Friday Fun Food Facts – July 29, 2022

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This past week saw the opening of Giorgios Bakatsias’ 11th restaurant, Krill, a new Asian street food restaurant with chef/partner Jason Lawless. Located in Durham (506 Ramsuer Street), the menu offers twists on Asian inspired street food such as Blistered Miso Shishitos with furikake aioli and sesame seeds, Pork Buns with adobo and pickled vegetables, Uni Udon with mussels, sweet sake and scallions, and Grilled Chicken with kimchi vinaigrette. Check it out here. (And see below in the Durham section for his NEXT concept…ain’t no slowing down!)

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Triangle Business Journal shared that the much anticipated Soul Taco has opened on Morgan Street (927 West Morgan St.), just down from Irregardless Cafe. The concept is the brainchild of business partners Trey Owens, Ari Augenbaum and Nar Hovnanian and this is their first location outside of Richmond (they have two locations there). Soul Taco is a blend of Southern “soul” food and Latin American fare. No freezers nor microwaves will be found. Following this will be their second concept which will open next door to Soul Taco. JewFro is a blend of Jewish and African cuisine, and will offer deli items during the day and additional options at night. No word yet on that timeline. Visit Soul Taco here and JewFro here. Welcome to Raleigh Trey, Ari and Nar!
  • And this coming Monday, August 1, folks in North Raleigh will not have to drive as far to enjoy the fresh and delicious South American cuisine of Guasaca South American Grill! Their sixth Triangle-area location will be at 913 Spring Forest Road (near the intersection with Fall of the Neuse Road). Stop by on Monday and check them out. You can thank me later. Get familiar with them here.
  • Got word from reader Mark Ginsberg that Raleigh will soon be home to the third location of Estampa Gaucha, a Brazilian steakhouse. They have locations in Melbourne, Florida and Charlotte. It will be located inside of the Westin Hotel just 10 minutes east of RDU and only 5 minutes from Briar Creek Commons. They are looking to open this fall. Start getting familiar with them here.
  • The folks over at RalToday shared that after four years of planning and development, Raleigh’s first cidery is set to open in early August. East Bower Cider Co., located inside the new East End Market at 2020 Progress Ct., will be the first of its kind in Raleigh. Keep up with their progress and announcements on Instagram here.
  • Just beyond NC State’s Centennial Campus, at the intersection of Gorman Street and Avent Ferry Road in the Avent Ferry Shopping Center, Hardee’s reopened this week after being closed for five months for repairs from a fire, just in time for the return of students. Visit Hardee’s here.
  • Reader Vanessa Guirguis brought it to our attention that Papi’s Cuban Cafe, a mobile unit located at 3300 Ten Ten Rd. has had to close temporarily. Apparently the unit was in an accident and will need some repairs. Follow them here to see when they will be operational again.
  • Another one to keep an eye on. Several readers brought it to our attention that Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse in Brier Creek has temporarily closed. The sign on the door indicates they are closed for renovations. We will keep an eye on it and pass along any updates we receive. Might be best to follow their Facebook page for updates as they become available. Thanks to Jeanette Hauser and Mark Ginsberg for the heads up.
  • Down in Fuquay-Varina, David McCreary shared an update. Wing It On!, a new Buffalo-inspired franchise that’s on a mission to “save the world from mediocre chicken”, opened this week at 1061 East Broad Street near Walmart. Visit Wing It On! here.
  • And over in Apex, McCreary also shared that Sodabox, a craft fountain drinks and treats concept, has opened at 817 E. Williams Street. Their website indicates they will soon open another location, that one in Rolesville. Check out the intriguing menu here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • And he is not slowing down. The Triangle Business Journal shared the news that on the heels of opening Krill (see above), also in downtown Durham, Giorgios Bakatsias is bringing a new concept, Niko, with a nostalgic twist, to Brightleaf Square in 2023. Bakatsias previously had a restaurant, Nikos Greek Tavern, in Brightleaf Square until 2011. The new concept will bring back some of that location’s best dishes, as well as featuring dishes from Israel, Turkey and Lebanon. Visit his hospitality group here.
  • Got word this week that next Monday, August 1 will see the opening of the second location of Chatham County’s Breakaway Cafe. This location will be at 410 N. Greensboro Street in Carrboro. Visit them here.
  • The Daily Tar Heel shared the news that those strolling down Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street will soon have another cookie option. Crumbl Cookies will open at 133 W. Franklin St. between Alumni Hall and Arrow barber shop, although no opening date has been set yet. Get familiar with them here.

Closing / Cancellations

  • David McCreary shared that the Tijuana Flats on Cary Parkway (Shoppes of Kildaire) has closed. They still have one other location in Cary (O’Kelly Chapel Rd.) and one in Holly Springs.

Food Trucks

  • 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.


  • 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-TASTEsampling 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 YearNCRLA 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.
  • This year’s Sola Hot Mini 5K will be a special one. Let’s work together to make it the biggest one ever. As many of you know, John and Jeanne Luther are the founders/owners of Sola Coffee Café in North Raleigh. Jeanne was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, on August 30, 2019. On April 12th of this year, at age 57, Jeanne went home to be with Jesus. Race goers will gather on September 17 at 8:30 a.m. at the shop for the 9th annual Sola Hot Mini 5K to raise money to find a cure. Please consider joining the Sola community for an incredible morning in the effort to end ALS. Register and 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.
  • Also on September 18th in Chatham County, 580 Craft Beer Marketplace will host the 2nd Annual Chatham County Beer Festival from 2 to 6 p.m. at 354 East Street in Pittsboro. Your $30 pass (until 9/1) gains you access to 15 breweries and over 50 different beers. Food trucks and music will be ongoing throughout the event. Get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • You only have until midnight, July 31 to double the value of your gift to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina — dollar for dollar — up to $55,000. So, if you haven’t yet given, or want to make an even bigger impact on hunger this summer, please rush your gift today. Every $10 you give today can double to provide 100 meals! Our goal is to raise 10 million meals this summer and come to the aid of our friends and neighbors stretched thin by the rapidly rising cost of living. And if we can max out this matching gift offer, that’ll provide enough food for 550,000 meals across central and eastern North Carolina. #NoOneGoesHungry

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