Friday Fun Food Facts – June 29, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  It was announced this week that Scott Crawford will open Jolie, a French bistro adjacent to his Crawford & Son restaurant on Person Street in downtown Raleigh. It is named for and inspired by his daughter, and comes not long after an inspirational family trip to France. Also of note, John May (think Chef and the Farmer, The Boot and most recently Piedmont in Durham) will serve as the general manager. Look for them to open this fall. In the meantime, keep up with them on Twitter here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The newest location of Happy + Hale opened this week in the Park Central building in North Hills serving up salads, juices and smoothies. The new location will offer a larger indoor seating area, outdoor patio seating, and brunch on the weekends. They’ve also partnered with Counter Culture Coffee and Brewery Bhavana to offer coffee and beer. Congrats to Tyler Helikson and Matt Whitley on their continued success. Check them out here.
  • Over in Cary, David McCreary pointed out that MOD Pizza, a fast-casual joint, is now open at 316 Colonades Way in Cary’s Waverly Place shopping center. This is their third Triangle location with a fourth (also in Cary) on the way. Check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, reader Wesley Mays noted that the newest location of Clean Eatz, both a cafe/restaurant and a business that offers pre-prepared meals and meal plans, is coming to Stone Creek Village in the former Five Guys space (corner of High House and Davis). They already have a location in Raleigh. Get familiar with Clean Eatz here.
  • Down in Garner, friend Lori Lair share a link to the town of Garner that a Steak ‘n Shake is on the way to fill the closed Grill 57 spot on Highway 401 across from Big Lots. No word yet on a timeline. Visit them here.
  • And got word from Christine Johnson that all three Wake County locations of Planet Smoothie have changed ownership. The new owner is Jamal Young who purchased the Planet Smoothies in Cary (Stone Creek), Mission Valley, and Sutton Square (Falls of Neuse Rd.) a few months ago and has been working to renovate and update all the stores. Congrats to Jamal! Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  WRAL reported this week that Asheville’s Hi-Wire Brewing will open a new taproom in downtown Durham by the end of October. The taproom will be located at 800 Taylor Street at the Golden Belt campus. The location will have a large interior space, as well as an outdoor covered patio and beer garden. Dubbed the “Durham Fun Zone,” the space will be game and activity heavy, featuring full-sized shuffleboard courts, soccer pool tables, table tennis and more. Get familiar with them here.
  • Thanks to a tweet from John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, we learned that the folks over at Foster Street Coffee in the Liberty Warehouse Apartments will open this Monday, July 2nd. Get to know them here.
  • Durham saw the opening of another restaurant this week in a new Zimbabwean restaurant called Zweli’s Kitchen. It is located at 4600 Chapel Hill-Durham Blvd. Thanks to Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City for the heads up on this. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also in Durham, our friends over at Bull Street Gourmet & Market announced that they have changed their name to Bull and Bean. But they wanted folks to know that ONLY their name is changing – they still have the same owners and the same delicious food. Congrats to Anne and Tom Niemann on the change. Check them out here,
  • Last week we told you about Teddy Diggs leaving Il Palio to open Coronato, his new Roman-style pizzeria concept slated to open in early 2019. We also told you he would host some pop-ups. Well, the first one is scheduled for Saturday, July 14 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Diggs will collaborate with Deric McGuffey, former pastry chef of Il Palio and current partner in Botanist and Barrel. It will be at Botanist and Barrel’s farm at 105 Persimmon Hill Lane in Cedar Grove. Expect innovative Roman pizzas along with blueberry tarts. Keep up with them and other pop-ups on Facebook here.
  • In Chapel Hill the lovely and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard gave us an update on the Quickly Boba Café coming to Meadowmont in the former Market Street Coffee location. They will serve hot and cold drinks made with premium quality flower and tea leaves as well as unique Asian street food. Quickly, is one of the largest tapioca milk tea franchises in the world, with over 2,000 locations in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. They are hiring, but no exact date on the opening. Stay tuned through their Facebook page.
  • Over in Hillsborough, this Sunday, July 1st the Wooden Nickel Public House will serve its last customer at this location which it has been at for the past 14 1/2 years – 105 North Churton Street. They will be moving just 4 doors down from their current location (113 N. Churton Street). They have been working on the new space for a while, so the transition should happen fairly quickly. Keep up with them on their Facebook page here.


  •  We learned from WRAL this week that sushi and modern Japanese restaurant Basan (part of the Eschelon Experiences restaurant group) will close its doors on June 30.
  • Got word that the O’Charley’s location in Raleigh’s Brier Creek has closed. They still have a location on Ashville Avenue in Cary.
  • Speaking of Cary, Yelp is reporting that the Smok’t BBQ & Tap in Cornerstone Village at the intersection of High House and Davis is closed. However, reader Cheyenne Jones says that a sign on the door says they are looking for a new location. However, it is closed for now. But stay tuned.
  • Also in Cary, reader Wesley Mays (and confirmed by Yelp) notified us that West Park Tavern has closed.

Food Trucks

  • Tom Meyer, the maestro behind Southern Harvest Catering Company, Sprout Café and Elements Coffee Bar (both at the Museum of Life and Science) and The Q Shack at North Hills, shared that his Southern Harvest Mobile Kitchen will “officially” join the local food truck scene this Sunday and will feature “Southern” favorites like a Tri Tip Sandwich and Sliced Applewood Smoked Pork loin as well as grilled watermelon salad on arugula, tater tots with red or green chimichurri and kohlrabi slaw – to name a few. Keep up with the latest here.
  • 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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