next week. Check them out here. .
  • Reader Herman Huang shared with us this week that signage is up at the former H Street Kitchen / La Stella location on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street. The signage indicates it will become Umami Asian Bistro. Unfortunately we don’t have any other details at this point. Stay tuned!
  • Also in Raleigh, the folks over at Eat Raleigh tipped us off to the fact that a new burger restaurant, Hightop Burger, is coming to McNeil Pointe – taking over the Muscle Maker Grille space. Look for them to open in late February.
  • Eat Raleigh also shared the news that a place called Lady Luck, serving small plates and cocktails, is expected to open in early March, taking over the former Blue Mango/Indio space on Glenwood South (222 Glenwood Ave.). They noted that it will be headed by Balu Torres who’s been involved in many other local restaurants. While nothing is posted yet, you can keep up with them on Instagram here.
  • Triangle Business Journal shared the news this week that Thaiphoon Bistro on Glenwood South is opening a second location at Stonehenge Market in Raleigh. Construction will begin on the space soon, and the restaurant plans to be open by March. Visit them here.
  • A quick update on the news we shared last week about Brew closing their Seaboard Station location in downtown Raleigh and moving it to Gateway Plaza out on the edge of downtown. A reminder that their last day at Seaboard will be December 21st. They will be hanging out that morning then closing a little early to start packing. They have set a planned opening date of December 27th for Gateway Plaza!! In the interim, you can visit their locations at either McNeil Pointe or in downtown Cary. Find out more on their website here.
  • We’ve been following this one for some time now, but just yesterday Norse Brewing Company up in Wake Forest shared on their Facebook page that they will be opening “in about a week.” So, looks like the folks in Wake Forest have been very good this year and will receive that opening in time for Christmas! Get familiar with them here and follow their opening announcement on Facebook here.
  • Also in Wake Forest, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared with us that an English tea room called Southern Royal Tea is coming to Wake Forest in early 2020. It is owned by Jennifer Sullivan. Find out more here.
  • In Cary, reader Kristina Shuford shared that Szechuan Mansion Hotpot has signage up at the old Patrick Jane’s Gourmet Pizza Bar spot in the Shoppes of Kildaire at 1353 Kildare Farm Road. We couldn’t find an online presence for them nor an open date. Stay tuned!
  • Down in Holly Springs the folks over at Sir Walter Coffee shared via their Facebook page that they are very close to opening their Sir Walter Coffee + Kitchen concept at 242 S Main St. in the new Town Hall Commons. In addition to their coffee and tea, they will have a full kitchen serving breakfast, light lunch and all day snacks. While we don’t have an exact opening date, they have “suggested” they will open before the end of the month – so sometime in the next two weeks! Look for any announcements and get to know them here.
  • And finally, down in Johnston County last week we told you about the future Old North State Food Hall. Well this week the News & Observer shared the great news that it has been christened with barbecue. The Old North State Food Hall, opening next spring off of Interstate 95 in Selma, named its first tenant Wednesday, adding one of Johnston County’s own – the popular Redneck BBQ Lab has signed on as one of the food hall’s 10 vendors. Learn all about the food hall here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Sam’s Quick Shop is returning to Durham! Well, sort of, according to The Chronicle. The Boy family, who owned Sam’s Quik Shop for decades, plans to open a “spin-off” of the convenience store in downtown Durham and name it The Quikie which will be located at 618 Ramseur Street. They are aiming to open sometime during the second quarter of 2020. The new shop will be owned by John Boy’s partner, Holly Tucker, and daughter, Hollin Boy, making the Boy family’s collective operations a fourth-generation family business. In the meantime you can visit their Bottle Shop here. Thanks to WRAL for the nod on this story.
  • The good folks over at Taste Carolina shared with me this week that Milklab over in Cary’s Wellington Park shopping center has a sign up over in Durham’s just a few doors down from Bean Traders in the Homestead Market shopping center. No word yet on a timeline, but get to know them here. You can thank me later.
  • Also in Durham, reader J. Norris shared the news that something’s in the air at the old Wimpy’s Grill location in Durham at the corner of Hicks St. and Hillsborough Rd. The ‘For Sale’ signs are gone and, just this week, a new sign went up for Blake’s Grill. It appears there’s some work going on inside the building, but no indication of when Blake’s may open, or what the menu may be. Wimpy’s fans are praying for hearty breakfast biscuits, outstanding burgers, and mama’s own pinto beans. Stay tuned!
  • Got word from the folks over at Bites of Bull City that Tandoori Bites Indian Kitchen is now open in the former Dickey’s BBQ spot in the New Hope Commons shopping center at 5311 New Hope Commons Drive. They also have locations in Wilmington and Fayetteville. Get to know them here.
  • Today is the day for casual beer drinkers (or serious been connoisseurs) in Chapel Hill! Today (12/13) at 4 p.m. on the ground floor of the Berkshire Apartments, a new watering hole called The Casual Pint swings open their doors. Their mission is to share the craft beer experience in the neighborhood, one pint, one growler and one person at a time. They tout that they are a fun spot with an upscale, yet casual family-friendly atmosphere much like a coffee shop, with a focus on craft beer. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, Chris Thorpe, broker at National Restaurant Properties, let us know that Buns Burger & Fries has new owners after a 10-year run in downtown Chapel Hill. Mina Rhee and her brother will be serving up your favorite Buns burger starting today (December 13) and plan to continue with the successful menu. Stop by and pay them a visit here.
  • And finally in Chapel Hill, Mike DePersia of National Restaurant Properties informed us that Pazzo in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village had been sold to Annie Johnston (owner of La Vita Dolce a few doors down) and that it would be closed for a few months while they renovate the space. Keep up with future announcements via their Facebook page here.

