Friday Fun Food Facts – March 17, 2023

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Success brings change. And so it is with Zwelli’s Kitchen in Durham which opened five years ago in Durham’s Oak Creek Village shopping center. With that success, they have decided to close that location and move it to a larger downtown Durham spot in Brightleaf Square later this year (targeting August 2023). In the interim as they make that transition, they are opening a new, upscale dining spot called Zwelli’s Ekhaya at American Tobacco Campus. Expect that to open very, very soon. And if you can’t wait that long, they also operate a cafe at the Duke University Divinity School and they have a catering business. Link up to all of their concepts here. Thanks to the Triangle Business Journal for some of the details of this transition.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Just outside of downtown Raleigh, WRAL shared that the newest watering hole, Tap Yard Raleigh, will officially hold its grand opening on March 25. They are open now on a one-acre space at 1610 Automotive Way (next to Pine State Coffee and across from the now closed Circus Restaurant). The sprawling space includes free yard games, a rotating schedule of food trucks and arcade games. There is 5,000 square-feet of indoor space with two full bars with 16 craft beers on tap, in addition to wine, spirits and cocktails. There is also an expansive non-alcoholic drink menu, featuring a variety of zero-alcohol beers, spirits and cocktails. Get familiar with them here.
  • And big things happening up in Wake Forest at the new Wheatfield Plaza Shopping Center (Forestville & Rogers Branch Roads). We’ve already mentioned Summer Moon Coffee, Cravin’ Confections, and Cape Fear Seafood Co (coming soon). But this week, Tdllo Ramen & Sushi opened. Apparently TDLLO stands for: Talented chef skills, Delicious Food, Luxury service, Lean products and Optimal place. Get to know them here. Thanks to Michael Bongiorno of Bongiorno & Sons for the tip on this. Additionally, Blackbird Brewery opened in early January and are planning a grand opening celebration soon when they have more of their own beers available. Check them out. Romeo’s Pizza looks like they will be opening soon. Info here. And Jeremiah’s Italian Ice opened their doors in December and are planning a grand opening celebration this Sunday. Get the details here. And finally, there is a build-out for a new concept to our area called Chick’nCone…yep, think chicken filled waffle cones. This will be the first location in North Carolina. See what I’m talking about here.
  • Andy Siouville and Paul Fletcher both notified us that that a Jet’s Pizza is opening in the Stonebridge shopping center (in the former Little Caesars Pizza spot) at the corner of Ten Ten Rd. and Kildare Farm Road (3420 Ten-Ten Road). No word on an open date just yet. You can find them here.
  • And Cary is getting into the Viv’s Fridge game with a location of one of their to-go machines in front of The Wine Merchant at 4240 NW Cary Parkway. Check it out on Instagram here.
  • And a little help if you can. As many of you know, the Triangle restaurant scene is a very tight-knit one where everyone knows everyone. And when one is in need, we all try and do our part. Such is the case with Eddie, the kitchen manager at The Pickled Onion location on Glenwood Avenue (he has been there 9 years!). Last month he suffered a stroke and is facing a long road to recovery and pretty sizeable medical bills. The Pickled Onion is holding a Patio Parking Lot Party on Saturday, March 25th from 1-8 p.m. at the Glenwood location (8511 Cantilever Way, Raleigh) featuring live music and raffles. In the meantime, if you can support the GoFundMe they have set up for him, it would mean a lot. Do so here, and thanks!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Just outside of Chapel Hill in Chatham County, Sal’s NY Pizza is now open in the former Papa John’s spot in Governors Village Shopping Center (50010 Governors Dr.). It is from the same folks that operate the Sal’s Pizza & Ristorante in Chapel Hill (corner of MLK Jr. and Homestead). Get familiar with them here.
  • And just next door at Gov’s Burger & Tap (50050 Governors Dr.), got word this week that Carmine and Dawn Sacchitello have sold it to Jose Torralva Fernandez and Claudia P. Martin. Don’t expect many changes as they plan to keep things consistent, including the staff. However, we are also hearing they have acquired the space next door with plans to open a sports bar. A door will connect the two. Follow along here.
  • Over in Durham, the good folks over at Bites of Bull City reached out to share that the new cocktail bar Glori is in soft-open mode. They are located at 101 W. Main Street in downtown Durham (basement of the Kress building). Best to follow along on their Instagram page here.
  • And big news down in Pittsboro this week. Greg Lewis, owner of The Sycamore at Chatham Mills, shared that he has brought on a new executive chef – longtime Pittsboro resident and renowned chef Shane Ingram. Ingram was the chef at The Fearrington House Restaurant before opening his own restaurant, Foursquare, an award-winning staple of fine dining in Durham for 17 years. Check out The Sycamore here.


