Friday Fun Food Facts – September 17, 2021

Featured Restaurant News

  • Exciting things happening in downtown Durham. Indy Week shared that the team behind Luna Rotisserie (with locations in Durham and Carrboro) announced that they plan to open not one, but two businesses at 347 W. Main Street: the first, Rubies on Five Points, will be a live music, bar, and event space in the second story of the location. The second business, Remedy Room, a “classic neighborhood bar” with drinks and a bar menu with shared plates, will occupy the first story. They plan to open Rubies on Five Points in mid-October, with Remedy Room to follow in late 2021. Check out Rubies here, Remedy Room here and Luna Rotisserie here. Congrats to Shawn Stokes, Rob Montemayor and Anthony Kofler.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • North HIlls announced this week that CowBar will join North Hills in the fall of 2021, moving into the former B.GOOD location in the Park District. While CowBar already has a presence in the Raleigh community at Morgan Street Food Hall, the North Hills location will feature various new menu items – including a vegan burger, Italian beef sandwich, beer floats, and boozy milkshakes. The new location will also offer a full-service bar. CowBar is just one of the many Raleigh restaurants that are a part of Niall Hanley’s Hibernian Hospitality Group. Check them out here.
  • A quick update. BB’s Crispy Chicken posted this week that their mid-town Raleigh location (out in front of Wegman’s on Wake Forest Road) is putting on the final touches and looking to open in early October. Follow along on Facebook for updates here. Look for the Durham location to open in November and the Cary location in December.
  • Blogger EatRaleigh shared that signage has gone up for Crave Hot Dogs and BBQ at the former Zoe’s Kitchen spot in the Shops at Oberlin Court on Oberlin Road. No word on an open date. The chain has North Carolina locations in Wilmington and Concord (with a few more on the way). The site also indicated that Raleigh would get a food truck as well. Get familiar with them here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Zenith Raleigh is set to open at 226 Fayetteville St. in early October, replacing Coglin’s, which shut down at the end of 2020. Zenith will feature throwback tunes and décor, similar to Coglin’s, but won’t be limited to 1980s and ’90s. Best of luck to Will Gibbs and his team. Get familiar with them here.
  • Out in Morrisville, Tribeca Tavern is opening a satellite location in the Wake Competition Center called the WCC Cafe by Tribeca Tavern. The fast/casual concept is serving up handcrafted burgers, pizzas, sides and homegrown beer from their very own Mash House Brewing Company. Find them on Facebook here.
  • Also in Morrisville, reader Christy Tucker shared that Flying Mayan has a new sign up at the former Famous Toastery location on Chapel Hill Road in Morrisville (9918 Chapel Hill Rd). That’s next to the Jasmin and Olivz, near Guacasa. No word on an open date yet. Their original location in on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. Visit them here.
  • Down in the Quay, reader Jason Ora Wunsch shared that the Cleveland Draft House is shooting to open on September 27th at 1420 East Broad Street (the old Golden Corral building). They currently have locations in Clayton and Garner and the menu in Fuquay-Varina will mirror the menu of the other locations. You can visit them here.
  • This is kind of fun. Visit Raleigh put together a list of restaurant “Icons and Institutions” in and around Raleigh/Wake County. It is a fun list of restaurants and bars that have been around since, well, even before me! How many have you been to? Have fun checking out the list here.
  • Looking for all the outdoor dining options in Downtown Raleigh? The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has put together a great list of those options, and they even divided it up by district. Check out that list here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Chapel Hill’s Coco Bean Coffee Shop and Cafe is in transition mode – moving into a new space and concept. The location at East 54 closed their doors earlier this week (thanks to a post from Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies group founder Carrie Brogren) as they move into a new concept and space. It will reopen in early October as Coco Plant-Based Bistro and Bar and will be located on the ground floor of the brand new Gwendolyn building at Glen Lennox (fronting 15-501) in Chapel Hill. You can follow along on their website here.
  • Here are a couple of wonderful resources for those looking to dine in downtown Durham or downtown Chapel Hill – Downtown Durham Inc. has an up-to-date listing of the status of each restaurant in downtown Durham. Check out the list here. And the Downtown Chapel Hill Partnership has put together a similar list for Chapel Hill here.

Closings / Cancellations

  • Reader Katie Flanagan Page shared the news that Smoky’s BBQ Shack in Morrisville had to make the difficult decision to close their doors. However, they did leave the door open for a possible new location and/or a food truck. Their social media account is still live here.
  • And just south of Smithfield, the Triangle Business Journal reported that Holt Lake Bar-B-Que & Seafood is closing, ending a 42-year run (and surviving two fires). Our best to owner Terry Barefoot.

Food Trucks 

  • After an August 1 cancellation of the Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo, they will try it again with the return of the 2021 season on Sunday, September 26th from 12 to 6 p.m. on downtown Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • Looking to find your favorite food truck (or stalking them and simply don’t want to have to admit it)? We understand. Find them on Street Food Finder here.

