Friday Fun Food Facts – August 21, 2020

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • WRAL shared the news this week that the Cardinal Bar in downtown Raleigh will be opening a second location in downtown Clayton. They noted that they will be will be adding live music, a separate gaming area and a larger outdoor space. They also shared that their sister bar, Atlantic Lounge, will also be opening with a new smoked taco restaurant, Lil Hombre. The two businesses will be moving into 408 E. Second St. and 105 S. Lombard by the end of the year. Keep up with announcements on their Instagram page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Friend Kenan Barnes shared that a concept called The Arepa Bar has opened in Bent Tree Plaza at 7909 Falls of the Neuse Road in the former Papaya Chicken & Grill spot. They are serving up authentic Colombian arepas – fried then char-grilled patties with 100% cornmeal and naturally gluten free and stuffed with your choice of fresh ingredients. Get to know them here.
  • In Cary, Michael DePersia with DePersia & Associates shared that the Firehouse Subs in Cary (just off Kildaire Farm Road) that closed a few months back appears to be leased to a concept called Healthy But Good – Fast Food for Smart People. Apparently they will be offering healthy meal replacement smoothies, “turbo teas” and functional beverages. Guess we will have to wait and see what that entails. Stay tuned.
  • Out in Wendell the Farmhouse Cafe at Wendell Falls is thriving and growing in today’s environment with a huge patio seating area, a walk up take out window and an online ordering platform. Additionally, they have taken over the food service at Wendell Country Club, they are opening a whole new catering arm (called Farmhouse Caters), and in September they will be rolling out “Micro” wine and beer dinners at the Farmhouse – a five course wine/beer dinner series for 10 people (the max allowed for indoor dining). Congrats to chef Patrick Cowden and Daniel Whittaker as they successfully adapt in today’s ever changing environment. Visit them here.
  • Looking for 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

  • The good folks over at ACME in beautiful downtown Carrboro shared with me that today they are opening their new, renovated patio for drinks and snacks. They have covered the patio with a beautiful tin roofing (fully weather proof), added overhead fans and twinkling lights, and expanded the size to allow for more tables. It’s really beautiful out there – an oasis to truly forget all this Covid stuff. All of the tables will, of course, be spaced 6 feet apart to allow for social distancing. They are accepting parties on a first come, first served basis only. See pictures on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, Carrie Brogren of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Foodies group shared with me that Silverspot Cinema has reopened their restaurant, Trilogy, serving up freshly prepared dishes, wine, craft beers and signature cocktails. Visit them here.
  • Saw on the Chapel Hill Carroboro Foodies group that The News of Orange County reported that John Roberts and Aaron Pratt will be opening C&B Community Store at the corner of Highway 86 and West Sawmill Road. The business plan calls for a convenience store, a kitchen that will serve breakfast and lunch, fuel pumps and a wood-fired pizza offering on weekend evenings. Look for them to open in November. Follow their progress on Facebook here.
  • A happiest of birthdays to my friends Angelo and Vinny at IP3 on West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill as they turn 40 years old today! They are truly a Chapel Hill tradition and some of the nicest people you will ever meet! Did I mention the incredible food!?! Visit them here.

Closings / Cancellations

  • Chef Patrick Cowden and Daniel Whittaker have made the dire decision not to reopen the Pharmacy Cafe. The cafe was founded on social gathering, building community and getting to know new neighbors. The simple fact is that the space is too small to allow adequate social distancing. That is the bad news. The good news is that their Farmhouse Cafe in Wendell is doing really well and will now get all their attention with lots of new plans. Read about their expanded plans above.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, Leslie at Taste Carolina shared with us that the Reuben’s NY Deli on Davie Street has closed indefinitely.
  • Michael DePersia with DePersia & Associates shared with me that Sushi Mon on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street will not reopen and will be converted to an Indian restaurant. Stay tuned.
  • Over in Chapel Hill got word that Franklin Street’s Ms Mong has closed permanently due to COVID-19.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, Carrie Brogren of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Foodies group shared the news that the Chapel Hill location of Tobacco Road Sports Cafe will not reopen. The Durham and Raleigh locations are open!
  • David McCreary shared the news that Ruby Tuesday at 1260 N. Main Street in Fuquay-Varina has closed its doors permanently.

