Friday Fun Food Facts – August 3, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  While we await the opening of Raleigh’s first food hall (Morgan Street Food Hall), Transfer Company Food Hall picked up some steam this week with the announcement that Locals Seafood and Person Street Bar have teamed up to open Locals Oyster Bar. Slated to open late 2018, they will bring you fresh, finely shucked oysters and seafood meals accompanied by cocktails and a staple collection of beer & wine. Up until this point, Locals has focused on bringing fresh seafood to the Triangle, operating seafood markets (their 4th will be adjacent to the oyster bar) and providing seafood to over 50 Triangle restaurants. This will be their debut in the restaurant business. Check out Locals here, Person Street Bar here and Transfer Co. Food Hall here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In Wake Forest, this Saturday, August 4th is the opening date for Showmars at the corner of Capital and Stadium Drive. Stop by from 11-2 to enjoy festivities including a bounce house and a DJ. A portion of all sales from Aug. 4 & 5 will be donated to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern NC. They are described as a fast, casual concept featuring a blend of Greek and Southern, serving up sandwiches and salads. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Wake Forest, the Freddy’s Steakburgers up in Wake Forest has officially opened at the corner of Retail Drive and Hwy. 98. This marks the fifth Triangle-area location of the chain. Get familiar with them here.
  • Got word from Ashton Mae Smith that Glenwood Seafood Kitchen & Bar, a Cajun/Creole seafood spot has opened in downtown Raleigh at 222 Glenwood Avenue. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over on Wake Forest Road in Raleigh in the old Fowler’s Florist location (4215 Wake Forest Road) reader David Bass did a little research and informed us that a Panda Express is going into that spot (building was demolished). No word yet on a timeline. They currently have locations in Apex and on Duke’s campus. Check out Panda Express here.
  • And my eyes and ears down in Fuqua-Varina, David McCreary, has informed me of two updates down that way. Jimmy John’s is now open at 724 N. Judd Parkway NE. And a sign has appeared in the window of the former Rock Harbor Grill at 132 S. Fuquay Avenue indicating that Vicious Fishes Brewery Tap & Kitchen is coming soon. We have to think (we will let you know if it is not) that it is the same Vicious Fishes with locations in Apex and Angier. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Down in Chatham County in Chatham Park, the Penguin Place development recently shared that Marco’s Pizza will join House of Hops Pittsboro and The Root Cellar Café later this summer. And before year’s end, Mi Cancun (with locations in Raleigh and Morrisville) will also join the mix. Check out Marco’s here and Mi Cancun here.
  • Over in Durham, WRAL shared the news that Snow Factory, a rolled ice cream chain, has opened on Ninth Street. Check them out here.

Closings

  •  Unless you were under a rock, it was announced (after our deadline) last Friday that Phoebe Lawless closed The Lakewood and “Baby” Scratch in Durham.

Food Trucks

  •  David “Flip” Filippini, owner of Na’Mean restaurant and the popular KoKyu BBQ food trucks (Ondo and Old Blue), announced via Facebook this week that he is out of the food truck business – selling both trucks – focusing on his wildly popular counter service eatery Na’Mean near RTP in Durham. As far as any new ventures, he indicated that, “When the time is right the sandwich will tell me what to do.” Love me some Flip. In the meantime, check out Na’Mean here.
  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. The Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo this Sunday is their “evening” version running from 3-9 p.m. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.

Events

  •  Raleigh Restaurant Week, produced by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary from August 13 – August 19. This week long dining extravaganza showcases the culinary talent in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Over 40 restaurants will be offering specials. Participating restaurants will offer delectable, three-course prix fixe dinners for either $20 or $30 per person, depending on the venue (tax and tip not included). As a special amenity to downtown employees and other daytime downtown visitors, some restaurants will be offering $5 and $10 lunch specials. Get all the details here.
  • The 2nd annual Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market Brewfest is happening on Saturday, August 25, with a 12 pack of local brewers and fermenters bringing product to sample and sell. Look for: Botanist & Barrel, Bull City Burger and Brewery, Bull City Ciderworks, Dingo Dog Brewing, Fullsteam Brewery, Haw River Farmhouse Ales, Mystery Brewing, Oak & Dagger Public House, Raleigh Brewing, Starpoint Brewing, 3rd Degree Brewhouse, and Vecino Brewing. The address is 201 S. Estes Drive Chapel Hill. (University Place next to Silverspot) and hours are regular market hours, 8am-12. Get details here.
  • Sunday, August 26th is the date for Families Moving Forward’s Kids for Change End of Summer Celebration at Durham Central Park from 3-5 p.m. featuring budget-friendly food trucks and lots of fun entertainment. Admission is free. Check it out here.
  • The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. 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.
  • And one of my daughter’s favorite events has set the date for their 2018 edition – the Mac and Cheese Throwdown is scheduled for Sunday, September 16th from 5pm until 8pm at 214 Martin.  They’ve had a great response from some “mac makers” and have some new contestants this year.  So far, it looks like the lineup is Relish, Oak and Dagger, Wandering Moose, Dram and Draught, US Foods, The Mac House, Southern Charred, NOFO and the chef from 214 Martin. My daughter and I will be judges again this year! Check it out.
  • The Root Cellar Cafe & Catering announced that they will host their annual Porkapalooza Festival at their new Pittsboro restaurant on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. To celebrate their seventh year, the celebration will offer small plate creations, featuring locally raised pork from Hickory Nut Gap and Sharp Family Farms, served casually indoors and outdoors, rather than a traditional seated dinner. Their Pittsboro location is at 35 Suttles Road in Penguin Place in Pittsboro. Tickets for Porkapalooza are $50, which includes all food, entertainment and a souvenir pint cup. Get all the details here.
  • Ok, here it is again. And I tell you EVERY year, but I will repeat it again. DO. NOT. MISS. THIS. EVENT. You can just thank me later. The dates have been set for the 9th annual TerraVita Festival over in Chapel Hill. Those dates are October 17-20. Things will kick off Wednesday, October 17, with the East Meets West dinner (first year at The Carolina Inn) and end on October 20 with the Fall Fête on The Green in Southern Village. Check out this video that give you a great look at all the events that make up TerraVita. Or visit their website here.