Closings

  •  A reminder that after a 30+ year run, Sunflower’s Cafe located over in front of Seaboard Station on Peace Street, will close their doors for the final time tomorrow, Saturday, December 21.
  • After 42 years of making sandwiches, Boondini’s Sandwich Superstore owner Billy Williams closed his doors for good this week. Those are two big blows to the Raleigh deli scene.
  • The Triangle Business Journal shared the news this week that Raleighwood Cinema Grill in Raleigh filed for bankruptcy liquidation and has closed their doors.
  • Reader Bill Striegel shared with us that Szechuan Heat in Parkside Town Commons in Cary is permanently closed.
  • And Chapelboro confirmed what a lot had been discussing in the Chapel Hill Foodies group that Red Bowl at University Place will serve its last meal on Sunday, December 15.

Food Trucks 

  • If you are missing the food truck rodeos, my friend the BurgeoningBaker shared with me that we are are not far from the next one. The Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo is an all-ages Sunday afternoon gathering of dozens of the Triangle’s most popular food trucks, five times each year. And the first one in 2020 is on January 25! Get more details and updates here.
  • As things get cold, here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.

Events

  • Tomorrow, December 14th, the folks over at Bull City Ciderworks will host their 2nd Annual Bull City Oyster Roast at 305 S. Roxboro Street. They are handling the entire event in-house this year so all oysters will be shucked for you, and they’re adding smoked ribs. The cost is $2.50 per oyster / rib. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • On December 19th enjoy an Afro Vegan Community Dinner at Zwelli’s in Durham from 6-8 p.m. Experience African vegan flavors with an all-you-can-eat buffet created by chef Zwe! Your “journey” will take you from Morocco to Zimbabwe through an intimate evening of dining and music. Tickets are $39.99 per person, $7 for kids 6 and under. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • And the good folks over at Chatham County’s Root Cellar will host their New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner – on December 31. The dinner features an all-inclusive 3-course meal, featuring the creative talents of chef Sera Cuni and wine pairings from Vino Wine Shop. Tickets are $75. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The 8th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience will take place on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the DPAC. The event pairs delicious local restaurants, with breweries from across the nation. Unlimited food and beer samplings will be spread throughout all three floors at DPAC, plus the On Stage Experience will bring guests up onto the performing arts stage to showcase even more food, beverages and live music. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • ‘Tis the season…to double your impact! This holiday season, you can make twice the difference for children, families and seniors facing hunger. Generous friends of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina have agreed to match every gift you give through December 31- up to $174,000! Donate here!

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