Friday Fun Food Facts – March 22, 2024

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Just a week after St. Patrick’s Day, we are learning that Doherty’s Irish Pub and Restaurant is now in soft-open mode at 56 Sanford Road just off the circle in downtown Pittsboro. They become the newest tenant of the SoCo Project spearheaded by Greg and Paula Stafford which has truly transformed the circle in downtown Pittsboro. SoCo features multiple restaurants and a brewery with a large continuous outdoor patio – a great gathering spot for the community. Doherty’s also has locations in Cary and Apex. Visit Doherty’s here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • We learned this week that Sweetgreen, the mission-driven restaurant brand serving healthy food at scale, will open a location in Raleigh’s North Hills in the Commons in North Hills at 4158 Main at North Hills Street. While the concept has over 200 locations across the United States, this will be their second location in North Carolina (they have a location in Charlotte). Founded in 2007, they believe real food should be convenient and accessible to everyone – meals from fresh ingredients and produce that prioritizes organic, regenerative, and local sourcing. Get to know them here.

  • As the Wolfpack continues their winning ways on the court, Hillsborough Street is carrying on in the same winning ways with some big announcements along the popular student strip. First up, DePersia & Associates’ Michael DePersia shared with me that after many permitting delays with the City of Raleigh, Hibachi & Co. was finally able to open up in their new, larger space right next door to their previous location at 2316 Hillsborough St. Visit Hibachi & Co. here.

  • With the relocation to the space next door, that made way for their neighbor from Franklin Street, GRK Yeero, to join them on Hillsborough Street when they open up in the former Hibachi & Co. space after a quick clean up and a fresh coat of paint. Raleighites, get to know them here. Thanks again to Michael DePersia for that tip.

  • And just down the street, we can share that Global Village Organic Coffee at 2428 Hillsborough Street is now under new ownership. Patrick Byrd, owner and founder of Full Bloom Coffee in downtown Garner, took over ownership just a few weeks back. Don’t expect too many changes initially, but do expect Byrd to bring some of the magic that has made Full Bloom such a success and destination for downtown Garner to Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street. Visit Global Village on Instagram here.

  • In downtown Raleigh, Union Special’s owner and all-around good dude Andrew Ullom shared that they have made the difficult decision to close their location on Fayetteville Street. That’s the bad news. The good news is twofold. One, all of their awesomeness will continue at their original location at Gateway Plaza at 2409 Crabtree Blvd. just outside downtown. The second bit of good news is that they have already handed over the keys of the Fayetteville Street location to a concept called Bistro 401. More details to come on that (including an anticipated opening date) but know that it is family owned and operated operation. Additionally, they will have expanded hours, a diverse menu, a cozy atmosphere, and the addition of beer and wine.
  • RALtoday shared a quick update about a delay in the opening of Mac’s Speed Shop in Raleigh’s Five Points (in the former Lonerider space next to The Rialto). Originally scheduled for the end of March, they have pushed that back to April – so stay tuned. 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.

  • We first told you about this back in December, but we learned this week that Estampa Gaucha, a traditional Brazilian steakhouse, is opening the second week in April in the bottom floor retail space inside Raleigh’s new Westin hotel in Brier Creek. The opening will happen nearly two years after the closure of Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse, which was also in Brier Creek. This will be the third location for owner Ezequiel Manfrin. His other two locations are in Melbourne, Florida and Charlotte. Start getting familiar with them here.

  • RALtoday also shared that Jaguar Bolera announced that they will open in May in Raleigh Iron Works (1101 E Whitaker Mill Rd.). The concept mixes Mexican flavor with the soul of Southern cuisine, bringing both worlds together in their woodfire oven. And they feature a massive playground with more games than you can shake a pin at (think Duckpin, pickleball, darts, corn hold, ping pong, foosball, karaoke and more) and a choice selection of libations on tap (with a self-serve wall). Sounds like a ton of fun! This will be their first location, with a second location underway in Atlanta. Visit them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Chapel Hill, Michael DePersia of DePersia & Associates shared that Dames Chicken & Waffles decided not to reopen after winter break, but rather sell their assets to Voodoo Wing Co. who already has a presence on the campuses of Auburn and Alabama (as well as Vegas and most recently Rock Hill, SC). No word yet on an open date, so stay tuned. Start getting familiar with them here.

  • Also in Chapel Hill, shared the news this week that Indian street food concept Curry Up Now, which was founded in San Francisco in 2009, will open their first two locations (of five total) in the Chapel Hill and Durham markets. The first will be in Durham on Shannon Road in the University Hill development (think bul boxApéritif, Happy + Hale, and Cookout). The Chapel Hill location will be in a new building in the University Place redevelopment. Expect the Durham location to open this summer, while the Chapel Hill location will be later in 2024 or early 2025. Get go to know them here.

  • Adding to the news at University Place, Axios shared that Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams will open their third Triangle-area location in a 1,000-square-foot building along the new 15,000-square-foot outdoor space. Construction of the building that will house Jeni’s will begin at the end of this month. No word yet on an estimated opening. They already have shops in both Raleigh and Durham. Visit Jeni’s here.

  • And if you find yourself heading out of Chapel Hill on Highway 54 towards I-40, know that there is a new Starbucks open at the intersection with Farrington Road (adjacent to the former Mardi Gras bowling alley). They have a drive-thru that is super convenient (and fast). Thanks to fellow Tar Heel Denny Marcin for the tip on that. If you are not familiar with Starbucks….what?

  • Back down in Pittsboro, the Chatham Journal Newspaper shared that the newest Zaxby’s will open on March 25 at Northwood Landing (the development in front of Northwood High School). The new restaurant boasts a dining room that seats 70 guests, an open kitchen and a double drive-thru lane. Visit Zaxby’s here.


  • 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.


  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association announced this week the 8th Annual Chef Showdown which will culminate in the finale on August 26th. This year will tap the Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Mixologist and Distillery of the Year plus the Best Mocktail of the Year. The event is North Carolina’s largest culinary and mixology competition. Get a list of all the participants and all the details here.

  • 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

  • Guests are invited to experience a delicious multi-course dinner with James Beard Foundation winner chef Ricky Moore, who will take attendees on a culinary journey across North Carolina in support of KIPP NC schools. The “Cookoff for Education” will take place at Saltbox Seafood Joint at 2637 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. in Durham on April 29. KIPP NC is an eight-school region of the national Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP). Funds raised through sponsorships and ticket sales will be an investment in North Carolina’s current and future students, teachers and educational leaders. You can find more 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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