Friday Fun Food Facts – January 26, 2024

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Drew Jackson at the News & Observer shared the news this week that La Buena Vida, a modern Mexican restaurant from Fonda Lupita owners, married couple Biridiana Frausto and Salvador Alvarez, will expand next month to Cary, taking over the former Totopos space. La Buena Vida is known for providing a very lively environment, replicating a night out in Miami (the fun ticks up a notch after 8 p.m.), and they hope to replicate that experience in Cary. Look for them to open mid-February. Get ready to party Cary! Start getting familiar with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The James Beard Awards, one of the highest honors in the restaurant business, released their semi-finalists for the 2024 awards this week. And Raleigh pulled in four of those! Cheetie Kumar’s new restaurant Ajja, featuring Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines, was nominated for the country’s Best New Restaurant; Scott Crawford’s restaurant Crawford & Son was nominated for Outstanding Hospitality; Downtown Raleigh bar Bittersweet made it to the semis in the Outstanding Bar category; and Preeti Waas, with her Indian restaurant Cheeni in Raleigh (and recently opened in Durham), was nominated again for Best Chef: Southeast. Finalists will be announced Wednesday, April 3, and winners will be revealed in Chicago on June 10. To see the full list, visit them here.

  • We first shared with you back in April of 2022 that a group headed by Trophy Brewing partner David Meeker had purchased the three little houses that sit between Trophy Brewing & Pizza and (the now former location of) Goodnight’s Comedy on Morgan Street (849 W. Morgan Street). The News & Observer shared this week that the project has a little more definition now and will become the new State of Beer, The Bend Bar, and the third house is still up for discussion, but could possibly become a coffee house or a wine bar if any of the original plans hold. Time will tell. The entire project is being called The Bend and construction/renovation has begun (there is a rendering of the finished project at the site). The two known spots will share a patio and are looking to open in 2024. There is no “close date” for the Hillsborough location of State of Beer and the two locations may very well overlap and operate concurrently.

  • Raleigh Magazine shared this week that Little City Brewing (400 W North St. in downtown Raleigh) will close in mid-February. But the bad news is followed by great news. Anthony Rapillo (think V Pizza, Flask Cocktail Bar and The Side Door Craft Cocktails) will open Flour & Barrel in that spot. As the name suggests, expect housemade pasta and bread and barreled spirits. The extensive renovations will include a full-service kitchen and patio. No word just yet on an open date. Visit them here and sign-up for their e-mail list.

  • RALToday shared the news that Little Native Coffee, from the team behind Cloche Coffee in Durham, is in soft-open mode at 426 S Person St. near Moore Square. Their temporary hours through Saturday are from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will begin normal hours next week. Might be best to follow along on Instagram.

  • Reader Burke Williams sent us a note to let us know that there is a new Starbucks going in the Celebration at Six Forks where the BB&T bank used to be beside IHOP at the corner of Sawmill and Six Forks. No word on the timeline, but they just knocked down the bank this week. Stay tuned.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • We will start this week in Pittsboro with updated news on something we’ve been talking about since last September. Big Mike’s BBQ out of Cary (1222 NW Maynard Road) is now in soft-open mode in what used to be home to a couple Mexican restaurants (Michoacán Mexican Grill and Los Charros Mexican Grill) in the True Value shopping center (440 East Street). Looks like for now they are opening on limited days (Thursday thru Saturday) with a limited menu and serving until they run out. But it won’t be long before they are operating under full, regular hours. Might be best to follow along on Instagram for now. Or you can visit Big Mike’s here.

  • Durham Downtown posted on Facebook that ThaiAngle, a new Thai Restaurant adorned with traditional Thai decor, paintings, wooden seating, and a full service bar, is coming to the former Dos Perros restaurant space at 200 N. Mangum Street. Looks like they are looking to open sometime in February. Not much up on their website just yet.

