Friday Fun Food Facts – July 15, 2022

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

Featured Restaurant News

  • Over in Chapel Hill, Brandon Sharp, chef and owner of the restaurant Hawthorne & Wood, has opened his second establishment, Bluebird, in Meadowmont in the space formerly occupied by Cafe Carolina (although you won’t recognize it once you walk in). Bluebird aims to present “true Gallic style” of French cuisine where the menu features French dishes like salade lyonnaise, sole véronique, and roast chicken with black truffle. The drink selections are primarily feature French wines, ciders and cocktails. Bluebird is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and open for brunch on Sundays. Get familiar with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • WRAL shared the news this week when North Hills announced that Village Tavern, described as an “upscale, casual restaurant offering exceptional food, craft cocktails and an award-winning wine list,” will be first restaurant planned for its new expansion project in the Main District currently under construction. The Village Tavern’s first location opened in 1984 in Winston-Salem. North Carolina native Scott Richardson founded the concept and has since opened a second Winston-Salem location, plus locations in Charlotte and Greensboro. Start getting familiar with them here.
  • Out in Morrisville, Red Hot & Blue will hold their grand opening this Saturday, July 16th from 1pm to 8pm at the Park West development (1000 Market Center Drive). As part of the event, they will have live music from local artists – Heavy Peace (with members of Big Daddy Love) and Joey Reccio (also a member of Big Daddy Love). Get to know the “new” Red Hot & Blue here. Their normal operations will have them open 11am to 9pm daily.
  • The Oak City Fish and Chips location at Farmington Square in Raleigh (2822 New Birch Drive) is celebrating their grand re-opening starting today through the weekend (Friday, July 15th through Sunday, July 17th). They also have a locaiton at Morgan Street Food Hall. Visit them here.
  • Over in Cary, Triangle Business Journal reported that The Arboretum at Weston off North Harrison Avenue is gaining a popular breakfast chain as well as a new Mexican eatery from the owners of a popular restaurant in Sanford. Both First Watch and La Victoria Cocina Mexicana have committed to space, but haven’t announced opening dates. La Victoria Cocina Mexicana is a new concept owned by the Fonda Lupita Group, which is behind the Fonda Lupita restaurant in Sanford. This will be First Watch’s 11th Triangle-area location, and third in Cary. We couldn’t find an online presence for La Victoria, so visit Fonda Lupita here and First Watch here.
  • A big congratulations to brothers Bates and Anthony Battaglia as they celebrate the one year anniversary of Teets – their bar at 425 Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh. Teets’ 1st Anniversary Party begins this Saturday (July 16th) at 2 p.m. with a pig pickin’, drink specials, giveaways, and live music! Visit their Facebook page for the details.
  • You have been warned. Just a reminder that Raleigh’s Boulted Bread will be closed for their “summer break” from Monday, July 25th through Tuesday, August 2nd, reopening Wednesday, August 3rd at 7 a.m. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so. Get in there before their break to load up on their yumminess! Visit them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Buena Papa Fry Bar, a local Raleigh restaurant (Morgan Street Food Hall) known for serving a Colombian-inspired meal on fries, announced the grand opening of a new location in Durham with a ribbon-cutting celebration scheduled for Thursday, July 21 at The Streets at Southpoint Mall (food court) at 11 am. During the grand opening they will have giveaways of free fries for a year every 1/2 hour, live music and merchandise giveaways. Follow them on Instagram here. Additionally, to celebrate Colombian Independence Day July 20, Buena Papa will be offering their signature Colombia tribute dish “El Colombiano” for half price at their Raleigh location. 
  • WRAL’s Sarah Krueger tipped us off to the fact that Northern Durham has a new coffee spot. Omie’s Coffee has opened at 2300 N Roxboro St. (intersection of Club and Roxboro). Get to know them and their story here.
  • And if that is not enough coffee, got word from reader Morgan Mueller that New World Cafe is going in on Main Street next to Dram and Draught. No word yet on an open date. They already have a locaiton in Raleigh on Pleasant Valley Road. Visit them here.
  • And down in Chatham County, behind the O’Reilly’s on 15-501 near the intersection with the 64 Bypass, there is a new stand-alone building that is nearly complete that will house the newest location of Aye Toro Mexican Restaurant. They already have locations in Sanford, Holly Springs and now Wilmington. No word yet on an open date, but the building looks nearly complete and the sign is up! Get to know them here.

