Friday Fun Food Facts – April 9, 2021

Featured Restaurant News

  • Ready for something special!?! Union Special is opening a second location! They announced this week that they will open at the intersection of Davie and Fayetteville streets (401 Fayetteville Street to be exact), right in the heart of downtown! They hinted that they would be serving up, “pastry, bread, panini, coffee, espresso, cold subs & sandos, good salads, and whatever else we can think of. There may even be a hot dog cart.” This is such great news for Andrew Ullom and his team and is a reflection of all their hard work and success. Oh, and on a related note, they also announced that soon (like end of this week – like today or tomorrow maybe!?!) they will be serving up espresso at the Gateway location. Follow along with Union Special on their Instagram page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Raleigh Convergence reported that Slice Pie Company will be moving into a new production and pickup facility at 1400 S. Saunders Street. They noted on their Instagram post that you can see Interstate 40 in one direction and downtown Raleigh in the other – just a few doors down from Earp’s Seafood. They also noted they will have easy access to quickly park and grab a pie! Sounds good to me! Keep up with them on Instagram here.
  • And not exactly Wake County, but certainly newsworthy – especially if your travels this summer take you to Charleston, South Carolina. Award-winning chef, television personality and cookbook author, Vivian Howard, launches her second downtown Charleston restaurant, Lenoir, on Wednesday, April 14 at 68 Wentworth Street next to her sister restaurant, Handy & Hot. Most folks around here know Howard for her Chef & The Farmer in Kinston, as well as Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria in Wilmington. Visit Lenoir here. And make reservations during your travels this summer!
  • 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

  • Michelle Vanderwalker and Sean Umstead, the duo behind Kingfisher and QueenBurger, announced a third concept – Queeny’s, opening this summer directly above Kingfisher at 319 E. Chapel Hill Street. They collaborated with King Kenney on this venture. They will serve lunch and dinner with dishes inspired by the classic bar and grill menu and will feature a drip coffee bar, a bookshop and a podcast studio. Check it out here.
  • Andrea Weigl brought it to my attention that an article by Matthew Lardie in Eater broke the news that chef Carrie Schleiffer, executive chef at Alley Twenty Six in Durham, has taken on the additional role of executive chef at Crook’s Corner, signaling a new chapter in the storied life of the famed Chapel Hill restaurant. Don’t worry, the shrimp and grits are not changing! Read the entire article here.
  • Saw on a recent Facebook post that Red Crab Juicy Seafood has set an open date for their location at the Oak Creek Village shopping center (4600 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.) for mid to late April. This looks to be their 6th location in North Carolina, and the first in the Triangle area (next closest one is in Burlington). You can follow along on their Facebook account for an exact date once it is set. Check out their menu 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 

  • Thanks Ashton Mae Smith for bringing this to my attention – the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle has launched a food truck called The Spinning Plate. Such a great idea! It takes meals into the community where healthy meals are needed, as well as in time of disasters, as well as providing a training opportunity for students in their Culinary Apprenticeship Program. Check them out 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

  • 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. This Saturday (April 10th) 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). This weekend’s focus being on Glenwood South. Complimentary parking is available throughout downtown. Get all the details and see which restaurants will be participating this Saturday here.
  • Downtown Durham Inc. announced that The Streetery is back this Saturday, April 10 at Central Park in downtown Durham from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. where they will open the park to pedestrian traffic with outdoor seating and buskers. So head on down to shop, carry out, dine in or dine out. The Streetery will happen on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month and they will announce the location for each Saturday. Get all the details 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.
  • On May 21, you can enjoy a special Mediterranean dinner featuring an exclusive cocktail hour with four different cooking stations, wine, beer and a belly dancer! That’s right, this special evening is a collaboration between Sassool and Cheeni and will take place at Spice Route Kitchens. The evening begins at 5 p.m. with dinner served at 6:30. Tickets are limited and available for purchase online for $100. The event will also be held virtually, streaming from 6:30pm-8:30pm. 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. 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.
  • 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.

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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