Food Bank Corner

  • For most of us and for our children summertime is full of memories and fun times and it seems like school will be here before we know it. But for many, summertime is the hardest time of the year – children not feeling full and parents struggling to keep food on the table. The Food Bank CENC can remove the grown-up worries for kids in our community, and help ease the stress of their parents…but they cannot Stop Summer Hunger alone. Help kids just be kids for the rest of the summer by donating today.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – July 27, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Big news out of North Hills this week that Rosewater, a restaurant by Giorgios Group and described as a European bistro café inspired by North Carolina ingredients and Mediterranean flavors, will be opening in the Park District at North Hills in the old Bruegger’s space. In addition to being a full-service restaurant, they will offer grab-and-go options during breakfast and lunch hours. The restaurant is projected to open in 2019. Learn more about the Giorgios Group here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Additional North Hills news included the announcement that Stir restaurant will be taking up a 5,832-square-foot spot in the Bank of America tower and is described as offering fresh food, oyster bar and craft cocktails.
  • Also in downtown, the ITB Insider also reported that permits had been issued at The Dillon for the transformation of a 5,125 square-foot space on the ground floor into Raleigh’s first location of the high-end Oak Steakhouse chain. They currently have locations in Atlanta, Charleston, Nashville and Charlotte. This will be the first location in the Triangle. Get familiar with them here.
  • In North Raleigh, Carole Walker updated us that Taziki’s Mediterranean Grill is now open in the old Pickled Onion space in Bent Tree plaza at 7901 Falls of Neuse Road (near NY Bagel & Deli). This is their third Triangle location (two in Cary) and first in Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, Saturday, August 4th is the opening date for Showmars at the corner of Capital and Stadium Drive. They have lots of locations in and around Charlotte and are described as a fast, casual concept featuring a blend of Greek and Southern, serving up sandwiches and salads. Get familiar with them here.
  • Just over in Rolesville, got word from one of our readers that The Cobalt Café, a coffee shop and breakfast and lunch spot, has opened at 6150 Rogers Road. In addition to great coffee, they bake their muffins fresh daily from scratch. Get to know them here.
  • And down in Clayton, one of our readers pointed out that there is a “Coming Soon” sign up at 9096 Cleveland Road for Mezza Luna, a pizzeria, pasta, grill and bar. Doesn’t look like the upfit has begun, so it could be a while. We will keep an eye on it.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • After 9 months since they first announced they were coming, The Pizza Press in Chapel Hill opened this past Thursday at 123 W. Franklin Street. They are serving up fresh pizzas and cold North Carolina craft beer. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Durham, Amber Watson at Bites of Bull City let us know that the folks behind Cucciolo Osteria, a new Italian restaurant tucked away off of 601 W. Main Street (down from The West End Wine Bar), are opening this weekend for a limited number of walk-ins and will begin taking reservations on Monday, July 30. They will be open nightly for dinner (closed Tuesdays), and plan to introduce lunch service once they have settled into the dinner service routine. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Durham, WRAL announced this week that the former Joe Van Gogh on Duke’s campus will become Beyu Blue Coffee – from the folks at Beyu Caffé. Beyu’s owner, Dorian Bolden, is a Duke alumnus. Check out Beyu here.
  • Two additional updates from Durham thanks to Glenn Gillen. The Little Caesars over on South Roxboro Street has closed. And the China Palace at the intersection of Old Chapel Hill Road and Garrett Road is in the middle of renovations and hope to open up again Aug. 1.
  • The boys are at it again. Charlie Farris and Clint Winslow are opening another Jersey Mike’s in our area! This one will be in Chatham County, just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill in the Lowe’s Foods shopping center. Construction is underway and they are looking at a late September, early October opening. Farris and Winslow also own locations in Chapel Hill (2 locations), Durham and Hillsborough. Check out Jersey Mike’s here. Thanks to reader Keith Dangel for the heads up on this.

Closings

  •  None to report, aside from the Little Caesars noted above.

Food Trucks

  • This Saturday, July 28 from 4-9 p.m. is the Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Caravan benefiting JDRF Triangle / Eastern NC Chapter. Come and enjoy some of the best food trucks (22 at last count) in the area while drinking local beer (several different breweries will be on hand) and listening to great music! It will be set up along Eden Street, between the NC State Capitol and the museums. Get all the details on their Facebook page 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.

