Friday Fun Food Facts – March 29, 2024

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Yesterday, chef/owner Scott Crawford announced the opening of Brodeto, his fourth addition to the Crawford Hospitality brand. Located in the Raleigh Iron Works development (at the intersection of Whitaker Mill Road and Atlantic Avenue), Crawford pays homage to the seafood-rich dishes and smoky, wood-grilled flavors of the cuisine found along the Adriatic Coast in the Mediterranean. The restaurant itself is Crawford’s largest and the space is absolutely stunning featuring Italian tile and light oak all blanketed in a warm glow revealing on one side an open kitchen with a live fire grill and on the other side, a large semi-private back-lit quartzite bar (featuring coastal-inspired cocktails and select wines). Brodeto is now open nightly. Reserve your table now.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • She has done it again. Preeti Waas, owner of Cheeni Indian Food Emporium in Raleigh (1141 Falls River Avenue) as well as her new restaurant concept Cheeni in Durham (202 N. Corcoran Street), has transformed her Raleigh location back to its roots and a space it was always meant to be — a community space and a marketplace for classes, events, grab-and-go goods and pop-up events. Don’t worry, the pastry case will stay stocked with fresh, in-house baked goods; they have coffee and chai; and lots of freshly made and packaged goods from their kitchen in Durham. Cheers to Spring and fresh changes! Visit the Raleigh location here and the Durham location here.

  • Kane Realty Corporation announced this week that Michelle and James Park, with a proven track record of acquiring Shiny Diner in 2018 and launching Peak City Diner in November 2023, will open Tucker Street Diner this fall in the Smoky Hollow development. It will showcase classic American fare with a modern twist, spotlighting locally sourced ingredients for both quality and sustainability. Alongside its culinary offerings, Tucker Street Diner will boast a delightful coffee shop element, inviting patrons to savor artisanal coffees and indulge in an all-day breakfast menu. Plus, for the first time, they’ll be serving beer and wine, enhancing the dining experience.  In the meantime, visit the Shiny Diner here and Peak City Diner here. And as we reported last September, we are also eagerly anticipating the opening of Alaksha’s Indian Bistro as well as Morelia Ice Cream Paletas, both to be located in Smoky Hollow.

  • And just down the road in another large downtown development, we learned this week that Seaboard Station will add two additional restaurants to their lineup. First up, Omakase by Kai, led by chef James Chunga, will be a fine-dining omakase-style restaurant. They are expected to open in August. Next up is Palm Berries, an acai chain started in Denver, North Carolina. This will be their first Triangle-area location when they open in December. Start getting familiar with Palm Berries here. They both join the previously announced lineup of Biscuit Belly and The Yard Milkshake Bar. Visit Biscuit Belly here and The Yard Milkshake Bar here.

  • On a drive down Lassiter Mill this week, I noticed the signage up for the return of the Ruth’s Chris Steak House at North Hills (4140 Lassiter Mill Road, Suite 100). They are shooting for an April 2nd reopening after being closed for over two years. It is on the ground floor of one of Kane Realty’s new buildings in the North Hills Main District. They closed in January 2022 due to the demolition of its previous space. The new restaurant will have two outdoor patios, a main dining room, a bar and a waterfall feature. It will also have two private dining rooms – one for up to 100 guests and one for up to 50 guests. They have other locations being in Cary and Durham. Visit the Raleigh Ruth’s here.

  • Over near Crabtree, Triangle Business Journal shared that Crooked Hammock Brewery out of Delaware is opening a beer garden along with an outdoor space including a stage. It will be located in the GlenLake office park, just up the hill from J. Alexander’s off Edwards Mill Road. Crooked Hammock Brewery brews all of its selections in-house and has a food menu ranging from wings to salads to “on the grill” type dishes, according to TBJ. This will be their fourth location, and the first in North Carolina. No word yet on a timeline, but likely not until 2025. Check them out here.

  • Up in North Raleigh, I saw that the latest version of Dunkin’ (what I still call Dunkin’ Donuts) has opened at the corner of Spring Forest and Atlantic (5601 Atlantic Avenue if you want to plug it into your GPS). Enjoy!

  • 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 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.

  • And just across the county line in Selma, Thomas Vincent shared with me that the folks at Hatchet Brewing have announced the grand opening of their second taproom on April 6th. Veteran-owned Hatchet Brewing first opened in Southern Pines in 2019, and will open The Vault inside a historic bank building at 100 N. Radford Street. The bank’s vault will serve as a cooler and the second vault will be a passageway to the back room gaming and event space. Might be best to follow along and get all the details on their Instagram page here. Or you can visit their website here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Well, it is not the return of Ye Olde Waffle Shop like I had hoped for, but it is pretty spectacular news. Ross Martin broke the news this week over in Chapel Hill that acclaimed chef Brandon Sharp and wife Elizabeth, the folks behind Hawthorne & Wood as well as Bluebird (both in Chapel Hill), will open a tapas-style restaurant called Próximo on East Franklin Street (173 E Franklin Street) in the former Ye Olde Waffle Shop spot. In 2016 chef Sharp returned to Chapel Hill to revamp the culinary program at Crossroads, the restaurant at the Carolina Inn. He went from there to opening Hawthorne & Wood in 2019 and Bluebird in 2022. Look for them to open this fall. Couldn’t find an online presence just yet, but visit Hawthorne & Wood here and Bluebird here.

  • Over in downtown Durham, Zweli’s in Brightleaf Square (905 W Main Street) will hold their official Grand Opening on April 2, 2024. Visit their site here for all the details.

  • Over in Chapel Hill, after a small kitchen fire last Saturday, Jujube Restaurant reopened this past Wednesday for regular service. Stop by this weekend and help them catch up for a little lost time. Visit them here and make reservations.


  • David McCreary shared the sad news that the Ragazzi’s at 1514 US Highway 70 in Garner posted on their Facebook page that their last day of service was this past Sunday. The restaurant enjoyed an impressive 33-year run.

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 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

  • Alley Twenty Six, the James Beard award-nominated craft cocktail bar, will host a ticketed Scotch whisky tasting event as part of Ardbeg’s National Masters of Smoke Tour from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 2024 in downtown Durham. For $45 per person, Alley Twenty Six owner and mixologist Shannon Healy will be mixing up two cocktails featuring Ardbeg Islay Scotch Whisky for the occasion and the fine people at Ardbeg will be providing tastes of their different varieties of scotch whisky. Plus, enjoy light bites prepared by Alley Twenty Six’s executive chef Carrie Schleiffer. Get all the details and tickets here.

  • Carolina Brewery is excited to announce a special Crab & Shrimp Boil event on Saturday, April 6th from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m at their Pittsboro Brewery Restaurant to kickoff their spring music series (live music every Saturday). Guests can indulge in red royal shrimp and snow crab clusters by the pound, as well as delightful low country boils of both varieties. Visit their website for all the details.

  • 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 29KIPP 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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