Friday Fun Food Facts – January 29, 2021

Featured Restaurant News

  • This spring, Giorgios Hospitality Group and chef/partner Daniel Jackson will open Osteria Georgi at 201 South Elliot Road in Chapel Hill, in the former Living Kitchen space. The Osteria is named in honor of Giorgios Bakatsias’ friend, the late, great George Tarantini, who was born in Italy and was beloved as NC State’s soccer coach. Osteria Georgi plans to open for lunch, dinner and brunch, serving house made pastas, braised meat dishes, and antipasto. Look for them to open this spring. Follow along for announcements on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Blogger EatRaleigh shared the news this week that Sam Jones BBQ at 502 W. Lenoir Street in downtown Raleigh is now open for takeout, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Their original location is in Winterville, NC. Visit their Raleigh location online here.
  • Need more BBQ news? Reader Bill Velto pointed out the recent story in Cary Magazine that Big Mike’s BBQ, with locations already in Cary and Apex (which expanded in December), will move into a 5,000-square foot building at 150 E. Cedar St. in the middle of downtown Cary. When that move is complete, sometime next summer, the current Cary location will be converted to a new taco concept that incorporates smoked meats into the menu according to the magazine. Keep up with Big Mike’s here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, EatRaleigh also pointed out that Cheeni, the Indian-American grab-and-go coffee shop and cafe at 227 Fayetteville Street (front of the Y location), has shared via their Instagram feed that they will be opening a second location off Hillsborough Street. You will have to follow their Instagram to get the announcement when they make it. Do so here.
  • Also in Cary, RalToday shared the news that appeared in the Cary Citizen that the Brooklyn-based pizza joint Di Fara Pizza Tavern will be opening, hopefully, by the end of this month (just a few days left in January!). The shop is located at 111 E. Chatham St. We first reported on this back in October, 2019 (yes, 2019 – covid and a few other issues have had a way with delaying things). This will be the restaurant’s first East Coast location outside of New York City, confirmed Greg Norton, nephew of Di Fara founder Dom DeMarco. Norton and his wife moved to Cary six years ago. The new Di Fara Pizza will be both a tavern and a pizzeria (with tons of outdoor picnic tables) and will be a separate brand from the original restaurant, though serving pizza in the same family style. As for an official opening? Best to follow them on Facebook here.
  • The next phase of Kane Realty’s expansion in and around North Hills will involve a 33-acre plot located between St. Albans Drive and Interstate 440. The “innovation district” will not only include lots of office space, apartments and open space, but what is most exciting to us (and perhaps you too!) is the announcement that it will also include a 20,000-square-foot Big Branch Food Hall. Raleigh Convergence shared additional details about the food hall including that they are shooting for a summer 2024 opening with 11 stalls, an indoor/outdoor bar and outdoor rooms along the creek. See renderings of the food hall here.
  • We first told you about Meat & Bite Food Exchange a few weeks back, and I noticed the sign up this week that they are now open on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh! Located at 2908 Hillsborough Street, they are now offering up burgers, grilled and fried chicken, burritos and tacos – everything a college kid might want/crave! Get to know them here.
  • Crawford and Son has brought back Crawford Curbside Tuesday through Thursday evenings where you can call in pre-orders from 2pm-4pm for same day pick up from 5pm-8pm. Orders may be picked up from the bar or can be brought out curbside to your car. To go cocktails, beer, and wine are also available. Get all the details, including menu, on their website here. Additionally, their sister restaurant next-door, Jolie, is offering a $35 three course pre-fixe menu from 5pm-6pm Tuesday through Saturday. Check those out here.
  • And speaking of pick-up, Cantina 18 at Cameron Village is offering Ready For Reheat, dinners for two, featuring items from some of Jason Smith’s favorite cookbooks. Next up are special dishes from Richard Olney’s cookbook, Lulu’s Provencal Table. Place orders by Wednesday, February 3, for pick up on Friday, February 5th. Get all the details 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

  • Great news for those living in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village, and everyone in the Triangle, as Town Hall Grill, which closed last June, announced on their Facebook page that they will reopen in April of this year! It is also looking like they will have a similar concept and menu as before, with a few updates and changes. More on that as they get closer to opening. Keep up with any announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • Across town in Chapel Hill’s Meadwomont development, Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies leader Carrie Brogren shared that Kahlovera Tacos, which also operates a popular food truck in the area, has opened their first brick and mortar location in the former Chronic Tacos spot. Follow them on Facebook here.
  • Last January we shared with you that after 11 years in business, Café Meridian, on Meridian Parkway in Durham, had to find a new home. Well, reader Joshua Brigante just shared with us that they have done that and have a soft opening this week, and will officially open on February 1, at their new location near the intersection of Highways 54 & 55, between Big Lots and AutoZone. Visit them here. Congratulations to owner Rich Kazazian!
  • And over at the much-anticipated Boxyard RTP, Raleigh Convergence shared a spotlight featured in Eater that informed us that Jake Wood’s anticipated Lawrence Barbecue location would collaborate with beverage director Zack Thomas to open a “leisure bar” called Lagoon just above Lawrence Barbecue. Think mid-century tiki drinks plus ’80s resort-style beverages. Look for Lawrence to open in February, quickly followed by Lagoon in March. Visit Lawrence here and Lagoon’s Instagram page here.
  • And 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

  • The News & Observer reported this week that the plans to open Luang Prabang on the upper level of the Dillon in downtown Raleigh have been cancelled. It was a highly anticipated Laotian restaurant from the team behind Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana.
  • The folks over at Taste Carolina shared the sad news that Soul Fresh Spring Rolls closed.