Closings / Cancellations

  • The Arby’s on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh has closed. And with it, gone is the giant cowboy hat-shaped sign that adorned the street for as long as I can remember.
  • Got multiple messages from a bunch of people making sure I saw the news that after 23 years D&S Cafeteria in Cary has closed their doors as of July 10. Best wishes to owners Sylvester and Diane Smith as they enter retirement.
  • Janice Shattuck shared on Facebook that Nice Bowls in Cary closed on June 10th. That’s the bad news. The good news is there is already a sign up for a new concept called Kungfu Dumplings (4224 NW Cary Pkwy). They are currently remodeling, but no open date just yet. Stay tuned.

Food Trucks

  • The Chapel Hill Food Truck Festival is Saturday, July 16th from 12-5 p.m. at The Honeysuckle Tea House at 8871 Pickards Meadow Road in Chapel Hill. The event will take place on the 20-acre farm and will feature food, drinks, a playground, kids games, and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • The final Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo of 2022 will be on Sunday, September 25th. The rodeo is set up on downtown Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street featuring a half mile of food trucks and restaurants spread out over 10 city blocks. Details here.
  • The remaining Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo 2022 schedule is as follows: September 4 and October 30. Mark your calendars. Get all the details 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.


  • WRAL reminded us that the folks over at The Durham Hotel will be hosting their first annual Oyster Fest on the Roof this Friday and Saturday (July 15 and 16) to celebrate North Carolina oysters. The events will be from 5-10pm both nights for oysters, cocktails, and live music. Grab chilled favorites like oysters on the half shell and lobster rolls from the inside bar till 10pm. They will fire up the open-air grill for grilled oysters and other hot bites from 6-9pm. Additionally, both nights from 5-7pm, you can watch oyster shucking demonstrations from experts Locals Seafood and speak with the folks at NC Oyster Trail about North Carolina’s exciting aquaculture. Both nights from 7:30-9:30pm, the Al Strong Collective will perform New Orleans-style jazz live on the Roof. Open to the public. Get all the details here.
  • Is your mouth watering awaiting the opening of Longleaf Swine BBQ….yea, mine too. But the good news is that you can get a quick fix this Saturday at the Oaklyn Springs Brewing 4th Anniversary Party down in Fuqua-Varina (2912 N. Main Street). The party begins at 1 p.m. with Longleaf Swine, new IPAs, a live DJ and the evening concludes with British Invaders from 6-9 p.m. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here. Thanks to Eric Lamb for the heads up.
  • The Crushable Craft Beverage Festival returns to the Glass Jug Beer Lab in RTP this Saturday, July 16th from 5:30 until 9:30 p.m. The event highlights 13 different craft beverage makers featuring hard cider, hard seltzer, sour beers and live music – all hosted in the outdoor beer garden at the Glass Jug’s RTP location on Hwy 55 in Durham. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The folks at RalToday reminded us that this Saturday, July 16 is the Foodie Festival at Big Boss Brewing. They will have food trucks and vendors that will be serving up delicious meals from 12-5 p.m. along with live music and craft brews. Get all the details here.
  • Live It Up! Hillsborough will host another of their $4 Food Walks as part of their Summer Series on Wednesday, July 20th. Restaurants and bars will offer $4 small plate offerings for customers to introduce locals to the diverse and delicious food and beverages available from our Hillsborough Street District merchants during their normal business hours. Visit their site here to see a full list of participating restaurants and their offerings.
  • July 22nd and 23rd sees the return of the 10th Annual Bone Suckin’ Sauce Peak City Pig Fest in downtown Apex. The event features the KCBS (Kansas City Barbecue Society) BBQ competition featuring 42 cook teams (competing for $12,000 in prize money) cooking chicken, ribs, beef brisket and pork, BBQ and other food trucks, kids’ area, rib eating contest, beer garden and live music. Get all the details on their site here.
