Friday Fun Food Facts – April 2, 2021

Featured Restaurant News

  • RalToday brought it to our attention that the Downtown Raleigh Alliance is bringing back their extremely successful Dine Out Downtown program that they began last year. Beginning THIS Saturday (April 3rd) from 5-9 p.m., and every Saturday through June, they will pick a different district in downtown to encourage guests to frequent (dine-in, dine outside or order take-out). It begins this weekend (April 3rd) with the focus being on Fayetteville Street. Complimentary parking is available throughout downtown. Get all the details and see which restaurants will be participating this Saturday here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • On a recent drive down Hillsborough Street, I noticed a “Coming Soon” sign up at the former Sub Conscious Subs location at 3209 Hillsborough Street for Italian Kitchen of Raleigh. I was unable to find a web presence for them. Stay tuned.
  • Triangle Business Journal reported that Raleigh may soon be getting a new drive-thru-only version of Chick-fil-A at 651 E. Six Forks Road across from the Costco store near Wake Forest Road and by the Wegmans in the Midtown East shopping center. The application will require the demolition and redevelopment of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car location. No word yet on the timing. Visit Chick-fil-A here.
  • Speaking of Hillsborough Street (or just off Hillsborough Street), a quick update from Triangle Business Journal about the Players’ Retreat – owner Gus Gusler says he will reopen outdoor dining only beginning mid-May, once employees are fully vaccinated. Gusler is also working to more than double PR’s current sidewalk seating from 64 to ~130. Might be best to follow them on Facebook for exact dates and other announcements.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that you’ll soon be able to enjoy a Bo-Berry Biscuit® from Bojangles at a large master-planned community at 2232 Wendell Falls Parkway in Wendell in the second quarter of 2022. The new location is part of about 2 million square feet of retail space that will include other restaurants and shops as businesses follow the housing boom in the eastern Wake County. Visit Bojangles here.
  • Over in Cary, reader Chad Osborn let us know that a new Chinese restaurant called Shanghai Alley Inc. opened in Cary on Kildaire Farm Road in the old Carrabba’s Italian Grill location (next door to Goodberry’s). Get familiar with them here.
  • Thanks to a tip from David McCreary, we learned that Aye! Toro Mexican Restaurant is now open at 303 Matthews Drive at Sunset Lake Commons in Holly Springs. Get to know them 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

  • RalToday shared the news that Park’s Food St., a mini Korean food hall of sorts inspired by South Korea’s Gangnam District, will open tomorrow, Apr. 2 at 3219 Old Chapel Hill Rd. in Durham (next door to Eastcut Sandwich Shop). Vendors will include Taco Park, Ramyun Time, Itaewon Grill, and Cupdak. There is plenty of patio seating as well as craft brews. Check out Park’s here.
  • Triangle Business Journal reported that Farmside Kitchen, home of the farmbowl, opened yesterday (Thursday) in Churchill Commons at 5431 Page Road in Durham/RTP (at the intersection with Miami Boulevard). They took over the former space of Gusto Farm to Street, which closed exactly a year ago to the day. Farmside Kitchen will serve its signature bowls with fresh grains, protein and vegetables. See their menu and get to know them 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

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

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.


  • Raleigh Magazine highlighted the fact that another Lawrence Barbecue pop-up is coming to Raleigh! The forthcoming barbecue resto from chef Jake Wood—who has already done a number of his popular ’cue pop-ups—has been tapped by St. Roch for the return of the New Orleans-inspired oyster bar and restaurant’s Friends With Benefits monthly dinner series – the next one on April 8. What is better than barbecue and oysters? Lawrence Barbecue is looking to open in Boxyard RTP this summer. Visit St. Roch here.
  • Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro will host a NC Shrimp Boil and Tapping Party for its newest beer, Costero Mexican Lager, on April 10th from 12pm to 11pm on their expanded patio. Piedmont Four will play live music from 5pm to 8pm. Admission is free while plates of fresh NC shrimp and pints of Costero Mexican Lager (and all their beers) will be available for purchase. Visit their website for all the details.
  • Giorgios Bakatsias will introduce chef Dan Jackson at an Osteria Georgi preview dinner hosted at their flagship restaurant, Parizade on Thursday, April 15th at 6:30 p.m. Before Osteria Georgi opens later this spring over in Chapel Hill, guests are invited to be the first to experience his exceptional Italian cooking including fresh, house made pastas and delicate seafood dishes. Guests will enjoy a 6-course dinner of alternating courses from chefs Lawless and Jackson, alongside wine pairings from Trinchero Wine Estates in Napa Valley. Tickets to the event are $110 per guest and likely to sell out quickly. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • As if you need another reason to get your Covid 19 vaccine, here’s a very sweet reason. Beginning this week at Krispy Kreme, anyone who shows their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card receives a free Original Glazed® doughnut. And you can do this every day for the duration of the promotion. One donut a day sounds pretty good to me! Available in the shop or drive-thru. Here are all the details.
  • And not really an event, but more of an “opening” of outdoor dining, downtown Apex restaurants and cafes will soon be moving tables and chairs outside again, so their customers can enjoy spring weather and a safer dining option. Beginning Monday, March 29, more than a dozen parallel parking spaces will once again be converted to outdoor seating areas. As with the 2020 Parking-to-Dining program, this is a temporary conversion of some parallel parking. Orange safety barriers will be placed along N. Salem Street to block off the 13 spaces. Start making plans to visit downtown Apex!
  • 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 scheduled for June 11 & 12 in downtown Raleigh. Details here.
  • And a quick shout-out and Happy Birthday to my friends over at 321 Coffee who celebrated celebrated two years of successful operations at the Farmer’s Market location. If you haven’t been, you should plan to go by this weekend. You will be glad you did. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Thanks to generous friends of the Food Bank, your gift to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina can be matched – dollar for dollar – up to $340,000. That’s right, through March 31 your donation can provide twice as many balanced meals to neighbors experiencing hunger right now. This 2X Matching Gift Challenge couldn’t have come at a more meaningful time. This month marks one year since the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted our daily lives and caused food insecurity in our service area to soar higher than the Great Recession. After a year of missing paychecks due to layoffs, furloughs, or reduced hours, we know families are wondering how they will continue to afford rent and utilities — and food. Double your gift today here! But because of you, there’s hope. #noonegoeshungry

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