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.


  • 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.


  • 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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