Events

  •  Guess who is turning 81 today – July 27? Yep, Krispy Kreme. And to celebrate, the company is offering a special discount today only (July 27) – buy a dozen doughnuts, get a second dozen (original glazed) for $1. Check out Krispy Kreme here.
  • The Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival is this weekend, July 27 & 28, at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. The fun begins tonight at 6 p.m. and continues on Saturday from noon (VIP admission) until 6 p.m. If you enjoy beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, and barbeque eatin’ this event is for you. Your admission buys you a sampling glass so you can enjoy an all-you-care-to-taste sampling of beer and bourbon. Get all the details and information on pricing here.
  • Raleigh Restaurant Week, produced by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary from August 13 – August 19. This week long dining extravaganza showcases the culinary talent in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Over 40 restaurants will be offering specials. Participating restaurants will offer delectable, three-course prix fixe dinners for either $20 or $30 per person, depending on the venue (tax and tip not included). As a special amenity to downtown employees and other daytime downtown visitors, some restaurants will be offering $5 and $10 lunch specials. Get all the details here.
  • The 2nd annual Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market Brewfest is happening on Saturday, August 25, with a 12 pack of local brewers and fermenters bringing product to sample and sell. Look for: Botanist & Barrel, Bull City Burger and Brewery, Bull City Ciderworks, Dingo Dog Brewing, Fullsteam Brewery, Haw River Farmhouse Ales, Mystery Brewing, Oak & Dagger Public House, Raleigh Brewing, Starpoint Brewing, 3rd Degree Brewhouse, and Vecino Brewing. The address is 201 S. Estes Drive Chapel Hill. (University Place next to Silverspot) and hours are regular market hours, 8am-12. Get details here.
  • WRAL shared that this Sunday, July 22nd is the Taste of Soul NC event at Durham Central Park from 1 to 6 p.m. Enjoy ribs, burgers, Jamaican food, jambalaya, vegan food, Italian ice, cakes, shaved ice and much more, including lots of entertainment options for adults and kids. The event is free. Get all the details here.
  • Sunday, August 26th is the date for Families Moving Forward’s Kids for Change End of Summer Celebration at Durham Central Park from 3-5 p.m. featuring budget-friendly food trucks and lots of fun entertainment. Admission is free. Check it out here.
  • The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. 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.
  • And one of my daughter’s favorite events has set the date for their 2018 edition – the Mac and Cheese Throwdown is scheduled for Sunday, September 16th from 5pm until 8pm at 214 Martin.  They’ve had a great response from some “mac makers” and have some new contestants this year.  So far, it looks like the lineup is Relish, Oak and Dagger, Wandering Moose, Dram and Draught, US Foods, The Mac House, Southern Charred, NOFO and the chef from 214 Martin. My daughter and I will be judges again this year! Check it out.
  • The Root Cellar Cafe & Catering announced that they will host their annual Porkapalooza Festival at their new Pittsboro restaurant on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. To celebrate their seventh year, the celebration will offer small plate creations, featuring locally raised pork from Hickory Nut Gap and Sharp Family Farms, served casually indoors and outdoors, rather than a traditional seated dinner. Their Pittsboro location is at 35 Suttles Road in Penguin Place in Pittsboro. Tickets for Porkapalooza are $50, which includes all food, entertainment and a souvenir pint cup. Get all the details here.
  • Ok, here it is again. And I tell you EVERY year, but I will repeat it again. DO. NOT. MISS. THIS. EVENT. You can just thank me later. The dates have been set for the 9th annual TerraVita Festival over in Chapel Hill. Those dates are October 17-20. Things will kick off Wednesday, October 17, with the East Meets West dinner (first year at The Carolina Inn) and end on October 20 with the Fall Fête on The Green in Southern Village. Check out this video that give you a great look at all the events that make up TerraVita. Or visit their website 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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Friday Fun Food Facts – July 20, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Over in Durham, the folks at Taste Carolina informed us that Eastcut Sandwich Bar, located at 3211 Old Chapel Hill Road in the former Finch’s spot, just recently opened and begin full hours today, Friday, July 20. They serve up East Coast sandwich fare, salads, small plates, soups, sweets, and beer, wine and limited cocktails. The establishment is very family friendly and they even allow dogs on their deck. A great new Durham spot. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared the great news this week that Two Roosters Ice Cream has announced plans to open a second ice cream shop, this one in downtown Raleigh next to Yellow Dog Bread in the Person Street Plaza. In addition to their food truck, they also have a location in the Greystone Village Shopping Center at the corner of Lead Mine and Sawmill Roads in Raleigh. Get to know them on their website here.
  • John also shared the news that The Lost Cajun Restaurant, serving up seafood and gumbo, is coming to the former Wendy’s spot on Forest Pines Drive in Wakefield. There is a ‘Coming Soon’ sign in the window, but no word yet on a timeline. This will be the second North Carolina location for the chain, the first in the Triangle. Get familiar with them here.
  • And if that is not enough seafood news for you, the ITB Insider reported this week that permits were recently issued for Raleigh’s first location of The Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar at McNeill Pointe. McNeill Pointe is currently under construction and is located just across the street from Mami Nora’s restaurant at the corner of McNeill and Wake Forest Road. The Shuckin’ Shack has a location in Durham and two in Cary. Check them out here.
  • The highly anticipated Morgan Street Food Hall in Raleigh’s Warehouse District will remain just that, for now. Last Friday, just over a week from its anticipated opening, we got word the opening would be delayed until at least August. So now we wait…Check it out here.
  • Also in Raleigh, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, was the first to share about the opening of Fig, a new coffee shop and cocktail bar, serving your favorite drinks all day and a small menu to accompany those. They are holding their grand opening tomorrow, Saturday, July 21 and are located at 1000 Brookside Drive. Get to know them on their website here and their Facebook page here.
  • A quick update. One of our readers informed us that TLC Wings and Grill Sports Bar is now open in the old Applebee’s space on Hillsborough Street near Meredith College. Get a peek at their menu here.
  • Saw a tweet from EatRaleigh that a neat new spot in Clayton’s Riverwood neighborhood called 9Bar Coffee Shop has opened. They are open seven days a week serving up coffee options during the day, and beer and wine in the evening. They are located at 411 Athletic Blvd. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Over in Fuqua Varina, John Huisman (he really has a nose for fun coffee spots) informed us that Cultivate Cafe + Coffee Roasters, a new coffee shop and roaster, has opened in the downtown area in the former EMS building across from the library. They serve freshly-roasted organic coffee and other complementary house-made products, like ice cream made from grass-fed organic milk and hand-crafted sweet and savory baked goods from Bestow Bakery. Get familiar with them here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, reader Brandon Clevenger gave us several quick updates. First, Freddy’s Steakburgers will be opening July 29 at corner of Retail Dr and 98. And next door to that there is a Chipotle and a Firehouse Subs. No timeline for either of those. And a little further up Capital, in the Harris Crossing Shopping Center, Doug’s Dogs and More has been replaced by the recently opened 9.19 Island Café serving up Jamaican dishes. Get familiar with 9.19 here.
  • And if that is not enough Wake Forest news for you, Clevenger also reported that Backfins Crab House has opened at the corner of Stadium Drive and Capital Blvd. (1009 Stadium Drive to be exact). They serve up (you guessed it) crabs, crab cakes and ice cold beer! Sign me up! Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that Pokéworks, a national chain with 20 locations in eight states, will open its first North Carolina location this year in Durham’s One City Center. Look for a mid-September opening. Pokéworks, started in 2015, has 20 locations and has plans for more, including one in Raleigh scheduled to open next year. The Raleigh location will also be owned by Andy Lee. The company said two more North Carolina locations are planned. Check them out here.
  • In Chapel Hill the lovely and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard informed us that Quickly Boba Café in Meadowmont in the former Market Street Coffee location is now open. They 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. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, the local Facebook page for B.Good indicated that they are looking at an early August (possibly August 2) opening date for their newest location at Carolina Square (near the new Target). B. Good has two locations in Raleigh (downtown and North Hills), and one in Morrisville. They also have one planned for Durham’s One City Center. Get familiar with them here.