  • Get ready Durham…here it comes again! Geer Street’s annual Chinese Week, when they dedicate their whole specials menu to Chinese cuisine. They are predicting that this year is going to be the best, most expansive one yet, and they’ll be doing an all-dim sum brunch on Sunday, February 11. Get the menu and all the details on their Facebook page here.

  • This is kind of fun. It is soup season! Amirite? Well, I was just made aware of a local soup company called Short Winter Soups based out of Hillsborough that offers soup subscriptions! What? Is someone reading my diary? The ‘season’ runs February 13th through April 2nd. Each week you pick up your ‘soup of the week’ (all soups are vegetarian and they can usually accommodate special dietary needs). Pick-up locations are all over Hillsborough, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham. Oh, and add some bread as well! Check them out and tell them Sean sent you. If not, NO SOUP FOR YOU! 🙂 Sign up and get all the details on their site here.


  • Reader Leslie Hopkins passed along the news that Arandas Mexican Cuisine in Apex (5460 Apex Peakway) has closed.

  • Chris Jordan shared the news that the Tin Cup Joe Coffee trailer behind Al’s Burger on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street has closed.

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.


  • Here’s a great option for this weekend. What’s a better pairing than four of Raleigh Brewing’s signature beers and four iconic Girl Scout cookies? Can’t think of one! Join them for three full days of their annual Girl Scout Cookie/Beer Flight! This duo will be available at all three Raleigh Brewing locations, while supplies last! Flights will include two of each cookie and a four 4 oz. pour of beer for $12! Lemonades & Not Another; Caramel deLites & Hell Yes Ma’am; Peanut Butter Patties & Yard Games; Thin Mints & Coffee Hidden Pipe. Visit their Facebook event page for all the details.

  • The annual Triangle Restaurant Week concludes this Sunday, January 28. Between now and then, participating restaurants within Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham and surrounding areas will offer a special 2 or 3-course prix fixe menu ($20, $25, $30,$35, $40, $45, $50) each day they are open. See the list of participating restaurants here.

  • Downtown Raleigh’s Whiskey Kitchen and Videri Chocolate Factory have teamed up to craft decadent chocolate and spirit pairings just in time for Valentine’s Day. Throughout February, Whiskey Kitchen will feature signature pairings of six of Videri’s chocolate bars alongside a selection of different spirits. Guests can look forward to sipping each spirit presented with mini bars of the corresponding chocolate. Special Valentine pairings will run February 12 through February 18. Follow along on Instagram here.

  • The Longleaf Hotel & Lounge is celebrating 4 years on Saturday, January 27th from 5-8 p.m. with a swanky 60s inspired fondue party. They’ll have classic cocktails, fondue by Chris Lopez, and vinyl by Tuttle Recall. Fondue tickets will be available for purchase through the bar for $25/each.⁠ They will be fonduing rain or shine!⁠ Get all the details here.
  • My buddy Neha M. Shah, director of the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau, shared that the annual Farm to Fork Picnic, celebrating local food and local farms, will take place Sunday, June 2 from 4pm – 7pm, again at Fearrington Village. Get details and tickets here.

  • Tickets are on sale now for the 9th Annual Dinner in the Meadow which will take place on September 15, 2024 on a grassy knoll at Meadow Lane Farm, in bucolic Franklin County, offering beautiful pastoral views and clear, starry skies. Some of the region’s most sought-after chefs will be preparing delicious dishes using ingredients from local farms and food artisans. It is an annual fundraiser for the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 2014 to support and cultivate small farms in our region of North Carolina. Get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • No doubt we live in a wonderful corner of the world. But here are some things to remember and not forget. Right now, one in five people in central and eastern North Carolina don’t have enough to eat. The Food Bank provided over 88 million meals to families and individuals last year. The Food Bank’s partner agency network has reported up to a 60% increase in neighbors visiting for food assistance. The need is real and right here in our backyard. Consider helping in 2024. See how here.

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