Events

  • It is back! Brewgaloo is happening this weekend starting tonight – September 17 & 18 in downtown Raleigh. NC’s largest craft beer festival and 2nd biggest in the US! It was voted #1 Best Beer Festival two years in a row by USA Today’s 10Best! Look for NC craft beer, food trucks, live music and local vendors. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The 8th annual Sola Hot Mini 5K is happening this year on Saturday, September 18th and registration is now open. You can register to run/walk, volunteer, donate or sponsor as they look to top last year’s effort to raise money towards finding a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Three years ago, Jeanne, the co-owner of Sola Coffee, was diagnosed with ALS. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Get ready for the seventh-annual WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards! Nominations for the WRAL Voters’ Choice Awards are now open! Nominate your favorite local businesses and help them make it to the voting round in October. Each year, your nominations and votes help WRAL recognize local favorites. Get all the details here.
  • Downtown Durham Inc. announced that The Streetery will return Saturday, September 25 at Five Points with added outdoor seating and buskers. Join them from 12 – 9 p.m. to shop, carry out, dine in or dine out. The Streetery happens on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. Get all the details here.
  • Our friends over at RalToday reminded us that Raleigh Veg Fest 2021 originally scheduled for April 4 has moved to October 31 in downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square. Details here.
  • After having to cancel the 2019 and 2020 events, the Town of Cary will hold Fest in the West on November 6th from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The event will take place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex and will feature food and beer vendors, entertainment, a kids’ zone as well as arts and crafts. Get all the details here.
  • And there is a new event in the works for the Triangle – our first Triangle Vegan Restaurant Week which is scheduled for November 1-7 this year. Organizer Karen Pullen has lined up 16 participating restaurants so far and is looking for more. So if your restaurant is interested in participating (a special menu for that week–at least two creative vegan options, or a three-course fixed price meal) reach out to her at karen@triangleveganrestaurantweek.com or visit the site here for more details.

Food Bank Corner

  • September is #HungerActionMonth — a nationwide initiative designed to inspire people to take action and raise awareness to help people experiencing the impossible choices of hunger.All month, people across the country will be taking action against hunger to help families faced with impossible choices, like buying groceries or paying rent. This September, we’re asking those who are able to come together to provide the consistency and trust needed by the people the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina serves by becoming a monthly sustaining donor. In fact, this September, a Leadership Donor is matching your first month’s sustaining gift — up to $5,000! Learn more about what you can do this month here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – September 10, 2021

Featured Restaurant News

  • Landmark Tavern reopened yesterday (Thursday) after being closed for 18 months because of COVID. Located at the corner of Hargett and Wilmington streets, Linda O’Reilly sold Landmark late last year to Empire Eats (think Sitti, Gravy, Raleigh Times, Pizza Times, Morning Times, The Pit — Raleigh and Durham, Square Burger, Empire Eats Catering and Mecca). Other than a refresh, expect few other changes. Reacquaint yourself here. Additional Note: Linda O’Reilly will continue to own and operate Circa 1888, a bar she and Brendan opened on West Davie Street in Raleigh’s warehouse district in 2015.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Raleigh Magazine shared the news that the former Solas nightclub spot on Glenwood South (which closed about 18 months due to the pandemic) will reopen with a completely new focus, update and feel. Highgarden is another creation from Niall Hanley’s Hibernian Hospitality Group and will utilize all three floors of the building. On the first floor you will find Botanical Lounge, featuring tapas-style eats in a cozy indoor/outdoor space. The second level will feature The Sage Room, a private events and wedding venue. And the third/top floor will offer a stunning outdoor space overlooking downtown Raleigh called Highgarden Rooftop Lounge. Look for a late September opening. In the meantime, visit them here.
  • Over in Cary, reader Bill Velto shared that Taco Addicts is in soft opening mode in the former Ruby Tuesday space in Crossroads Plaza. The restaurant offers a combination of street food and traditional Hispanic dishes. Looks like they are aiming for September 18th for their grand opening. Keep up with any announcements on their Instagram account here.
  • This is kind of fun. Visit Raleigh put together a list of restaurant “Icons and Institutions” in and around Raleigh/Wake County. It is a fun list of restaurants and bars that have been around since, well, even before me! How many have you been to? Have fun checking out the list here.
  • Looking for all the outdoor dining options in Downtown Raleigh? The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has put together a great list of those options, and they even divided it up by district. Check out that list here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • This is going to be fun. West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill is getting a new watering hole at 601 W. Franklin Street (next to Papa John’s). Franklin Motors is looking to open around September 15th and will serve local beers, wines, and craft cocktails. And also cool, the courtyard/beer garden will have a “permanent” food truck called Roquette, operated by chef John Smith, originally from Austin, Texas. The menu features sliders, ceviche, bratwurst, mac & cheese and hand pies…to name a few. Look for most menu items to be locally sourced. Thanks to the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies group for bringing this to my attention. Check them out here.
  • We have another reopening to share – this one in Durham/RTP. Societa Sicilian Influenced Cucina has reopened their doors at 5311 South Miami Blvd. They have a ton of outdoor dining space in their vibrant patio (165 seats) as well as their spacious socially distanced indoor dining room. Societa has evolved from the Cataldo family owned Tony’s Pizza in Endicott, NY (Est. 1976 next to IBM) serving a menu of Sicilian street food and retro Italian-American classics. Congrats to owners Giuseppe Cataldo and Kelly Potts. Check them out today.
  • Also in Durham, RalToday shared the news that Zweli’s Cafe has opened a new location on Duke University’s West Campus serving authentic Zimbabwean cuisine. The cafe is offering Grab-N-Go as well as hot meals Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m to 3 p.m. — with vegan and vegetarian options. Find Zweli’s located at 407 Chapel Dr. in Durham. The original location is at 4600 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard. Check them out here.
  • Here are a couple of wonderful resources for those looking to dine in downtown Durham or downtown Chapel Hill – Downtown Durham Inc. has an up-to-date listing of the status of each restaurant in downtown Durham. Check out the list here. And the Downtown Chapel Hill Partnership has put together a similar list for Chapel Hill here.