Closings

  •  None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

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.

Events

  • Ok, here it is again. And I tell you EVERY year, but I will repeat it again. DO. NOT. MISS. THIS. EVENT. You can just thank me later. The dates have been set for the 9th annual TerraVita Festival over in Chapel Hill. Those dates are October 17-20. Things will kick off Wednesday, October 17, with the East Meets West dinner (first year at The Carolina Inn) and ends on October 20 with the Fall Fête on The Green in Southern Village. Check out this video that gives you a great look at all the events that make up TerraVita. Or visit their website here.
  • WRAL shared that this Sunday, July 22nd is the Taste of Soul NC event at Durham Central Park from 1 to 6 p.m. Enjoy ribs, burgers, Jamaican food, jambalaya, vegan food, Italian ice, cakes, shaved ice and much more, including lots of entertainment options for adults and kids. The event is free. Get all the details here.
  • Sunday, August 26th is the date for Families Moving Forward’s Kids for Change End of Summer Celebration at Durham Central Park from 3-5 p.m. featuring budget-friendly food trucks and lots of fun entertainment. Admission is free. Check it out here.
  • The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. 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.
  • The 2nd annual Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market Brewfest is happening on Saturday, August 25, with a 12 pack of local brewers and fermenters bringing product to sample and sell. Look for: Botanist & Barrel, Bull City Burger and Brewery, Bull City Ciderworks, Dingo Dog Brewing, Fullsteam Brewery, Haw River Farmhouse Ales, Mystery Brewing, Oak & Dagger Public House, Raleigh Brewing, Starpoint Brewing, 3rd Degree Brewhouse, and Vecino Brewing. The address is 201 S. Estes Drive Chapel Hill. (University Place next to Silverspot) and hours are regular market hours, 8am-12. Get details here.
  • And one of my daughter’s favorite events has set the date for their 2018 edition – the Mac and Cheese Throwdown is scheduled for Sunday, September 16th from 5pm until 8pm at 214 Martin.  They’ve had a great response from some “mac makers” and have some new contestants this year.  So far, it looks like the lineup is Relish, Oak and Dagger, Wandering Moose, Dram and Draught, US Foods, The Mac House, Southern Charred, NOFO and the chef from 214 Martin. My daughter and I will be judges again this year! Check it out.

