Friday Fun Food Facts – September 22, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  The biggest news this week involves both Chatham and Orange counties, as it became official that Oakleaf will serve its last meal in Pittsboro on November 25th before moving to its new digs at 300 E. Main St. in downtown Carrboro in early February, 2018. During that interim, Oakleaf will “take over the evening shift” at it’s sister restaurant Alberello, located between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro. But you’ve got plenty of time to get by the original location between now and Thanksgiving! Check out Oakleaf here and Alberello here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that Regan Stachler, who was at Apex’s Little Hen restaurant (which closed in February after six years of farm-to-table cooking), is now the executive chef at Verandah restaurant in the Mayton Inn on South Academy Street. Check out Verandah here.
  • Got word this week from Derek Wilkins that he will soon open his third location of the popular The Butcher’s Market. The newest location will be in Holly Springs at a new retail development at the intersection of Sunset Lake and Holly Springs roads. Look for them to open next Spring. We are also hearing about the possibility of a fourth location, but stay tuned on that. Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Joseph Fasy, a well-known Triangle restaurant owner who operates the Hook & Cleaver on Broad in downtown Fuquay-Varina, is going to open a second location at Morgan Street Food Hall & Market. Called Hook & Cleaver on Morgan, Fasy’s restaurant will feature fresh meats, seafood and prepared foods. Get familiar with them here.
  • Speaking of Morgan Street Food Hall, the News & Observer reported this week that they have adjusted their timeline for opening in early 2018, not the earlier projection of early summer. Keep up with all their additions here.
  • And the ITB Insider reported this week that Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream will soon be making its way to North Hills, as permits were issued for the newest location of the national sweets shop at 200 Park at North Hills Street. They are set to open in November. They already have locations in Morrisville and Cary. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  In Durham, Bites of Bull City brought it to our attention that It’s a Southern Thing restaurant will swing open their doors next Monday, September 25th at 605 W. Main Street. They took over the former Motto space. Congrats to Pete Susca and chef Matt Kulp. Get familiar with them here.
  • And David Sadeghi seems to be keeping very busy these days. The owner of Southern Village’s Town Hall Grill just completed a new menu update as well as renovations at the Chapel Hill icon. He is also in the middle of adding a new bar to his Town Hall Burger and Beer location near the Streets at Southpoint. And he also hinted at a Durham location for Smash Waffles, also near the Streets at Southpoint. Stay tuned on that. Check out Town Hall Grill here and Town Hall Burger and Beer here.
  • Saw in Chapel Hill magazine that Dan Friedman has opened up a new chocolate boutique shop in Chapel Hill’s Timberlyne shopping center. The shop, Special Treats, offers gourmet chocolates, cookies, biscotti and much more made by adults with disabilities around the country. Get by soon and check them out! Visit them on Facebook here.
  • And it was announced this week that Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers recently broke ground at 3812 N Roxboro St near Duke Regional Hospital. The fast-casual restaurant franchise will open in the coming months, and joins the market’s original location at Patterson Place. Check out Freddy’s here.


  • Folks, we got word this week that we are losing two really great local establishments. I beg you to KEEP EATING LOCAL!
  • The first is Oval Park Grill on Broad Street in Durham. Really sorry to see them go. But word is they sold the restaurant, but it hasn’t been announced yet who the new owners are, or when they will open.
  • The other is Franklin Street’s Sandwich in Chapel Hill. They closed yesterday. Another great local operation. The “early rumors” are that Heavenly Buffaloes is moving into that space. We will try and get 100% confirmation on that.

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.


  •  Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on THIS Sunday, September 24th 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.
  • Il Palio at the Siena Hotel will host their 4th Annual Olive Oil Dinner on September 28 from 7pm to 9pm. This special dinner highlights Italy’s top five olive oil producing regions with a five course dinner that chef Teddy served at the prestigious James Beard House earlier in the year. Chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio and special guest Gennaro Villella, the producer and importer of Villella Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the former chef at Il Palio restaurant team up once again to deliver an exceptional dining experience. Tickets are $140 each, including a bottle of Gennaro’s extra virgin olive oil, wine pairings, tax and gratuity. To make reservations, please call 919-918-2545.
  • The North Carolina Symphony 2017 Fundraising Gala will be an amazing blend of a great cause, great chefs, great food all in a great setting. To be held on October 7, the black-tie, $500-ticket event will be unlike anything ever experienced in downtown Raleigh. Chef Vivian Howard along with chefs Dean Ogan of Rocky Top Hospitality (among others) and Jason Smith of 18 Seaboard (among others) will be planning and executing a farm-to-table menu from a custom-built kitchen on Fayetteville Street. Event attendees will be sitting on Fayetteville Street under a translucent canopy as they enjoy a dinner as envisioned by chef Howard. All proceeds from the event will benefit the NC Symphony. Get all the details 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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