Friday Fun Food Facts – March 15, 2024

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer shared the news this week that popular Wilmington-area coffee shop Drift Coffee & Kitchen is coming to the Triangle with one location in Raleigh’s Ridgewood Shopping Center on Wade Avenue and a second in Chapel Hill’s Village Plaza Shopping Center. Look for the first to open this spring, with the second to follow a couple months later. All Drift locations brew coffee beans from Wake Forest roaster Black & White and both Triangle locations will offer a full food menu as well. They currently have six locations, all in and around Wilmington. Welcome to brothers Michael and Ben Powell. Get to know them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Twitter buddy BurgeoningBaker shared with me that ShinMai Shokudo is now open in Cary at 1904 NW Maynard Road. They began as ‘Shinmai’ in Oakland, California. They are now reborn as ‘Shinmai Shokudo,’ (Shinmai translates to ‘novice’ or ‘newbie,’ representing their new start in Cary). driven by three passionate women – Ming, Stacia, and Jayden – who share a deep love for authentic and creative Japanese cuisine. Get familiar with them here.

  • Over in Raleigh, Tim Roy at PFS Sales shared the news with me that The Optimist – Crabtree Terrace is now open. This is their second location with the original location being over at 1000 Brookside Drive, just outside downtown Raleigh. The new location is just across from Crabtree Valley Mall in the same building as Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille in the space formerly occupied by Fiction Coffee. Visit them here.

  • My friends at Parkside Restaurant (with locations in downtown Raleigh and in Wendell Falls) will be featuring a special St. Patrick’s Day menu available today through Sunday for brunch (Saturday and Sunday until 3 p.m.), lunch and dinner at both locations. Think Corned Beef Plate, Bangers and Mash and a Classic Reuben to name a few. And of course Guinness (complimentary glasses will be available at the Wendell Falls location while supplies last). Also, be sure to check out the new outdoor dining at the Wendell Falls location! Visit Parkside here.

  • Also in downtown Raleigh, Triangle Business Journal shared the news this week that the “combo hotel” of Homewood Suites and Tempo hotel (just behind Whiskey Kitchen at 200 W. Davie St.) will open this July. But alas, we are not a hotel blog — so more importantly the property will boast the highest rooftop bar in the Triangle 13 stories up (but technically on the 14th floor) called Urban Oak, which will be open to the public. Get a sneak peek here.

  • Out in Apex, the Peach Cobbler Factory will hold their grand opening this Saturday March 16th at 11 a.m. at 1071 Pine Plaza Drive in Apex. The first 30 people in line get one free dessert! Get familiar with them here.

  • Over in Cary, reader Jennifer B. shared that Nautical Bowls will hold their grand opening on March 16th. They feature superfood bowls, açaí and more. This will be their first Triangle-area location, and third in the state. They are located at 1205 Parkside Main Street in Parkside Town CommonsGet to know them here.

  • RALtoday shared the news that Mac’s Speed Shop in Raleigh’s Five Points (in the former Lonerider space next to The Rialto) will open on March 25. This will mark their 10th location and the first in the Triangle. Mac’s was founded 18 years ago by Wynn Davis and Hall Johnston as a place that would blend their love for BBQ, beer and bikes. Everything is made from scratch including the barbecue sauces and dressings. But don’t worry, you don’t have to have a Harley, your minivan (and dog) are more than welcome there. Get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • WRAL reported this week that MilkShake Factory will open their first North Carolina location this summer in the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. They noted that the Pittsburgh-based franchise is known for its housemade ice cream, handspun milkshakes and premium chocolates. Congratulations to local owners Alex Chandler and Kindall Palmer. Get to know them here.

  • In Pittsboro, Hops & Berry Taproom will hold their Grand Opening this weekend with lots of activities and specials taking place throughout the weekend – including live music, ACC basketball and St. Patrick’s Day specials. They are a self-serve, pay by the ounce taproom and restaurant with what looks like a pretty yummy upscale bar menu. They are located at 120 Mosaic Blvd. in the Mosaic section of Chatham Park. This is their first location in North Carolina (they have two other locations). Let’s give them a warm, North Carolina welcome! Visit them on their Facebook page to see all the events and specials they have running this weekend.


  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

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.


  • Head to downtown Pittsboro this Sunday, March 17th for the inaugural St. Patrick’s Day Celebration hosted at the SOCO Patio (on the circle at 39 West Street) featuring Havoc Brewing, live Irish music (begins at noon), the Doherty’s food truck The Paddy Wagon (not long before Doherty’s opens their brick and mortar location just down the street at 56 Sanford Road), Irish dancers, live bag pipes, local favorites and more. The fun will run from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. The event will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Chatham. Visit their Facebook event page for all the details.

  • The West End (23 Rectory Street) will be hosting an afternoon tea on the last Monday of each month from 2:30 – 5 pm. Grab a friend and take a break from your day while enjoying a good cup of tea, yummy treats and some good conversation. Space is limited so reserve your seats today. The first one is March 25. Get tickets and all the details here. Thanks to Neha Shah, director of the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau, for passing this info along.

  • The annual Tacos ‘n Taps will take place this year on Saturday, April 6th at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. The event takes place from 1-5 p.m. (VIPs get in at noon). This an “all you care to taste” Beer and Tequila Festival and offers up some of the Triangle’s best tacos and Mexican food, the best dancing music from Triangle area bands, margaritas, contests and some other surprises.  This is NACHO average taco festival. Get tickets and all the details here

  • On April 13th, the North Carolina Food & Beverage Podcast along with Pimiento Tea Room will host Bubbles & Bagels at Wine 100 in Holly Springs (100 W. Ballentine Street) from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event will feature an array of exquisite craft bagels each paired with eight handpicked sparkling wines from around the globe. The event is limited to 75 people and tickets are $45. Get tickets and 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 VillageGet 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 atMeadow 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 Bankprovided 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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