  • Raleigh’s Vidrio restaurant is hosting a “Taste Tour of the Mediterranean” monthly dinner series. The destination and menu inspiration will change each month. Next destination: Croatia! The dinner will be from 6:30-9 p.m. July 28th. Tickets are $85, plus tax and gratuity. Get all the details here.
  • Cary’s beautiful Koka Booth Amphitheater will once again play host to the 15th Annual Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival on August 5th (6-10 p.m.) and 6th (12 – 6 p.m.). It’s two great days of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’ and barbeque eatin’. Your admission buys you a sampling glass so you can enjoy an ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-TASTE sampling of beer and bourbon. Get ticket information (including VIP access) and all the details on the event site here.
  • On August 8th, the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association will host the NCRLA Chef Showdown Grand Finale from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at The Pavilion at the Angus Barn. At the event, they will crown the NCRLA Chef of the Year, NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year, and NCRLA Bartender of the Year and the NCRLA Distillery of the Year. Attendees will be able to help determine the “people’s choice” award winner from the creations of 20 top North Carolina chefs and pastry chefs and six bartenders from one end of the state to the other. Radio-personality Kitty Kinnin will be your emcee. Tickets and all the details here.
  • The Pinehurst Barbecue Festival is taking place September 2-4 in beautiful Pinehurst, North Carolina where they will celebrate “All Things Barbecue” in North Carolina – from Eastern North Carolina vinegar to Western North Carolina tomato. The three-day event features a variety of activities culminating with a impressive list of pitmasters showing off their talents on day three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • The Bull City BBQ Bash will take place on Saturday, September 3rd from 12-5 p.m. bringing a high energy BBQ event to Durham to cap the summer holiday season. Attendees will interact with BBQ competitors, taste and vote on delicious food while supporting Helps Education Fund, enjoy live music, shop at a small business marketplace, enjoy local food and beverages and most of all – experience an amazing atmosphere! Get all the details on their website here.
  • After a 2-year hiatus, Dinner in the Meadow will return as attendees will be gathering in the meadow again on Sunday, September 11th from 5:30-8:30 in the evening. The dinner sells out each year, so you are encouraged to get your tickets early. Get all the details here.
  • The 15th Annual Pepperfest returns this year on Sunday, September 18th at The Plant in Pittsboro. The event is hosted outdoors with live music and pepper-themed food and drink made with locally-grown sweet, hot, and smoky NC peppers. Chefs and craft beverage makers will compete for awards. Guests can taste different dishes made from peppers grown in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Early bird prices are good through July 1st, when prices increase. Get your tickets and all the details here. Thanks to Neha Shah with the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau for alerting me about this great event.
  • Like beer? Excellent. Visit Raleigh has established a Raleigh Beer Trail that gives you a passport to get stamped at the 30+ breweries in the Raleigh area, from Wake Forest to Raleigh to Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina. Once you’ve filled up your passport with stamps, you send it in to receive prizes. Nothing like being rewarded for drinking! But as always, please drink responsibly. Get the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • With your support over the last year, the Food Bank distributed food to approximately 200,000 youth facing hunger in the 34 counties we serve. Unfortunately, we continue to see a devastating impact from COVID-19 for young people, who are left vulnerable to family and school changes. No child should have to worry when he or she will eat again, and no parent should have to skip a meal, so they can put food on the table for their children. Through agency distributions, targeted nutrition programs, education, and public policy work, the Food Bank is reaching young people with healthy and fun food options. Learn more here. #NoOneGoesHungry

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