Friday Fun Food Facts – August 20, 2021

Featured Restaurant News

  • Big news coming out of Durham this week – chef Ricky Moore, North Carolina’s seafood evangelist and owner of the popular Saltbox Seafood Joint restaurants, has retired the old Five Points location (lease was up). But the good news is that the location on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard will continue to serve the community. You will have one last shot at the original 205-square-foot location this Sunday, August 22. Moore has invited everyone to celebrate one final service this Sunday beginning at 12 noon at 608 North Mangum Street where he will be serving up his seasonal Shrimp Burgers! Open as long as supplies last. Visit Saltbox here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word this week that Buena Papa (good potato in Spanish), Raleigh’s first-ever fry bar, will celebrate its official grand opening at Morgan Street Food Hall on Thursday, August 26th  from 11am – 9pm. The fist 10 customers will enjoy their favorite Buena Papa dish on the house. And every hour the team will choose a guest to win free fries for a year. Buena Papa will also unveil a brand-new recipe, exclusive to the grand opening and celebrate with a ribbon cutting and live Salsa music. Keep up with them on Instagram here.
  • Staying in downtown, Young Hearts Distilling, downtown Raleigh’s first distillery and restaurant, opened this past weekend at 225 S. Wilmington St. in the former Busy Bee Cafe / Trophy Tap & Table space. It is brought to us by the same team as Busy Bee, Trophy Tap & Table, State of Beer and Trophy Brewing Company. Follow along on Facebook here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, got word this week that The Darby, a small plate and bar, will be opening soon on Davie Street in the former Dickey’s BBQ spot at 170 E. Davie Street. Looking to open sometime next month. Check them out on Instagram for updates and pending announcements.
  • Both reader Shari Parisi and friend Dana McCall shared the news that up on Duraleigh the Steak & Shake at Duraleigh Corners has new temporary signage for Sean’s Shack (full disclosure, I am not affiliated with this incredibly named spot). But with a name like that, they are sure to be wildly successful! 🙂
  • Saw on Twitter that the newest location of City Barbecue has opened in Raleigh on Lake Boone Trail (4122 Lake Boone Trail), just down the hill from the hospital. This marks their 5th Triangle-area location. Check them out here.
  • Over in North Raleigh, Jennifer Buchholz shared that Poke Bar will open on August 27 at their location at 909 Spring Forest Rd. This appears to be their first North Carolina location. Check them out here.
  • Out in Brier Creek in Raleigh, reader Jennifer Buchholz also sent us a note indicating that a sign for Kung Fu Tea has popped up in a space a few doors down from Pei Wei. Looks like this will mark their second Triangle-area location with the other being over on High House Road in Cary. Get to know them here. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Cary, Flip Side Donuts (a donut and coffee shop offering the classics as well as creative, vegan, and gluten-friendly donuts) opens tomorrow on August 21 in the former Happycakes Cupcakery spot at 9958 Chapel Hill Road in Cary (think Guasaca). Check them out on their Instagram page here.
  • If that is not enough sweetness for Cary, got word this week that Geluna Gelato, featuring small batch, Italian-style gelato, is coming to Chatham Street (111 E. Chatham St.) in downtown Cary. Best to follow them on Instagram to keep up with their progress along with any pending announcements. They are aiming for early November…sooner if they can.
  • And down in Holly Springs, David McCreary shared that a fully gluten-free cafe called Lovegrass Kitchen will be opening soon at The Block on Main. They will be serving up gluten free crepes, waffles, pancakes, espresso drinks, smoothies and more. They are shooting for an opening date some time in December or the latest in January, 2022. Follow along on Facebook 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

  • Got word this week that Tesoro is now open in downtown Carrboro (100 E. Weaver Street). The 18-seat, pasta-focused neighborhood restaurant is located across from Weaver Street Market. Chef-owner David Peretin’s menu features house-made pasta, seasonal plates, and classic sweets with Italian, French and Croatian influences. They are open Tuesday thru Thursday this week and will open regular hours Tuesday thru Sunday starting August 24th. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Durham, reader Beth Peloquin shared the news that she saw a sign on University Drive for a brick and mortar location of Whisk & Rye, a food truck serving up traditional French pastries. No word on the exact location or a timeline. Stay tuned and follow along here.
  • The folks at Bites of Bull City shared the news that off HWY-55 in South Durham (5111 NC Highway 55), a cheery smoothie, açaí, coffee and tea cafe called Anissa’s Spot recently opened. They are open 10-6 every day (until 7 on Friday and Saturday). 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

  • Triangle Explorer, aka John Huisman, shared the news that Public House in Bedford closed earlier this week.
  • Citing staffing challenged and an inability to maintain two locations in Cary, Brigs made the difficult decision to close their location on Tryon Road in Tryon Village. Their Maynard Road location remains open.

Food Trucks 

  • The Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo originally scheduled for Sunday, September 5th (Labor Day weekend) has been postponed due to the rise in Covid cases and the Delta variant. Keep up with any updates (possibly in November) on their Instagram page 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.


  • Downtown Durham Inc. announced that The Streetery will return next Saturday, August 28 at Golden Belt 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.
  • RalToday shared that Raleigh’s International Food Festival is returning to City Plaza on Sat., August 28 from 12 noon -10 p.m. The festival features a variety of international food, beer and wine, as well as international performers. Admission is free. Get all the details here.
  • The 45th Annual Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival will be held on August 28 and 29 at Cary’s Town Hall campus on Academy Street. The two-day arts festival will feature over 350 artists, live music, children’s activities and a variety of food and drink vendors. 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.
  • You might want to go ahead and plan on spending your Labor Day weekend in Pinehurst for the inaugural Pinehurst Barbecue Festival – a three-day event, staged in and around the historic Village of Pinehurst from September 3-5, 2021. The event will offer a unique culinary sampling experience of various barbecue meats and traditional sides. Choose to experience the entire three-day festival, or attend just one signature event. A multi-ticket VIP package, as well as individual tickets for each event are available. The pitmaster lineup includes: Ed Mitchell, The Preserve (Raleigh); Christopher Prieto, Prime Barbecue (Knightdale); Adam Hughes, Old Colony Smokehouse (Edenton); Joe Lumbrazo, Backyard Bistro (Raleigh); and Ashley Sheppard, Pik N Pig (Carthage). Get tickets, schedule and all the details here.
  • Get ready for the seventh-annual 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 or visit the site here for more details.

Food Bank Corner

  • Their summer match may be over, but the Food Bank’s Kids Summer Meals Program will continue to serve free nutritious meals through August 20 – filling the summer meal gap that occurs when kids & teens miss out on reliable school meals. While school is out, the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina knows families struggle to keep food on the table. Budgets for so many families are already stretched thin from the pandemic, with job losses and hours being cut. The Food Bank is providing free grab-and-go meals for children at approximately 40 meal sites across our service area. Learn more about the Grab & Go Kids Summer Meals here.

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