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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Friday Fun Food Facts – July 13, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The highly anticipated Morgan Street Food Hall will open in Raleigh’s Warehouse District on July 23 – that is just one week from this coming Monday. So far, nineteen unique and diverse establishments are gearing up for the opening (more to follow) in this very cool downtown space that is very large, warm and inviting. Get a list of the restaurants and all the details here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • I attended a media preview event at Morgan Street Food Hall (ya’ll gonna love it!), and learned from a Facebook live post on WTVD’s site that Oak City Fish & Chips (which has a spot at the Food Hall) will open a second brick and mortar location 30 days after this opening in southeast Raleigh off Rock Quarry Road at 2822 New Birch Drive in Farmington Square. The guys behind Oak City (originally from Raleigh) also have three food trucks serving the Triangle. Learn all about them here.
  • Over in Seaboard Station, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, posted on Instagram that a spot called Papa Shogun, an Italian and Japanese establishment, is coming to the former Kimbap spot. I can’t decide if that is an interesting combination or something perfect for those that just can’t decide. Stay tuned and we will update as we learn more.
  • Just outside of downtown on Western Blvd., the ITB Insider noted this week that in the former Gourmet Factory spot at 3933 Western Blvd., a permit was issued for Sultan Kebab. We couldn’t find a local Internet presence for them, so we will have to keep an eye on it.
  • The ITB Insider also reported this week that Rockin’ Rolls Sushi, Durham’s popular Japanese restaurant, will soon open a brand-new Raleigh location at Harvest Plaza on Strickland Road. An opening date has not yet been announced. This will be their second location. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Cary, learned from Michael DePersia at National Restaurant Properties that the Brixx in Cary at the corner of High House and Davis (Bradford Center) has been purchased by a retired New Jersey firefighter who just moved here, Tim Morley. Some minor upgrades are planned, but for the most part plan on continuing the business as is. Check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, learned this week that Anna Ko will open Terra Bonum Salad Cafe next Monday, July 16 in the spot formerly occupied by Giardino Gourmet Salads on Harrison Avenue in the Bass Pro Shop shopping center. Look for them to offer up fresh salads, wraps and grain bowls. Robbie Casey (from Giardino) will continue their catering efforts. Get to know them on Facebook here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Learned from Melissa Shahady that Hutchins Garage has opened in the Central Park District at 402 W. Geer Street in Durham. Looks like pizza and beer top the list of great options there as well as a very cool atmosphere. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also in Durham, saw a Grand Opening sign for Los Cabos Bar & Grill Mexican Restaurant at 4020 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. in the spot that was most recently the Saucy Crab. Looks like they have a lot of yummy seafood options! Check them out here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, the Lennard family dined at Monterrey Mexican restaurant earlier this week just prior to their move over to Ram’s Plaza this past Tuesday. They have successfully transitioned into the former Bailey’s spot. The former spot on Elliott Road will become a new concept (same owners), but work on that hasn’t begun yet. Check out Monterrey’s new location here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, the newest pizza joint on Franklin Street will open this weekend. MidiCi will begin offering its Neapolitan pizzas, pasta, gelato and other culinary delights with a Buy-One-Pizza-Get-One-Free promotion July 14 and 15, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. it is located at 100 E. Franklin Street at the corner of Franklin and Columbia streets. Check them out here.
  • And speaking of Franklin Street saw on the local Facebook page for B.Good that they are looking at an early August (possibly August 2) opening date for their newest location at Carolina Square (near the new Target). B. Good has two locations in Raleigh (downtown and North Hills), and one in Morrisville. Get familiar with them here.
  • And a quick shout out to Al Bowers and his team over at Al’s Burger Shack for finishing #1 on TripAdvisor’s list of top burgers in the entire United States. The original location of Al’s Burger Shack is on W. Franklin Street. He recently opened a second location in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village and has plans to open a slight variation on this when he opens Al’s Pub Shack in Chatham county soon. Get familiar with Al’s here.

Closings

  •  Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties notified us that Smoothie King on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street has closed.
  • Also on Franklin Street, the Triangle Business Journal reported that Toppers Pizza is set to close at the beginning of August. Toppers still has two franchise locations in north Raleigh, off Creedmoor Road and Ronald Drive.
  • Over in downtown Durham, The Cupcake Bar announced on their Facebook page that after 10 years, they will be serving their last cupcakes on August 4th.
  • Down in Fuquay-Varina, David McCreary reported that Rock Harbor Grill at 132 S  Fuquay Avenue has closed its doors for good.

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.

Events

  • Duke Homestead celebrates North Carolina’s food history and culture this Saturday, July 14 at “Pork, Pickles and Peanuts: Tastes of North Carolina.” This free, fun family event focuses on everything that makes the state taste great with the highly competitive and extremely tasty annual Barbecue Cook-Off and Pie Competition from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get all the details 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.
  •  The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. 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.
  • The 2nd annual Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market Brewfest is happening on Saturday, August 25, with a 12 pack of local brewers and fermenters bringing product to sample and sell. Look for: Botanist & Barrel, Bull City Burger and Brewery, Bull City Ciderworks, Dingo Dog Brewing, Fullsteam Brewery, Haw River Farmhouse Ales, Mystery Brewing, Oak & Dagger Public House, Raleigh Brewing, Starpoint Brewing, 3rd Degree Brewhouse, and Vecino Brewing. The address is 201 S. Estes Drive Chapel Hill. (University Place next to Silverspot) and hours are regular market hours, 8am-12. Get details 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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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.

Closings

  •  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.

Events

  • 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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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.

Closings

  • 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.

