Friday Fun Food Facts – January 23, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

 Featured Restaurant News

  • Triangle Business Journal reported this week that P.G. Werth’s Restaurant & Market, the new project of Chef Gregory Hamm, will open for business today. It is located on the ground floor of the 927 W. Morgan apartment building in downtown Raleigh. Hamm is also the proprietor of Cafe 121 in Sanford. Check it out on Facebook here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  I might need to start a “great reads” section on a weekly basis – especially if Andrea Weigl at the News & Observer keeps turning out these amazing pieces! This time she has penned a terrific article on some of the “other” (i.e. non Ashley Christensen…) wonderful establishments owned by women in Raleigh’s booming food scene. Take the time to read it here.
  • A bit of a change-up over in Cary. As you might recall, Bella Mia changed hands right around December, 2012. Now we are getting word that that location has closed and a sign for Ruckus Pizza now hangs in the window. No word yet on the open date for Ruckus. Thanks to readers Christy Tucker and Sarah Armstrong for the initial tips on this. Check out Ruckus here.
  • John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) tipped me off to the fact that The Mason Jar Tavern in Holly Springs opened yesterday. They are located at 114 Grand Hill Place. Check them out here.
  • Got word from my friend Dana McCall (aka GoGoRaleigh) that the third time might just be the charm. Apparently Chipotle is going into Crossroads Shopping Center in Cary where Salsaritas and Taqueria del Sol were. Looking at early summer.
  • Also in Cary, got notice that Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint is set to host their grand opening this Saturday, January 24 with free pizza from 11 until 2. It is located in the Parkside Town Common shopping center. Look for two more locations to open in the Triangle in the next 18 months. Check them out here.
  • Reader Hugh Autry informed me via email that the family that started Lane’s Seafood and Steaks down in Angier have decided to reopen the restaurant. Stay tuned. Thanks Hugh!

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  I saw on a Yelp feed that Gonza Taco y Tequila is about two weeks from opening another Triangle area location. With locations already in Wake Forest and Raleigh, they are set now to open in downtown Durham’s West Village development. Check them out here.
  • A bit of an update on news we brought you back in April, 2014. The News & Observer is reporting that Ken Yowell, owner of CalaVela Empanada & Tequila Bar in downtown Raleigh, is targeting the first week in February for the opening of a second location in Carrboro in the Hampton Inn building. Although, due to a parting of ways with a business partner, it won’t be called CalaVela. Here is a look at CalaVela to give you an idea.
  • And upon getting that operation up and running, Yowell will immediately begin efforts to open in the adjacent space a “meatball” concept similar to his Oak City Meatball Shoppe which is also over in downtown Raleigh. Obviously it won’t be called Oak City, but no word yet on the name (I don’t think Paris of the Piedmont Meatball Shoppe will make the cut). We’ll keep an eye on both of these. Take a peek at Oak City Meatball Shopped to get an idea.
  • The Triangle Business Journal noted this week that Durham-based food truck Captain Poncho’s Tacos is opening a restaurant in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village and that they are targeting an opening date of Feb. 15. Check them out here.
  • On Saturday, January 24th, Smallckakes will hold their grand opening celebration. Details here.


  • Rebecca Calhoun brought it to my attention this week that Taqueria Americana at Lafayette Village has closed. But it seems they might be reopening in another space. We will keep an eye on it.
  • Got word this week that the Five Guys Burgers in the food court at Streets at Southpoint has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • The weather this Sunday looks spectacular. And if you are missing your food truck rodeos as much as I am, you will be glad to know that the good folks over at Durham Central Park are hosting their Winter Food Truck Rodeo this Sunday! The trucks (45+) will circle up on Sunday, January 25th from noon until 4 p.m. in downtown Durham. Get all the details here.


  • The Chinese New Year is upon us and apparently it is the year of the Goat! And on Saturday January 31, at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, the Triangle Chinese American Society of North Carolina will hold the 2015 Chinese New Year Festival. Tickets are $5 in advance, $8 at the door. Kids 6 years and under are free! Over 40 performances, tons of kids activities, a dozen food vendors, and cultural exhibits. Get tickets and details here.
  • The folks over at Chickenwire have put together another fabulous dining experience coming up on Sunday, February 8th. Running with the theme of “Where the Wild Things Are” this dinner will feature chefs James Clark (Carolina Inn), Serge Falcon-Vigne (518 West), Sean Fowler (Mandolin), and Regan Stachler (Little Hen). Tickets are $85 and include hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour, followed by a seated 4-course dinner (includes tax and gratuity). Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Tickets are now on sale for the “Got To Be NC” Competition Dining Series which features 16 chefs that will be competing in the Fire in the Triangle competition that runs from January 19th through the grand finale on March 2nd. See who the chefs this year are, see match-ups and get your tickets here.
  • This week kicks off Triangle Restaurant Week! Running January 26th through February 1st, the week-long event features participating restaurants offering fixed-price, three-course menu options. A 3-course lunch is $15 and a 3-course dinner is $20 or $30 person, not including beverages, tax or gratuity. See a list of participating restaurants and get all the details here.
  • If you are tired of football bowls, or if you can’t get enough of them, here is another “bowl” to check out – The Q Shack’s 2015 Chili Bowl. Each week they will feature a new chili for you to check out (perfect for all this cold weather). And the best part…10% of all chili sales in January will go to support Loaves and Fishes Ministry. Get all the details here.
  • And speaking of chili, the staff over at Chapel Hill’s Southern Season are hosting a chili “throwdown” tomorrow, January 24th from 12 to 3 p.m. And the best part? You get to sample and vote for the winner. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • Our friends over at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina are coming off a very big year in 2014 (read about it here). But the need is even bigger and their work is even more meaningful. So how can you help? Have you ever considered hosting a food drive at your office? They make it as easy as pie. Click here for a step-by-step “guide” to hosting a food drive in your office.

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