Friday Fun Food Facts – June 8, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Ok, let’s go ahead and get this over with. This has not been a good week for restaurant news. Here’s a quick recap of the closings and announced closings. First up, we lost a Durham institution with the closing of Satisfaction Restaurant & Bar (already closed). That was followed by the news that Kimbap over in Raleigh’s Seaboard Station is closing after 5 years (their last day is June 16th). Then we got word from Dustin Jones that Ninth Street’s The Pie Hole has closed. And finally, we learned that after 26 years, Durham’s Scott Howell will be closing Nana’s at the end of June. Yes, this has been a tough week. People, please…eat local!

Wake County Restaurant News

  • So we  got word from Irene Rosen that after several “reboots” the Boylan Bridge BrewPub in downtown Raleigh has re-opened after more renovations, and just in time for summer. Apparently they have new management, a new menu and are now open for lunch. All foods are prepared fresh! Enjoy your meal and one of their brews, crafted onsite, either inside or on the outside deck with, of course, a fantastic view of downtown (that hasn’t changed). Check them out here.
  • Also in Raleigh, pizza chain Manhattan Pizza, with locations all over Virginia and Maryland, has opened their first North Carolina location on Falls of the Neuse Road in the Falls Pointe shopping center. They serve up pizza, calzones, gyros, pasta, salads, and hot and cold subs. Get familiar with them here. Thanks to Brian Hammill for the heads up on this.
  • Over in Holly Springs, got word from John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, that Sir Walter Coffee announced plans to open in the new Town Hall Commons. That’s the good news. The “bad” news is you will have to wait until 2019. In addition to their coffee and tea, they will have a full kitchen serving breakfast, light lunch and all day snacks. Keep up with their progress here.
  • Down in Apex, the folks with The Mason Jar Tavern and The Mason Jar Lager Company announced that they have teamed up with Jeff and Meredith Kromenhoek to open Scratch Kitchen and Taproom at 225 Salem Street in downtown Apex in the former Blistered Pig / Cantina 2 Twenty Five space. Look for them to open in August, but keep up with them on Facebook here. Thanks to David McCreary and Kathleen Cole for the heads up on this.
  • So June 18th is the official open date (look for a soft opening before) of Viva Chicken located in the former McAlister’s Deli space in North Hills. Viva is an authentic Peruvian rotisserie chicken joint that started in Charlotte and is known for its Pollo a la Brasa. Get to know them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • After all that bad news, we got some great news, especially for you Scott Howell fans. The News & Observer reported that Scott Howell and Rick Robinson (who just returned to Durham two months ago) are teaming up to open DeeLuxe Chicken, a new counter-service fried chicken joint in the former Oval Park Grille space at 1116 Broad St. in Durham. DeeLuxe will serve fried and herb grilled chicken, specializing in dark or light quarters. In the spirit of Nanataco’s salsa bar, there will be a sauce bar with gravy, dips, Alabama white sauce and maybe the spicy, herbaceous Peruvian green sauce. Look for them to open next month. Read the full article here.
  • Also in Durham, got word that Tamale Factory and Tequila Bar has opened in the Erwin Terrace building at 2816 Erwin Road (think Nosh, Black Twig Cider House, Pho & Poke House). And you simply can’t argue with their slogan – Eat Tamales. Drink Tequila. Live Happy! Seriously, amirite? Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Amber Watson at Bites of Bull City noted that the newest location of Duck Donuts has opened in Patterson Place at 5320 McFarland Road, just out in front of Home Depot near the intersection of 15-501 and Interstate 40 (just across from Moe’s and next to Blaze Pizza). Check them out here.
  • Before we leave Durham, we wanted to let you know that the folks over at Ninth Street Bakery have another pop-up concept they will be unveiling next week. Following on the heels of the successful Maze Taco pop-up, they are opening four nights a week starting June 13th with a new concept – the Little Rocket Man. The menu will feature rotating specials such as Tonkatsu, salads with Red’s Quality Acre produce, and sandwiches on our fresh-baked artisan bread by Alex Ruch. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, the Triangle Business Journal reported this past week that we should see the opening of Lula’s at some point in the next week. Lula’s is replacing the Franklin Street institution of Spanky’s which is also owned by the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group. Sign up to get the latest on their website here.
  • And guess who is going to open the first food hall in the Triangle? Yep, you guessed it. Chapel Hill! Blue Dogwood Public Market, which will host 12 permanent food vendors, will have a soft opening this weekend – Friday night for dinner and Saturday and Sunday for lunch. Keep up with their hours, growing list of vendors and any other updates on their Facebook page here.


  • See above. Keep eating local, folks! I mean it.

Food Trucks

  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Raleigh has one THIS Sunday. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.


  • On Saturday, June 9th, prepare to travel the world without ever leaving Raleigh. The International Food Festival brings you food, bands and performances from all around the globe. It will be held in Raleigh’s City Plaza and is free and open to the public. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Also this Saturday, June 9th from 11-4, the town of Cary will host a Pimento Cheese Festival. Food trucks will line Academy Street in downtown Cary to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy – pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. Get all the details here.
  • On June 11th, Mandolin chef Sean Fowler welcomes author Debbie Moose, an award-winning journalist and author of many cookbooks, for a dinner celebrating the debut of her newest book, “Carolina Catch,” a 96-recipe cookbook highlighting North Carolina seafood. Joining Fowler for this summer celebration of NC seafood and NC beer are Ryan Speckman and Lin Peterson from Locals Seafood Market & Oyster Bar, Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood, Nate Garyantes of Mateo bar de tapas, and Jake Wood of 18 Seaboard for a 5-course, beer-paired dinner featuring seasonal beers from Bond Brothers Beer Company, Fullsteam Brewery, Brewery Bhavana and more. Guests will hear from author Debbie Moose as well as from the talented chefs, organizations and brewers, and may purchase signed books at the dinner. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit NC Catch, the organization committed to strengthening the state’s seafood economy through promotion and education. Tickets for the $75 dinner may be purchased here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • And finally, listen up chefs! The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. It’s a culinary competition open to chefs (savory and pastry) across the state. There are two regional semi-finalist rounds remaining (Hickory June 4 and Raleigh, June 25) that will result in a final competition on Monday, Aug 27 in Charlotte. The final event is in conjunction with the first night of the industry’s Restaurant & Hotel Expo. Get all the information you need here.

Food Bank Corner

  • As a part of the Stop Summer Hunger initiative, generous friends of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina will match every gift – dollar for dollar. Please help them reach their matching goal of $135,000. For every $20 you give, the Food Bank can provide 200 meals! Make your donation here!

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