Friday Fun Food Facts – January 18, 2019

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • In downtown Raleigh the News & Observer shared the news that the Days Inn motor-lodge, the aging hotel on your way into Raleigh, will soon become a boutique hotel called the Longleaf Hotel. Which is great, but the BIGGER news, me thinks, is going to be the adjoining restaurant (ish) Delicatessen at Longleaf. (ish) is the creation of Matt Fern, a veteran of Raleigh’s food and beverage scene, who was the longtime beverage director of Ashley Christensen’s AC Restaurants. The deli will be built in a stand-alone building next to the hotel, formerly the NC Deli, serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’re looking at about nine months for the renovation to be complete. Keep up with this development through their Instagram here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In North Raleigh, got word from John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, and Donald Richardson (Don Rio’s and The Caterhaus) that 13 Tacos & Taps opened this past Tuesday in North Raleigh in the former Chubbys Tacos spot in Falls River. Check them out here.
  • Also in North Raleigh, reader Adrian Emerson shared with us that the Raleigh location of Rockin’ Rolls Sushi Express opened this week at 9650 Strickland Road. The original Triangle-area location is in Durham on Hillsborough Road. Check them out here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh news, the folks over at ITB Insider reported that a bake shop is coming to West Street as work began on the Layered Croissanterie bake shop at the old Rainbow Upholstery Building at 911 N. West Street. Look for them to open in the summer of 2019. It is developed by husband-and-wife team Mark and Kawsar Chavez. Follow them on Instagram here.
  • If you are traveling anytime soon, you’ll soon notice some changes in the dining options out at RDU according to the Triangle Business Journal. Looks like Five Guys Burger and Fries is out come February, but making way for BurgerFi, which is looking to open in that space by early July. BurgerFi made its Triangle debut in Cary in 2012 and also has a location in Raleigh. The restaurant serves “natural” burgers, hot dogs, fries, onion rings and frozen custard, along with craft beers and wine. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Cary they like to drink, apparently. According to the Triangle Business Journal, Cary will add a new brewery when Brent Webb opens Cotton House Craft Brewers in a historic home next to the Mayton Inn at 307 Academy Street. The brewer will follow in the steps of Cary breweries such as Fortnight Brewing Co., Jordan Lake Brewing Co. and Bond Brothers Beer Co. No exact word on an open date, but the website says 2019. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • One of my favorite little guys in Chapel Hill, Teagan Coynesmith, noticed on a recent trip home with his mom (the legendary ‘First Lady of Awesomeville’ – Tina Coynesmith) that Sal’s Pizza has reopened after a successful move into the former coffee shop space just across the breezeway at 2811 Homestead Road. Thanks Teags for keeping your eyes open for me! Check out Sal’s here.
  • Got word from Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties that they facilitated the sale of [B]Ski’s at 147 E Franklin St. in Chapel Hill to Michael Newell of Dame’s Chicken & Waffles. Word is they will remodel and hope to be open before March Madness! Now, if we can get Dame’s back open in Durham! 🙂 Check out [B]Ski’s here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, we first told you back in November about Haw River Grill at 243 S. Elliott Road in the Elliott Square shopping center just down from Jersey Mike’s. Got word this week from multiple readers that they are now open. Get to know them here.
  • Over in Durham, WRAL reported that vegan restaurant Earth to Us Kitchen, featuring American and Latin vegan comfort food, just opened in The Shops at Northgate (1720 Guess Road), right next to Northgate Mall, facing Guess Road. You may recognize the name from their food truck. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Also in Durham, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared the news that Jeddah’s Teahouse is coming to downtown Durham this summer. No word yet on an exact location, so you’ll have to follow them on Instagram here to keep up this developing story.


  • WRAL reported this week that after an eight-year run, Gigi’s Cupcakes on Oberlin Road has closed their doors. Their last day was yesterday.
  • The bad BBQ news continues this week with the closing of The Q Shack at North Hills (open until 7 p.m. this Saturday) after a 15-year run and (not exactly the Triangle, but still….) the announcement that Bill Ellis Barbecue in Wilson has closed.
  • And down in Fuquay-Varina, reader George Cronk shared the news (and confirmed by David McCreary) that the Lin Hibachi Buffet that opened in the old Golden Corral location has closed.


  • The annual Triangle Restaurant Week returns January 21-27, 2019. Triangle Restaurant Week is a week-long celebration of culinary excellence designed to incorporate the premier Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding area restaurants. During TRW, participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, a great opportunity for residents and visitors alike to indulge in the area’s finest cuisine! No reservations, tickets or passes required. Pricing for the event is $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $20,$25, $30 or $35 for a 3-course dinner. Price is for each person and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Get all the details and a listing of participating restaurants here.
  • On Friday, Feb. 1, the Cary Rotary Club will raise money to fight hunger around the world and in our community with its 16th Annual Chili Dinner. The meals, consisting of chili, pasta salad and cornbread, are available for $8 each and will be prepared by Whole Foods Market. Lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m. and dinner will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, 200 High Meadow Dr. in Cary. Tickets are available at the door or from members of the Cary Rotary Club. Get all the details here.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from 18 Seaboard vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

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