Friday Fun Food Facts – January 13, 2023

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The Triangle Business Journal shared the news this week that Sanford’s Fonda Lupita (named one of 11 best new restaurants in the nation) is bringing its authentic Mexican food to downtown Durham’s Brightleaf District on Main Street. The new spot will operate as Fonda Lupita. Its menu will feature the beloved gorditas, tacos, quesadillas, tortas and burritos that made the original location popular. The 3,325-square-foot space will also include a bar. If you are not already familiar with them, do so here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • We are in our second week of the year, and Giorgio Bakatsias has already opened his first new restaurant of the year – Giorgio Pizza Bar. Next up for Bakatsias will be Spanish eatery Las Ramblas opening next week on January 17th, also in North Hills. The tapas restaurant will pair North Carolina seafood and pork with authentic old-world Spanish ingredients under the direction of Rosewater executive chef Brian Jenzer and partner Laszlo Lukacsi. Visit Las Ramblas here.
  • And if that is not enough great foodie news coming out of North Hills, they shared this week that they will be adding a hip New York concept to the mix. Limani Grille, a Mediterranean seafood restaurant focusing on traditional Greek specialties, has locations in Long Island, New York, along with Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts; and Charlotte. The restaurant will be located in the Main District project, which is currently under construction where J.C. Penney used to stand. Look for a late 2023, early 2024 opening. Get familiar with Limani here.
  • Glenwood South’s newest cocktail bar, Cuya, being brought to us (and upstairs from) the team at The Cortez Seafood + Cocktail, has opened at 413 Glenwood Avenue. The name comes from Maracuya, which is Spanish for passion fruit. Best to follow them on Instagram here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal shared the news this week that Cary’s Bond Brothers Beer Company (brothers Jeremy and Jay Bond) will bring their taproom concept to the Salvage Yard at Raleigh Iron Works, however an opening date has not been announced. The spot will be called NOCO, which stands for No Company. The brothers have two spots in downtown Cary. Visit Bond Brothers here.
  • At Raleigh’s NC Museum of Art, the newly remodeled NCMA Café in the West Building will have their grand opening TOMORROW Saturday, January 14th. The Winter menu will feature some intriguing small bites and Southern inspired entrées incorporating beef, seafood, poultry and vegan/gluten free selections. Sustainably grown family estate wines will also be available, primarily Old-World selections. Enjoy chef Rick Sloan’s rotating culinary collection featuring signature dishes like – Cider Glazed Chicken or Carolina Classics Catfish Farro Bowl. The coffee lounge will feature barista-crafted beverages for a quick pick me up. Visit them here.
  • In downtown Raleigh, RalToday shared that Happy + Hale is reopening its flagship store in City Plaza in the next few weeks. The healthy eats spot will offer digital services only which simply means you will order online or on the app for pickup, or through delivery services. Visit Happy + Hale here.
  • Over in Cary, reader Dave Hoover shared the news that Leo’s Italian Social has opened in Park West. The concept has locations in Ohio, Charlotte and Asheville. This is the Triangle’s first location. Get to know them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Our friends over at Bites of Bull City shared the news this week that The Durham Food Hall will welcome a new tenant this month: Mango Indian Grill. It is brought to us by the husband and wife team, Mathi and Priya Pothiyappan, who also own Chapel Hill’s CholaNad Restaurant & Bar (along with three locations inside UNC’s campus). Mango plans to open the third week in January (2023) and opening hours will be Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm, and Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm. Look for opening announcements and get to know them on their Instagram page here.
  • The Waiting Room in Durham’s American Tobacco Campus is now open Tuesday thru Thursday from 5 until midnight, and Friday and Saturday from 5 until 2 a.m. What is The Waiting Room? It is a crafted cocktail and small plates concept where you can hang out before or after you dinner reservations at nearby restaurants (or before or after a show at the DPAC). Learn more about them and their partnerships with other local businesses on their Instagram page here.
  • Saw on the Bites of Bull City Instagram page that Navigator Brewing Co. is having their grand opening TODAY, January 13th. They are located at 3219 Watkins Road over in Durham where Bottle 501 used to be (near intersection of 40 and 15/501). Get all the details on the Instagram page here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, The Daily Tar Heel reported that Crumbl Cookies has set February 3rd as the grand opening of their Franklin Street location at 133 W. Franklin St. between Alumni Hall and Arrow barber shop. The grand opening will include a ribbon cutting with Rameses and Wool E. Bull in attendance. Visit Crumbl here.
  • And down in Johnston County, the Triangle Business Journal reported that Clayton’s Rockin’ Comet Diner was purchased by Cook Out, which is great. Even greater, there are no plans to make any changes to the diner, including the name. Ben Merrill opened and ran the diner for the past 25 years. The diner is located at 11637 US Hwy 70, Bus. W. Visit them here.