Food Trucks 

  • Giddy up! It is rodeo time! Yep, over 14 trucks will gather tomorrow, August 22, at the headquarters of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina over on Capital Blvd. (1924 Capital Blvd.) in Raleigh. The event will take place from noon until 4 p.m. Proceeds to benefit the Food Bank. Get a list of the trucks and all the details on their Facebook event page here. Practice social distancing and wear your mask!
  • Got word from owner Zack Long that he has opened a food truck called Carolina’s Catch. They are serving up seafood from the North Carolina coast as well as seasonal vegetables. You can find them at local brewery’s and they also cater. Follow them on Instagram here.
  • Triangle on the Cheap shared the news that Food Truck Flix is a recurring event that combines drive-in movies with food trucks, for a safer entertainment experience just announced their schedule for the upcoming weekends (Friday and Saturday nights). The events will be taking place at Frontier RTP, 800 Park Offices, Durham, and at Focus Church, 7000 Destiny Drive, Raleigh. You can purchase tickets in advance for any of the drive-in movies. The price is $25 per car. Of course, you’ll also want to bring money for the food trucks. Get the movie schedule, purchase your pass and get all the details here.
  • Here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.


  • Coronato Pizza Restaurant will be celebrating its first birthday this Saturday (August 22) by donating proceeds to children in need. The restaurant is donating all proceeds that day to TABLE, a local nonprofit that provides hunger relief and nutrition education services to children living in Orange County. Coronato is also asking diners to contribute non-perishable donations. If customers bring in four items from TABLE’s wish list, they will get a free tiramisu. Visit Coronato here and TABLE here.
  • Ashley Christensen Restaurants is now doing Picnic Pop-up at the Park at the North Carolina Museum of Art. You order your picnic ahead of time and pick it up on Saturday and Sunday from noon til 7 pm. Order ahead here and get contactless pick-up at the Blue Ridge Patio at the East Building.
  • Alley Twenty Six, one of Downtown Durham’s staple businesses, announced a weekly outdoor pop-up event titled “Alley Freezes Over” happening every Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting) from 12 pm to 8 pm. It continues throughout the summer and early fall. The pop-up includes new frozen cocktails and the choice of “boozy” or alcohol-free snow cones using their local, all-natural Alley Twenty Six syrups, plus a revamped food menu from chef Carrie Schleiffer. Seating will be available outside, in the namesake alley (26 Alley) located directly adjacent to the cocktail bar and will be following safety guidelines, including mask wearing, practicing social distancing, and sanitizing surfaces between guests. Visit them here.
  • Taste Carolina has partnered with five local food and drink artisans on a small group online class that will begin in mid-August. It meets once a week for live demonstrations by each artisan and a social and fun experience led by Lesley at Taste Carolina. The businesses represented are: Cookie Gurlie, The Mad Popper, Carrboro Coffee Company, Sweet Little Something, and Alley Twenty Six. All the artisan products are included in the price of the class! Taste Carolina wants to thank you for reading this, so the code, TFG, will get you $10 off when you sign up here.
  • If there is any good to be found in the pandemic (there really isn’t!) it might be the resurgence of drive-in and outdoor movies! Some are your traditional drive-in/car venues, while others are outdoor spaces in the grass with market off “spaces” maintaining safe physical distancing and some even involve watching a movie with babygoats! (I’m serious) Our friends over at Triangle On The Cheap have a great list of drive-in and outdoor movie options for you and your family. Of course, bringing food or ordering food on site makes it that much better! Check out their complete listing of options here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Covid 19 and the impact will be with us for a long time and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina stands ready for the challenge – but they need your help! Here’s how you can help:
  • DONATE FUNDS. As we shift our inventory and operations to meet the ever-changing need as well as prepare ourselves for Hurricane Season, funds are the resource we need most. Financial donations allow us to stay nimble, to change our operation as needed, and to reach new people with our efforts. 
  • INVOLVE FRIENDS. Want to mobilize your neighborhood, church group, or other circle of friends? Holding a Virtual Food Drive is a great way to help – while practicing social distancing. We even re-launched our Virtual Food Drive platform. Visit to set yours up today.
  • USE YOUR VOICE. Research the policies that impact hunger and speak out! Contact your state, local, and federal representatives to let them know policies like SNAP, TEFAP, and WIC need to be strengthened in order to break the cycle of hunger and help relieve families of the burden of hunger. Visit to learn more.
  • DONATE TIME. The Food Bank greatly relies on our volunteers, especially in times of crisis.If you are a healthy adult and want to volunteer, you can self-schedule a shift here. #noonegoeshungry

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