  • Triangle Business Journal shared this week that J. Lights, an all-day cafe and restaurant in downtown Raleigh’s Smoky Hollow, announced it’s shutting for good on social media Monday. The closure comes after the original J. Lights in Durham closed in January in similar, abrupt fashion.
  • And saw this week that ZenFish Poke Bar has closed their Morrisville location. That’s the bad news. The good news? They still have two locations in Durham. Visit them here.

Food Trucks

  • The first Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo is THIS Sunday, March 19 from 12-4 p.m. Get out your calendar and make note of the dates for the rest of the 2023 Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeos. June 11 | September 3 | October 29 – and all the rodeos are from 12-4 p.m. Giddyup! Here is the link.
  • And the Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo has not yet announced plans for 2023. They concluded 2022 announcing they would not return to Fayetteville Street after a nine-year run. They hinted that the rodeo might move to Dix Park. But, still no word yet.
  • 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 23rd Annual Lebanese Festival is this Saturday (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.) and Sunday (12 noon – 6 p.m.) at the Triangle Lebanese American Center at 241 Horizon Drive in Raleigh. Free admission and there will be food, music and dance. Get all the details here.
  • RalToday shared the news that Raleigh Roasts, a fundraising coffee tasting event, will return to Moore Square on Saturday, March 18. Hosted by the Friends of the City of Raleigh Museum, there will be live music, food trucks, and caffeinated vendors like Larry’s Coffee and The Left Hook. Tickets are $5-$10. Get them here.
  • You’ll want to get this one on your calendar (you can thank me later). Downtown Raleigh’s Gravy Italian American Kitchen will be hosting their Spring Wine Dinner (Cena di Primavera) on Wednesday, April 12th and will be the first in a series of seasonal dinners. They hold the dinners in their wine cellar, which is a really unique space if you’ve never seen it. The dinner will feature five delicious courses, thoughtfully prepared by Gravy’s executive chef Quintin Pocher, paired with Italian and Spanish wines. Full menu and pairings will be released soon. Here is the Eventbrite link.
  • Hospitality mavens Sarah Shepherd of Height House Hotel and chef Liz Grandchamp of Grandchamp Hospitality recently introduced Raleigh’s newest pop-up dining experience – Supper Club – hosted monthly at Heights House Hotel. They have two more on the schedule and tickets for those “open up” three weeks prior to each event. Mark your calendars for Supper Club April 17 (Seafood) and May 22 (Italian American). After those, Supper Club at Heights House will then resume in the Fall. So get ready! Follow along here and get ready for the next one.
  • Everyone knows what April 15th is. Nope, that is April 18th this year. April 15th is the date for the 13th Annual Cuegrass Festival which is returning to Fayetteville Street and will feature a large covered area with draft beer options, plenty of seating and extra beer stations throughout the event. Get all the details here.
  • Brewgaloo is back on Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22. For two full days, craft beer from 100+ breweries will be flowing on Fayetteville Street. The annual event attracts more than 50,000 people each year. Thanks to RalToday for the reminder to get this gem on our calendar! Get all the details here.
  • Got word from Neha Shah, director of the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau, that Farm to Fork is making its return in 2023 on June 4th from 4-7 p.m. at Fearrington Village. Held in the Triangle for more than 15 years, the Farm to Fork Picnic is a showcase of North Carolina chefs, artisans, and farmers paired together to create sips and nibbles of the region’s best flavors and seasonal ingredients! You can get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Between June 2021 and May 2022, inflation caused a 10.7% increase in food costs in the U.S. For people in our community, making some family’s budget untenable. Your gift today to The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina can support families whose budgets are being stretched because of the rising cost of food and living. There have also been significant increases in fuel, housing, and energy costs because of inflation. This means the average living costs for households in our country are up $460 per month! Your gift today can provide nutritious food for our neighbors in need. Donate here, and thank you! #noonegoeshungry

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