Friday Fun Food Facts – February 23, 2024

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Chef David Ellis (former chef de cuisine at Ashley Christensen’s Poole’s Diner) has opened his pasta-centric restaurant Figulina in downtown Raleigh’s warehouse district at 317 S. Harrington St. in the space that was home to Humble Pie for 33 years. The menu features several small plates and pasta dishes, including one or two classic pasta options and a handful of custom creations on a rotating basis. Dashes of Southern, English and French influences can be seen on the menu according to the Triangle Business Journal. One of the highlights of the space is a corner room with glass walls allowing you to watch the pasta making in action. Open Tuesday through Saturday, they will soon open the outdoor space, add a brunch service and open a retail section where you can purchase the pasta to take home. Best to check them out on Instagram here (which has the link to Resy for making your reservations…do so now!).

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Over in Cary, the ice-cream joint Two Roosters is soon to open their sixth location – in the Waverly Place shopping center next to Enrigo Italian Bistro. They have three locations in Raleigh, one in Durham and another in Wake Forest. Look for this location to open this summer. Visit Two Roosters here.

  • Also in Cary, readers Chris Creighton and Kristina Shuford noticed signage up at 101 Asheville Ave. (just off Tryon) at the former O’Charley’s Restaurant & Bar for the newest location of Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant. This will make their fourth location in the Triangle. They already have locations in Morrisville, Apex and Raleigh. No word on an open date. Get to know them here.

  • And one last Cary announcement that we first told you about back in November. This week Ken Jarvis shared the news that that Bocteco Do Brazil has opened in the former Catalan Tapas Bar space at 4214 NW Cary Parkway near La Farm Bakery. They pride themselves on bringing authentic Brazilian cuisine to the area. Congrats to the husband and wife team of Beth Andrade and Daniel Siman. Visit them here.

  • In downtown Raleigh, got word last Friday that The Brass Tap Craft Beer Bar, a Florida-based restaurant and craft beer bar chain, will be opening a location at 400H, a recently opened mixed-use tower located at 400 Hillsborough Street. Their fifty+ other locations offer an extensive beer menu, handmade cocktails and popular wines, as well as a food menu and weekly events that range from live music to trivia to sports nights. Look for them to open this Fall. In the meantime, get familiar with them here.

  • Our friends over at one of Raleigh’s newest dining options, Gussie’s, are tapping into everyone’s inner Irish February 28th through March 17th. O’Gussie’s springs up inside Gussie’s where you can expect some delicious versions of your favorite dishes – Bangers & Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, Corned Beef & Cabbage, with some fun twists (house made corned beef sausages and Irish nachos anyone?). For when you’re thirsty, come for the Irish Coffee (with Left Hook Coffee, Irish Whiskey and Fresh Whipped Cream), cocktails fit for the season, Guinness, and a selection of Irish whiskies to enjoy on their own or in one of our housemade sodas. Follow along on Instagram.

  • Out in Morrisville, 321 Coffee shop, a Raleigh-based café that promotes inclusion through its employment of individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), has opened a location inside Relias (1010 Sync St.). The café is on the third floor. Construction begins this May with an anticipated summer opening. Get familiar with 321 (and their other locations) here.

  • Back in downtown Raleigh, RALtoday shared that downtown bar Kings, owned by Cheetie Kumar and Paul Siler, will be open every night of the week (starting February 26th), even when there are no shows. They’ll have a packed calendar of events (movie nights, game nights, open mics, community talks, markets, team-ups with local pals like Nice Price Books and much more. Keep up on Instagram here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • My Twitter buddy (sounds too weird to say X buddy), BurgeoningBaker let me know that Big Bad Breakfast, the brainchild of James Beard award-winning chef John Currence, is bringing a location to Durham next to Smash Burger on Erwin Road (I’m assuming in the former Another Broken Egg Cafe spot). No word on a timeline. Mostly located throughout the Southeast, this looks to be their first North Carolina location. Get to know BBB here.

  • A slight correction from last week. I shared that Del Taco, the second-largest Mexican fast food chain, is coming to North Carolina starting with the first in Durham. But this isn’t their “first” location in Durham nor North Carolina thanks to a note from reader Kenny Levine. He pointed out that they are returning to North Carolina and Durham as they had a location on Hillsborough Road in the 80s and into the early 90s. Thanks Kenny! Re-familiarize yourself with them here.


  • Michael DePersia of DePersia & Associates passed along the news that all of the Triangle-area locations of PDQ Chicken closed this week – that includes Cary, Durham, Raleigh and Wake Forest locations.

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.


  • Rocky Top Catering’s sixth annual Cooking for the Kids kicks off next week! And here’s a plus – anyone using the code TriFoodBlog will enjoy a $25 discount on their ticket price for Rounds 1 and 2. This cooking competition brings together eight of the Triangle’s premier chefs. All proceeds benefit Overflowing Hands and A Place at the Table. Participating chefs include: Alejandro Uribe of University Club; Jaime Adams of The Ugly Mug Bean and Brew; Blake Gotliffe of Under the Oak; Bobby McFarland of Wye Hill; Preeti Waas of Cheeni; Harry Monds of Lula and Sadie’s; David Mitchell of Plates Kitchen; and Kevin Ruiz of Oro. The first round begins the week of February 26, with the second round March 6 & 7, and the Finale on Thursday, March 14th. Get tickets and all the details here. Use code TriFoodBlog for $25 off the first two rounds!
  • CORA’s 12th Empty Bowls charitable fundraiser will be held on Saturday, March 2nd, at its new venue, Pittsboro United Methodist Church, from 5 to 8 pm. The evening will feature amazing soups from favorite local restaurants, live music from the Popcorn Blue Band, local pottery, and homemade bread and desserts. 100% of the proceeds go to helping neighbors facing food insecurity in Chatham County! Get all the details here.
  • My buddy Neha 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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