Events

  • 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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Friday Fun Food Facts – June 15, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Just yesterday, Sean Degnan and Tony Hopkins of buku in downtown Raleigh (and buku in Wake Forest and soca in Cameron Village) announced that at the end of their lease in December, they will move buku into the former AN spot just off Cary’s Harrison Avenue across from the SAS campus. They also hinted at opening a new concept in downtown Raleigh once the buku move is complete. Check out bu•ku here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Just on the heels (pun intended) of the opening of the Triangle’s first food hall over in Chapel Hill (Blue Dogwood Public Market – which opened this past week), the folks behind the Morgan Street Food Hall in downtown Raleigh announced their opening date of July 23. The spot will feature over 20 culinary options when the doors swing open. Get familiar with them here.
  • NC Triangle Dining, ITB Insider and YIMBY Raleigh all have noted recently that Raleigh’s Five Points will soon be home to (hope to open next month) Lola’s Cantina serving up street tacos, elote and more. It will be located next door to Third Place coffee shop. We were unable to find an online presence.
  • Also in Raleigh, got word from WRAL that David Harris, who owns Remington Grille and Amedeo’s, has purchased Sammy’s Tap and Grill. Harris said the menu will be getting new additions including a veggie burger, but don’t expect the popular wings and beef burgers to go away. The restaurant will be maintaining its sports bar atmosphere and getting some new decor. Check out Sammy’s here.
  • Saw in the ITB Insider that work is now underway on The Davie Street Pub which will go into the former Calavera Empanadas space at the corner of Blount and Davie on the ground floor of the Palladium Plaza condos. The new pub will reportedly open later this summer. We couldn’t find an online presence for them.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, notified us that Caretta Coffee is opening this Saturday in North Raleigh next to The Hop Yard in the Falls River Town Center at 1141 Falls River Avenue. They will be serving up coffee, breakfast and lunch frittatas, fresh baked goods, smash toast and smoothies. Their original location is in Hilton Head. Get to know them here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, reader Brandon Clevenger notified us that there is a sign up at the corner of Capital and Stadium Drive for what appears to be the first Triangle-area location of Showmars. With lots of locations in and around Charlotte, they are a fast, casual concept featuring a blend of Greek and Southern, serving up sandwiches and salads. No word on a timeline. Get familiar with them here.
  •  Over in Cary, reader Cheyenne Jones notified us that The Neighborhood Sports Bar & Arcade is coming to the old TrainStation Bar & Grill location on Harrison Avenue (301 N. Harrison Avenue). They are working towards a July 4 opening. You can keep up with their progress on Facebook here.
  • Back on April 6th we told you about the pending opening of Vida Dulce Ice Cream and Popsicles at 836 E. Chatham Street in the new strip mall behind Bojangles. Got word that they are in fact, officially open. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Cary, reader Matt Christ informed us that there is a new restaurant coming to the corner of Tryon and Cary Parkway in the Lowe’s shopping center called Kebab Skewer. Unfortunately that is all we have at this point. We were unsuccessful at finding any sort of online presence. Stay tuned. Thanks Matt!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Sean Umstead announced this week that he will open Kingfisherin in downtown Durham with his wife and business partner, Michelle Vanderwalker, in late 2018. Kingfisher – an intimate cocktail bar, located next to The Durham Hotel at 321 East Chapel Hill Street – will highlight fresh and skillfully preserved fruits and produce from North Carolina farms in craft cocktails and small plates. The basement space will reflect the couple’s honed sensibility and Vanderwalker’s artistic background. Keep up with their progress here.
  • Also in Durham, Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson notified us that Foster Street Coffee is opening next week. It is owned by Tracy Cooper and is located on the ground level of the Liberty Warehouse apartments and just steps away from Durham Central Park. Get to know them here.
  • And over at the Streets at Southpoint it appears as if the former Champps spot is being renovated to accommodate the next location of Uncle Julio’s Mexican according to reader Jennifer Buchholz who spotted signs going up this week. Uncle Julio’s got its start in Texas, but now has locations across the U.S. This will mark their first venture into North Carolina. Check them out here.
  • Not sure how this happened, almost literally under my nose, but it did. The Pickle Jar Café, formerly in Siler City, relocated back in March to the former Oakleaf spot in Pittsboro’s historic Chatham Mills. They specialize in fresh, local ingredients and scratch made recipes that support local farmers and community. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Lasting just over a year, we got word from reader Nick McBride that Maybelle’s in Durham’s American Tobacco Campus closed on June 1.
  • Just a reminder that today and tomorrow are your last chances to enjoy Kimbap one last time. It is located in Raleigh’s Seaboard Station. See their closing notice here.

Food Trucks

  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Durham has one THIS Sunday (Father’s Day edition!). 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.

Events

  • More importantly than it being Gordon Brown’s birthday today, June 15th is National Flip Flop day. And what is significant about that is that if you wear a pair of flip flops into any Tropical Smoothie Café (there are 10 locations in the Triangle) you can enjoy a free 16 oz. Sunshine Smoothie. While there, you can help them raise money for Camp Sunshine, an organization that provides retreats for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Get all the details here. Oh, and happy birthday Gordon!
  • WRAL reminded us that this weekend (June 15-16) is the 7th annual Bone Suckin’ Sauce Peak City Pig Fest (begins today). The family friendly festival takes place in downtown Apex, and is highlighted by all things barbecue. Today, there’s a pig pickin’ with live music and a beer garden. On Saturday, music, food, beer garden and pig races will round out the event. Admission is free so make sure to check it out.
  • 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!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Closings

  • 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.