Closing / Cancellations

  • Indy Week shared that Durham institution C&H Cafeteria, located on Guess Road and popular with seniors and Sunday church crowds, has closed its doors.

Food Trucks

  • With the new year comes the news of a new food truck thanks to a tip from Chris Creighton. A new food truck has rolled out in Cary at 3300 Ten Ten Rd, in the old spot of Papi’s Cafe. It’s called Steak On Wheels. They’re serving up burgers, hot dogs, pizza, cheesesteaks, fresh cut fries and some Columbian specials as well. Unfortunately, we couldn’t locate an online presence, so you will have to drive out there to enjoy it!
  • 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 winners (and finalists) of WRAL’s 8th Annual Voters’ Choice Awards were announced last night. In case you missed it, you can see all of the Food & Drink winners here.
  • The grand finale of the “Taste Tour of the Mediterranean” monthly dinner series presented by our friends at Vidrio is coming up on Wednesday, January 18th at 6:30 p.m. The evening features an exclusive multi-course cultural dinner experience, filled with French inspired cuisine and their in-house Advanced Sommelier will pair 4 French wines with your meal. The cost is $125 per person. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • RalToday shared that Hummingbird’s Coleen Speaks, Cheeni’s Preeti Waas, and sommelier Paula de Pano of Rocks + Acid are teaming up for the first Sunday Supper series of 2023 benefiting Now Serving (a nonprofit that pairs restaurants with community-based organizations to provide healthy meals to hungry residents, strengthening communities through food service). The four-course dinner on Sunday, Jan. 22 will also include wine pairings ($135). It will take place at Hummingbird at 1053 E Whitaker Mill Rd. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Triangle Restaurant Week is back January 23 through January 29. So far, 38 eateries have signed on to participate in this semi-annual culinary event featuring specials like three-course lunches and dinners. Get all the details here.
  • RalToday shared that A’verde is hosting a five-course Top Chef Celebrity Dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Chefs Katsuji Tanabe, Brittanny Anderson, and Brother Luck will collaborate to prepare creative dishes in their signature styles. Cocktail pairings are included in the $150 per person tab. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • The next Flights & Bites is coming up on Sunday, January 29th where The Wine Feed will be teaming up with Plates Neighborhood Kitchen. The event takes place at The Wine Feed (602 Glenwood Avenue) and runs from 12 – 5pm, with 4 seating times (indoor and outdoor seating available) and costs $30 per person. It includes 3 pours of wine and 3 small servings of paired food items from Plates. Guests can expect to be there for an hour or so. The Wine Feed crew will be around to chat and answer questions about the wines and chef David Mitchell, head chef at Plates, will be there to talk about his dishes in more depth. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Lula & Sadie’s is joining Pour Taproom for a beer pairing dinner with 5 courses prepared by Lula and Sadie’s and paired perfectly with Fullsteam Brewery Beers on Tuesday, January 31 at 7 p.m. The cost is $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • As if you need another reason to eat at Cape Fear Seafood Company (2 locations here in the Triangle – Village District and North Raleigh, with a third on the way to Wake Forest), throughout the month of February they will donate $1 from the purchase of every Surf & Turf Chimichurri App to the Trawick Pediatric Cardiology Research Fund at Duke Children’s Hospital. The funds will be matched by CFSC’s founders for a total of $2 per appetizer sold going towards research. The fund was established to further the research for thousands of children born each year with congenital heart defects. Get more information here.
  • You can now buy tickets to the Reviving the Supper Club Chef Series’ virtual event on Feb. 7, 2023 featuring chef Saif Rahman of Vidrio in Raleigh. The fundraiser aims to address food insecurity in Wake County and eastern North Carolina. During the event, Rahman will show guests how to cook a Pan-Seared Chicken with Curried Sweetpotatoes, Carolina Gold Rice and Bengali Tomato Salad. Guests also will learn how to make — and enjoy — a special cocktail from Vidrio. There also will be a limited number of tickets to dine at Vidrio at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7, watch the cooking class and enjoy the same amazing meal. Tickets cost $100 per person. Get all the details here.
  • Looking to continue dining outside even as the temperatures start to drop? No problem. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has compiled a list of restaurants in downtown Raleigh keeping you warm all-year long! Check out that list here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Looking for an easy way for you and/or your office to make a HUGE DIFFERENCE in people’s lives this Holiday season? Host a VIRTUAL Food Drive! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… create a food drive without the heavy lifting using our Virtual Food Drive, and maximize your donation times five! For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide FIVE meals! You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members, or coworkers.  It is easy! Start here. #noonegoeshungry

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