Friday Fun Food Facts – September 3, 2021

Featured Restaurant News

  • Giorgios Bakatsias is showing no signs of slowing down as he announced this week that he will open Krill in downtown East Durham this fall. As an indication of what to expect, Bakatsias responded that he would be bringing the food and culture of Southeast Asia and its coastal regions to life in a very funky and playful ‘Far East Funk’ sort of way. The restaurant, which will seat 100 (including half of that in a covered bamboo garden setting), will be located at 506 Ramsuer Street (near the Smashing Boxes software company). Stay tuned for the chef announcement, full menu and opening date soon. In the meantime, visit their site here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Raleigh Magazine shared more news about downtown’s newest development at Smoky Hollow — bound by Peace, West and Harrington streets (where the Publix is). We already told you about Midwood Smokehouse coming (out of Charlotte). But the magazine’s interview also revealed that they will be joined by a Spanish and Mediterranean small plates and wine/cocktails spot called Madre. Check them out here. Dose Yoga + Smoothie Bar will also join the lineup. See what they are all about here. And J. Lights Market & Cafe out of Durham’s Golden Belt will open a Raleigh location here. Get to know them now. The magazine also hinted at additional food/beverage tenants including a NY-style pizza concepts as well as a cocktail bar. Follow Smoky Hollow for additional details.
  • After being closed for more than a year, Uncle Julio’s at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh reopened for dine-in and carryout services earlier this week (August 31). The Tex-Mex restaurant closed in July 2020 due the pandemic. Visit them here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, I am sad to share that Joe Leli lost his mom, which required a temporary closing of Leli’s Italian Eatery Market and Bakery. Our thoughts will continue to be with Joe and his family. But I’m happy to report that he is back and reopened the restaurant this past Wednesday! Visit 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

  • 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

  • David McCreary shared the news this week that Smokey’s Shack, located at 10800 Chapel Hill Road in Morrisville, will be closing its doors today, September 3, after a 14-year run.

Food Trucks 

  • The Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo originally scheduled for this 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.


  • The Downtown Raleigh Alliance is bringing their monthly celebration of arts and culture to City Market this First Friday with Dine Out @ First Friday (September 3). They’ll have live painting demos, a pop-up market with Triangle Pop-Up, Henna Art, the Poetry Fox, live music and of course, outdoor dining options from nearby restaurants. See a list of participating restaurants and 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 head to Pinehurst this weekend 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.
  • Indy Week reminded us that the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival returns to Cary September 10-11 at Koka Booth Amphitheater. Not much else to say as the event name pretty much sums it up – a weekend full of beer, bourbon and pig. Get all the details here.
  • Downtown Durham Inc. announced that The Streetery will return tomorrow, Saturday, September 11 at Van Alen & 555 with added outdoor seating and buskers. Join them from 5 – 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.
  • 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.
  • Thanks to my number one fan Tom Meyer, I learned that the Museum of Life & Science in Durham will hold their Dine & Discover multi-course themed meal on Thursday, September 16th from 6-8:30 p.m. Dine and Discover features extraordinary food in the museum’s most unique settings, served with a side of science as the evening will combine global dishes celebrating migratory birds while learning about them. Feed your belly and your brain – a win-win! In addition to supporting the Museum’s mission, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Piedmont Wildlife Center. Get tickets and 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

  • September is #HungerActionMonth — a nationwide initiative designed to inspire people to take action and raise awareness to help people experiencing the impossible choices of hunger. All month, people across the country will be taking action against hunger to help families faced with impossible choices, like buying groceries or paying rent. This September, we’re asking those who are able to come together to provide the consistency and trust needed by the people the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina serves by becoming a monthly sustaining donor. In fact, this September, a Leadership Donor is matching your first month’s sustaining gift — up to $5,000! Learn more about what you can do this month here.

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