Friday Fun Food Facts – January 14, 2022

Featured Restaurant News

  • Locally owned coffee shop 321 Coffee announced via Twitter this week that they will be opening their first stand-alone shop this spring on Hillsborough Street (615 Hillsborough Street) in the Bloc83 building (directly across the street from Char-Grill). If you are not familiar with 321, they are a coffee shop and roaster that employs individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The first 321 Coffee location opened in the State Farmers Market building in 2019 and they will open a location inside the Pendo headquarters (Raleigh Crossing Tower) in February. They will continue to operate both of these locations and have plans to potentially open another location this year and plan to open a roasting facility. Get familiar with 321 and their story here. Thanks to the Triangle Business Journal for providing the additional information on their growth.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • And that is not the only food news related to the the mixed-use development known as Bloc83 (which includes One Glenwood and Tower Two) in Raleigh’s Glenwood South. The Triangle Business Journal shared that the new owners also announced that a First Watch will move into a 4,000 square-foot space. First Watch is a breakfast and lunch restaurant chain based in Florida which currently has nine locations throughout the Triangle, including four in Raleigh. Visit First Watch here.
  • And the Triangle Business Journal shed a little more light on the concept going into the former Edwards Mill Bar & Grill. What we do know – Urban Food Group family (think Chow, Vivace and Coquette here in Raleigh) will open a new concept there. And it is slated to open in May. That is what we know for sure. Initially we reported that it would be called Foundry, but TBJ is reporting that it might be called the Mill, perhaps Mill Urban Tavern. But nothing is set in stone just yet. In fact, the menu isn’t yet complete since a chef has not been chosen, but you can expect something similar to the group’s former Hillsborough Street restaurant Porter’s City Tavern. Keep up with Urban Food Group here.
  • Over in Raleigh’s North Hills, two bits of news. First up, the Redneck BBQ Lab has started building out their location there as they plan to have their grand opening in May 2022. Their original location is in Benson at McGee’s Crossroads. Keep up with their progress here.
  • Additionally, we learned that we are getting closer to the opening of the their location of Jubala Coffee as they look to a February opening. They will open in the Park District of North Hills adjacent to the Coastal Credit Union Midtown Park. Look for “an enhanced food menu” that includes weekend brunch options. Their original location is in Raleigh’s Lafayette Village and they have another location on Hillsborough Street on the ground floor of the Aloft HotelVisit Jubala here.
  • Over in Cary, the residents of Preston will be excited to learn that a location of Dunkin’ (I still want to call it Dunkin’ Donuts) in the Lowe’s Foods shopping center at the corner of High House Rd and Cary Parkway. Thanks to Michael DePersia of DePersia & Associates for bringing this to my attention. No word yet on a timeline. Visit Dunkin’ here.
  • Also in Cary, RalToday shared that Dave and Busters will reopen at a new location at 1111 Walnut St., close to the soon-to-be Epic Games global headquarters, next Monday, January 17. Epic Games bought out the previous location inside Cary Towne Center. Visit them here.
  • A quick update on news we brought you back in August, 2021. David McCreary shared that Bellini Fine Italian Cuisine has closed their current location in MacGregor Village in Cary as they move to their new location at 7256 GB Alford Highway in the Shoppes at Holly Springs this fall. Bellini is taking over the space formerly occupied by the now-shuttered Los Pos Mexican restaurant. Look for them to open in the new space at the end of this month. Best to follow them on their Facebook page here for updates and announcements.
  • Up in Wake Forest, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, spotted a sign for a new donut shop called Heritage Donuts going in next to the Publix. We couldn’t find an online presence, so we will have to rely on John for updates. Stay tuned.
  • Last night WRAL unveiled the winners of the WRAL Voters’ Choice Awards. Check out the winners in the Food & Beverage areas here. Congrats to the winners and all those that were nominated!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Chapel Hill, the owners of Old East Tavern opened a new coffee shop adjacent to their restaurant called The Poplar Cafe. The name plays off the Davie Poplar tree on campus believed to be the spot where the University was founded (and Old East was the first building on campus). They are in the spot formerly occupied by Coco Bean Coffee & Tea, which relocated to Glen Lennox’s new Gwendolyn building and expanded their offerings. Check out Poplar on Facebook here.
  • In Durham, reader Dave Salman shared the news that Rockwood Dairy Bar in Durham (2514 University Drive) is moving from their original Rockwood location at the end of January. However, as of yet, they have not said where they are moving to. You will have to follow their Facebook page for information and hopefully an announcement soon.
  • Kudos to downtown Durham’s M Sushi for being the only North Carolina restaurant named to OpenTable’s Top 100 Restaurants in America for 2021. M Sushi is owned by chef Michael Lee and his wife, Yeonju (Kim) Lee. M Sushi is located at 311 Holland St. and is the flagship member of the M Restaurant group. Visit them here.
  • The folks over at the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau have put together a great list of dining options in Orange County (Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, etc.) that have outdoor seating and heaters. Check out the list here.

Closings / Cancellations

  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that the lone Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Raleigh has closed due to Kane Realty Corp.’s redevelopment of the North Hills shopping district. The restaurant will NOT move to a temporary location, but will reopen on the ground floor of the new development (a 12-story apartment building) in the winter of 2024. They still have locations in Cary and Durham.

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.


  • Thanks to a tip from Sitti’s executive chef Tracy Wildrick, I was reminded that Triangle Restaurant Week returns at the end of the month – January 24-30, 2022. TRW is a week-long celebration of culinary excellence designed to incorporate the premier Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding area restaurants. During TRW, participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, a great opportunity for residents and visitors alike to indulge in the area’s finest cuisine. No reservations, tickets or passes required. Pricing for the event is $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $25, $30, $35 or $40 for a 2-3 – course dinner. Price is for each person and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Find out which restaurants are participating and all the details here.
  • Mark your calendars for February 3 through February 5th for the Triangle Wine & Food Experience. It is North Carolina’s premier wine and food event with all proceeds benefiting the Frankie Lemmon School & Developmental Center. The event features acclaimed winemakers and celebrity chefs from all over the world, as well as thousands of donors and supporters, participating in this truly amazing event. This three-day affair includes winery dinners at the Triangle’s top restaurants, wine tastings at area wine shops, and trade events. TWFE weekend culminates in the Grand Auction, which features a dazzling selection of wine and food, and an exciting auction that features rare and incredible lots. Tickets are on sale now. Get all the details here.
  • Guys, you have been warned. Please note that the Super Bowl AND Valentine’s fall on the same weekend in 2022. The Super Bowl is on Sunday, February 13th, the day before Valentine’s. And we know everyone typically books their Valentine’s date nights on that weekend. You have been warned.

Food Bank Corner

  • New year, new ways to give back to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina! You can come volunteer in a safe environment (MASKS ARE REQUIRED) or even host your own virtual food drive! Find out how on their website here. #NoOneGoesHungry

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