Food Trucks 

  • 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.


  • Today (January 29) is the day! After a one-week delay, legendary North Carolina pitmaster Ed Mitchell has partnered with LM Restaurants to launch The Preserve as a popup running out of the Carolina Ale House off Falls of the Neuse Road – where they will be offering slow smoked, heritage breed pork BBQ, ribs, chicken, and wings along with traditional Southern sides for delivery! Probably best to follow their latest on Instagram here.
  • Valentine’s Day is traditionally a time for couples to enjoy an elegant dinner out or a romantic meal at home. This year, Rocky Top Catering offers the best of both worlds with Couples, Cooking & Cocktails – live cooking classes on Zoom hosted by owner and chef Dean Ogan. Couples can choose from one of two sessions: Saturday, Feb. 13 or Sunday, Feb. 14 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. WRAL’s Ken Smith will be the celebrity chef for the class on Feb. 13 and G-105’s Erica Delong (from the morning Showgram) will be the celebrity chef on Feb. 14. Sign up and get all the details here.
  • This Valentines Day let Donovan’s Dish bring the restaurant to you with a delicious Three Course Dinner for Two! Stay safe in the comfort of your own home while starting with a beautifully built Meat & Cheese Box for the ultimate date-night in! Simply heat & eat! All meals will be delivered or available for pickup on Fri., Feb 12 or Sat., Feb. 13th. Order by Wednesday, Feb. 10th. Dining-in has never been so romantic! Get all the details here.
  • Valentine’s Day not your thing? But football is? Check out the Super Bowl package the Angus Barn has put together. Just heat and eat their big game feast for five! The package includes: 2 full racks AB pork ribs; 8 giant roasted turkey wings; 18 filet mignon meatballs in marinara; 12 oversized stuffed potato tots; 1 bag of AB homemade crackers; 1 tub of AB cheddar cheese. All for $120. Add a whole chocolate chess pie for $20. Call in to reserve yours today at 919-781-2444. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Looking to spice up your Tuesday nights? Well Bites of Bull City has launched their new weekly dining out/take out event called Tuesday Night Bites. These are special deals offered by some of the best local restaurants in Durham. Not only will these offers give you a sweet, delicious deal and help you fulfill the #durhamtakeoutpledge (to dine/take out at least twice a week to support our local restaurants), but it will also help these establishments thrive on a slower night and survive the winter during a pandemic. Get all the details here. What are you doing next Tuesday night?
  • The Triangle Wine & Food Experience, a series of wine- and food-related events benefiting the Frankie Lemmon School and Developmental Center, will look a little different this year due to the pandemic, but will kick off on Tuesday, Feb. 2 and run through Feb. 9. The Triangle Wine & Food Experience festivities will last for a week, and will include an online auction, VIP dinner packages, wine tastings, and a live-streamed celebration. All proceeds from the Triangle Wine & Food Experience go directly to the Frankie Lemmon School, a NAEYC accredited, five-star child developmental center that welcomes children ages two to six of all abilities. Get all the details on how you can participate and support them on their website here.
  • Anyone up for a little wine and weed? Come on, North Carolina is not quite that liberal just yet. Wine & Weeds (the ‘s’ is very important) is a weekly event where volunteers can drink a complimentary glass of wine while weeding the gardens at the Well Fed Community Garden at 1321 Athens Drive in Raleigh. Get all the details on how you can participate here on their Facebook page. What’s next? Beer & Bongs…?
  • Simply eating out has become a bit of an event. The creativity, caution and care our restaurants have taken (and added expenses!) is nothing short of impressive. One thing they are not short on is passion! Anyway, blogger Beck Eats World has put together a pretty impressive list of restaurants with outdoor heaters. Check out the list here.
  • Not exactly an event per se, but rather some things to celebrate. Visit Raleigh put together a list of the best restaurants that opened in 2020 in the greater Raleigh area. Check that list out here. And WRAL’s Out and About put out a broader list of Triangle-wide openings in 2020. Check that list out here.

Food Bank Corner

  • The best way to make a powerful difference in 2021 is to become a monthly donor of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. This January, your first monthly donation can be MATCHED by a generous Food Bank friend — up to $5,000 in matching dollars available! Sign up today here! #noonegoeshungry

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