Events

  • 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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Friday Fun Food Facts – June 1, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  David Sadeghi could be at the heyday of his quite successful restaurant career. He just announced three new additions to the Triangle dining scene. First up is the announcement that he will open two more Town Hall Burger & Beer locations – one in Holly Springs at Sunset Commons due to open in late October/early November; and one in North Raleigh at 13100 Falls of the Neuse Road, slated to open in April. These two will join his other two THB&B locations in Durham and Chatham County. Check out Town Hall Burger & Beer here. Thanks to John Conway for the heads up on this!
  • Also announced was Sadeghi’s newest concept which is also very close to his heart – the opening of a very distinctive coffee shop called People’s in south Durham adjacent to his Durham location of Town Hall Burger & Beer (near Bonefish on 751). The shop will feature coffee (from Black & White Coffee Roasters), smoothies and juices (from his son’s Cold Off the Press) and a unique breakfast menu. Bringing all kinds of people together will be the motivation behind this warm and inviting space. Look for People’s to open in August (at the latest, likely sooner). Stay tuned for more.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • For 88 years downtown Raleigh’s Mecca Restaurant has been run by different members of the Doumbalis family, beginning with Nicolaos Doumbalis and his wife Helen. Just this week, the legendary restaurant was sold to Greg Hatem and will become part of the Empire Eats family (Gravy, Sitti, The Pit Raleigh, The Pit Durham, The Raleigh Times, and The Morning Times). Hatem is a long-time friend of the Doumbalis family and has vowed, after some needed updates, to keep things pretty much the same. Congrats on a successful transition of a downtown institution! Keep up with Mecca here.
  • The ITB Insider is reporting this week that a new bakery called Flake & Crumb will soon open on Gavin Street, not far from Neuse River Brewing Company and Nickelpoint Brewing Company. Few details are available at this point, but permits were just issued for upfitting the space. We will keep an eye on this.
  • Over in Cary, reader Chris Creighton informed us that the Buffalo Brothers has now officially opened on Kildaire Farm Road in Saltbox Village. Check them out here.
  • Down in Holly Springs things are starting to come to life with the town’s new development on Main Street called Town Hall Commons. A few tenants have been announced including Osha Thai Kitchen & Sushi. Osha, meaning “tasty” or “delicious” in Thai, focuses on authentic Thai cuisine prepared with fresh ingredients to create well-balanced dishes bursting with flavor. Osha will also offer a Sushi bar and separate liquor bar, both with full menu ordering capability. Get more details here in this article.
  • Also in Town Hall Commons will be Shoes & Brews…that serves up, well, running shoes and craft beer. Now, if that doesn’t get you running, I don’t know what will. Keep up with them on their Facebook page here. Thanks to Scott Eaton for the tip on the happenings at Town Hall Commons.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • WRAL’s Sarah Krueger sent out a tweet announcing that Thai @ Main Street (in the former Dame’s Chicken and Waffles space) has opened in downtown Durham. Congrats to chef/owner Jay Aparoj who also owns Bangkok 54 in Chapel Hill. Thai @ Main Street will serve the dishes of central Thailand, focusing on the flavors of Bangkok, where Aparoj grew up. And stay tuned, apparently there is a third concept in the works. In the meantime, check out Thai @ Main Street here.
  • And Durham foodie Johanna Kramer let folks know that Dimsum Asian Bistro has opened on Hwy. 55, not far from the intersection with Hwy. 54 (5410 NC Highway 55 Ste Y, to be exact), in the Greenwood Commons shopping center. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Reader Loren Watterson let us know that the Chapel Hill location of Noodles & Company on Franklin Street is no more. But don’t fret, they still have 7 locations throughout the Triangle.

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.

