Friday Fun Food Facts – June 22, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  It looks like it is a win-win for fans of Il Palio restaurant in Chapel Hill’s Siena Hotel. Current chef Teddy Diggs will leave at the end of the month to head out on his own, but will stay here locally to open Coronato, a Roman-style pizza concept that will open in early 2019. In the meantime, a series of pop-up dinners are in the works. And far as his “replacement” the news couldn’t have been any better as it was announced that chef Adam Rose will return on July 1. Locals will remember Rose ran the kitchen at Il Palio from 2007 until 2013. He will remain an investor with Luncheonette. Check out Il Palio here. Thanks to Matt Clements for the initial heads up on this.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The folks behind the renovation of the 707 and 713 N. West St. in Raleigh, which houses The Cardinal, a bar that is known for its upscale hot dogs, have just completed the renovation of the warehouse at 911 N. West St. Two new restaurants have been lined up for that building and will likely open next spring. They are a diner called the Rainbow Luncheonette from The Cardinal owners Jason Howard and Dan Murphy, and Layered Croissant, a bakeshop from husband and wife Mark and Kawsar Chavez. Visit The Cardinal’s Facebook page here.
  • And if that is not enough going on for Jason Howard and Dan Murphy, the News & Observer reported this week that the Atlantic Lounge will open this summer below Crawford and Son restaurant at 620 North Person Street. This subterranean modern speakeasy will be accessible only to key-carrying members, with first dibs going to residents of the surrounding Oakwood neighborhood in Raleigh. Stay tuned for more details.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, was the first to notify us that the much anticipated Kaiju Bowl and Bao has set an open date of July 6th. They will be located on Davie Street in the former Dickey’s Barbecue spot. Visit their website here.
  • Speaking of opening dates, the highly anticipated Morgan Street Food Hall announced last week that it will open its doors on July 23. To date, the restaurants confirmed include: Bella’s Wood Fired Pizza & Tapas, Boba Brew, Carroll’s Kitchen, Cocoa Forte, Cousins Maine Lobster, Cow Bar, Curry in a Hurry, Hook & Cleaver, Iyla’s Southern Kitchen, Makus Empanadas, Mama Bird’s Cookies + Cream, MKG Kitchen, Morgan Street Java & Creperie, Oak City Fish & Chips, Raleigh Raw, Raleigh Rolls, Sassool, The Bowls, The Broth, and Wicked Taco. Get all the details here.
  • And with the opening this week of the new YMCA on Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street (227 Fayetteville Street) comes the opening of the third location of Benelux Coffee. They have another YMCA location within the Alexander Family YMCA on Hillsborough Street and the store location in Cameron Village. Check out Benelux here.
  • Over in Cary, Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties notified me that a concept called CoreLife Eatery, which opened their first location in Syracuse, is coming to the former Dickie’s BBQ space in Cary Crossroads. This will be the first venture into the Triangle for the national chain. No word yet on a timeline, but you can check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, reader Wesley Mays notified us that Anjappar Indian Restaurant is coming soon to Stone Creek Village in the former Chubby’s Tacos/Guacamaya spot. They are currently doing construction inside. They currently have locations in New York and New Jersey. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Morrisville, readers Kristy Hwang and Brad Parker notified us that the Buffalo Wings and Rings at 4101 Grace Park Drive in Morrisville is now Bison and Bull Tavern. Looks like they had their grand opening earlier this week. Check them out on Facebook here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Chatham County, House of Hops opened their second location this week adjacent to the Root Cellar (they share a patio space) in Chatham Park. They have a location in Raleigh and will soon add a third location at McNeil Point in Wake County. Get familiar with House of Hops here.


  • Sad to report that two restaurants I worked closely with over at Triangle Food Guy have sold and are now closed. Giardino Gourmet Salads owner Mario Diaz sold his location and has returned to Florida (look for Terra Bonum Salad Café to open in that space). And Steve and Tracey Drotts sold their downtown Raleigh Z Pizza location and have moved to New Hampshire. Look for an Italian/pizza concept to open there. Will miss all of them.

Food Trucks

  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. 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.


  • A Taste of Chatham returns on June 30th from 10 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. where $50 will get you a guided tour and tastings at Starrlight Mead, Fair Game Beverage Co., Chatham Cider Works, and Carolina Brewery & Grill. Bus transportation is included, along with an appetizer buffet from Carolina Brewery, bottled water and a parting gift that includes a six-pack and a koozie. Details 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.
  • The Rickhouse will host Durham’s 4th Annual PickleFest on Sunday, July 15th – a pickle-packed tasting event and market place! The event will showcase 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! VIP tickets are $20 and include a gift and early bird entry from noon – 1pm, plus Home Pickler’s Contest Tasting and (1) free drink ticket. General Admission tickets are $10 and include either Session 1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. or Session 2 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Kids under 10 years old are free. Get tickets and all the details 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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