Closings / Cancellations

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • After an August 1 cancellation of the Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo, they will try it again with the return of the 2021 season on Sunday, September 26th from 12 to 6 p.m. on downtown Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • Looking to find your favorite food truck (or stalking them and simply don’t want to have to admit it)? We understand. Find them on Street Food Finder here.

Events

  • Indy Week reminded us that the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival returns to Cary September 10-11 at Koka Booth Amphitheater. Not much else to say as the event name pretty much sums it up – a weekend full of beer, bourbon and pig. Get all the details here.
  • This Saturday, September 11th, the Town of Apex will hold their 40th Annual Apex PeakFest on Salem Street in downtown Apex from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The event includes live music all day, artist of every kind (jewelry, pottery, watercolor and acrylic), entertainment for the kids, food that you would find at the fair, and so much more! Get all the details on their site here.
  • Downtown Durham Inc. announced that The Streetery will return tomorrow, Saturday, September 11 at Van Alen & 555 with added outdoor seating and buskers. Join them from 5 – 9 p.m. to shop, carry out, dine in or dine out. The Streetery happens on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. Get all the details here.
  • Want to go back to school…to learn some cool cooking techniques? Well, Wake Tech has teamed up with chef Trey, executive chef at Top of the Hill restaurant (and a native of New Orleans), to teach you some classic Louisiana recipes. You’ll start with making the Creole seasoning, next, a traditional Jambalaya followed by agua de fresa (strawberry water), beignets, and finish with buttermilk pralines. Best of all, you get to eat what you make! Class takes place at A Place at The Table in downtown Raleigh. Register and get all the details here.
  • Get ready for the seventh-annual WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards! Each year, your nominations and votes help WRAL recognize local favorites. Mark your calendars because the nomination period will begin September 13! Get all the details here.
  • Thanks to my number one fan Tom Meyer, I learned that the Museum of Life & Science in Durham will hold their Dine & Discover multi-course themed meal on Thursday, September 16th from 6-8:30 p.m. Dine and Discover features extraordinary food in the museum’s most unique settings, served with a side of science as the evening will combine global dishes celebrating migratory birds while learning about them. Feed your belly and your brain – a win-win! In addition to supporting the Museum’s mission, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Piedmont Wildlife Center. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The 8th annual Sola Hot Mini 5K is happening this year on Saturday, September 18th and registration is now open. You can register to run/walk, volunteer, donate or sponsor as they look to top last year’s effort to raise money towards finding a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Three years ago, Jeanne, the co-owner of Sola Coffee, was diagnosed with ALS. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Our friends over at RalToday pointed out a few events you might want to go ahead and get on your calendar. So exciting to think of some of our favorite events actually happening in 2021! First up, Raleigh Veg Fest 2021 originally scheduled for April 4 has moved to October 31 in downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square. Details here. And Brewgaloo is now scheduled for September 17 & 18 in downtown Raleigh. Details here.
  • After to cancel the 2019 and 2020 events, the Town of Cary will hold Fest in the West on November 6th from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The event will take place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex and will feature food and beer vendors, entertainment, a kids’ zone as well as arts and crafts. Get all the details here.
  • And there is a new event in the works for the Triangle – our first Triangle Vegan Restaurant Week which is scheduled for November 1-7 this year. Organizer Karen Pullen has lined up 16 participating restaurants so far and is looking for more. So if your restaurant is interested in participating (a special menu for that week–at least two creative vegan options, or a three-course fixed price meal) reach out to her at karen@triangleveganrestaurantweek.com or visit the site here for more details.

Food Bank Corner

  • September is #HungerActionMonth — a nationwide initiative designed to inspire people to take action and raise awareness to help people experiencing the impossible choices of hunger.All month, people across the country will be taking action against hunger to help families faced with impossible choices, like buying groceries or paying rent. This September, we’re asking those who are able to come together to provide the consistency and trust needed by the people the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina serves by becoming a monthly sustaining donor. In fact, this September, a Leadership Donor is matching your first month’s sustaining gift — up to $5,000! Learn more about what you can do this month here.

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