Events

  • It is here. Today. June 1 is National Donut Day. You know what to do. What to look for. Go. Get. Donuts! Enough said.
  • The 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events and the fun begins with the first event this weekend, June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • Also on June 3rd, PORCH, an all-volunteer, grassroots nonprofit organization that distributes food to hundreds of at-risk families in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, will host its first-ever PORCHfest from 5-8pm on the Lawn at Southern Village. The free event will feature rhythm-and-blues band Too Much Fun, along with goodies available from Al’s Burger Shack, Maple View Farms, and Carolina Brewery, as well as several Southern Village-located businesses including Pazzo – with proceeds benefiting PORCH’s fresh food program. Get all the details here.
  • Next week beginning on June 4th and running through June 11th sees the return of the bi-annual Triangle Restaurant Week. During the week, participating restaurants within Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham and surrounding areas will offer a special, 3-course prix fixe lunch menu ($10 or $15) and/or 3-course prix fixe dinner menu ($20, $25, $30 or $35) each day they are open. It is a great opportunity to check out new restaurants that you might not have tried yet. Get all the details on their website 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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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 25, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Who doesn’t like big trophies – the bigger the better, right? Such is the case with the news this week that the Morgan Street location of Trophy Brewing Co. will build a new brewing system that focuses on expanding its sour and barrel-aged program while also adding more outdoor seats along the front of the building. Congrats to David Meeker, Chris Powers and David “Woody” Lockwood on their continued success. Keep up with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Over in Cary, the News & Observer reported this week that after months of selling bagels, biscuits and doughnuts at pop-ups on weekends, the owners of downtown Cary’s Pizzeria Faulisi, Amber and Zach Faulisi, will open Big Dom’s Bagel Shop in the recently closed Little Caesar’s pizza spot out in front of Pizzeria Faulisi. They signed a lease this week. They are aiming to open in 2018 and will also be using the drive-thru window to dole out the breakfast goods. Keep up with their progress here.
  • We told you about this last October, but it was recently announced that next month will see the opening of Viva in the former McAlister’s Deli location in North Hills. With multiple locations in and around Charlotte, this will be the first Triangle-area location for the rotisserie joint that specializes in pollo a la brasa. Get to know them here.
  • In coffee news, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared via Twitter that Benelux will soon open another location in downtown Raleigh. They currently have a location in Cameron Village as well as in the Alexander Family YMCA on Hillsborough Street. No word yet on the exact location or the timing. Stay tuned. Check them out here.
  • Got word from the folks over at North Hills that Raleigh’s sixth location of Chipotle will open this fall in the Lassiter District, between Panera Bread and Verizon Wireless. Check out Chipotle here.
  • Up in North Raleigh, reader Paul Prause notified us that Jasmin & Olivz Mediterranean restaurant will open another location in the old NY Pizza spot in Falls Village next to Tropical Smoothie and Smashburger (6679 Falls of Neuse Road to be exact). This will be their 7th Triangle-area location. No word yet on an open date. Get familiar with them here.
  • In Morrisville, Peppers’ owners Jess and Missy Fowler announced that as of June 1st their long time general manager Rebekah Rhodes will be assuming her new role as the owner of Peppers. There is no doubt the 9-year-old sandwich shop is in great hands having personally worked with Rebekah for many years! Stop by to wish Jess and Missy well in their next chapter as they will be around for a bit longer to help with the transition. Check out Peppers here.
  • Earlier this month Will Pettis, owner of The Kitchen Archive, a commercial kitchen where business owners in the food and beverage industry can rent shared or private kitchen spaces, has opened a second location in Raleigh (the first one is in Durham and has a waitlist). Raleigh is larger and already has 17 tenants, with room for about 40 more. Check them out here.
  • And down in Fuquay-Varina buddy David McCreary notified me that Abbey Road Bar & Grill plans to open it’s third Triangle location. The newest Abbey Road will be located at 7711 N. Main Street in Fuquay-Varina in the former Cooley’s Restaurant & Pub spot. No word yet on a timeline. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Amber Watson at Bites of Bull City reported this week that the vacant warehouses and garages on Geer and Foster Street will fill quickly this summer with the announcement that Hutchins Garage, a full-service bar serving Grandma-style pizza, salads, and sandwiches, will be moving in. Keep up with their progress on Facebook here.
  • A brief update, as we haven’t heard much regarding the newest location of Neomonde in Durham. We reached out to them this week and learned that after a few construction delays, they are moving along and planning to open next month. Stay up with the latest on their Facebook page here.
  • Over on Duke’s campus, the JB Duke Hotel announced a new executive chef this week – Troy Stauffer, who has served the past three years as the sous chef as sister property, Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club. Prior to that he was executive chef over at City Club Raleigh. Visit JB Duke Hotel here.
  • And we cannot go without paying our respect to an amazing woman and leader in the industry that we lost this week. Our prayers are with the family and friends of Mildred Council, aka Mama Dip. She was 89. She opened Mama Dips in 1976. Services are this Sunday.

Closings

  • Reader Dave Scocca reported that Spice and Curry, near the intersection of Highways 54 and 55 in Durham, has closed.
  • And the folks over at EatRaleigh reported that the Freshii on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh has a sign stating it’s permanently closed.

Food Trucks

  • NC Sugar Rush. Sign me up! Seriously, check this out. Its Raleigh’s first all-dessert food truck rodeo, taking place Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 27th from 1-5pm in downtown Raleigh’s City Market. More than 20 local dessert vendors will be there to serve you. Come and enjoy a dessert bouquet like no other featuring ice cream, Italian ice, pies, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecake, popcorn, cotton candy, beignets, donuts and much more. Get all the details on their Facebook event page 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.

Events

  • June 1 is National Donut Day. You know what to do. What to look for. Be prepared. Plan accordingly. Enough said.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • Also on June 3rd, PORCH, an all-volunteer, grassroots nonprofit organization that distributes food to hundreds of at-risk families in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, will host its first-ever PORCHfest from 5-8pm on the Lawn at Southern Village. The free event will feature rhythm-and-blues band Too Much Fun, along with goodies available from Al’s Burger Shack, Maple View Farms, and Carolina Brewery, as well as several Southern Village-located businesses including Pazzo – with proceeds benefiting PORCH’s fresh food program. 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) have 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 three regional semi-finalist rounds (New Bern May 22, 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. Chefs can apply to compete now – May 9. Get all the information you need here.

Food Bank Corner

  • May is Older Americans Month. Although food insecurity affects people of all ages, seniors are particularly vulnerable. The folks at the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina know that reaching seniors with nutritious, dependable sources of food leads to amazing outcomes for families and communities. They have a fresh video here, as well as a blog post here that highlights how they are working to solve senior hunger. #SolveSeniorHunger

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