Friday Fun Food Facts – May 17, 2024

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Jaguar Bolera, the highly anticipated “eatertainment” spot, will open to the general public THIS Sunday, May 19 at Raleigh Iron Works at 1101 E Whitaker Mill Road (there is a ticketed event on Saturday). The concept mixes Mexican flavor with the soul of Southern cuisine, bringing both worlds together in their woodfire oven. The food program was curated by Manny Barella, a contestant on the current season of “Top Chef” and a James Beard Award nominee. And they feature a massive playground with more games than you can shake a pin at (think Duckpin, darts, foosball, karaoke and more) and a choice selection of libations on tap (with three (3) self-serve walls). Sounds like a ton of fun! This will be their first location, with a second location underway in Atlanta. Start getting familiar with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • WRAL shared the news that the first Raleigh location of I Heart Mac & Cheese will hold its grand opening on June 3. The restaurant will be located at 5011 Fall of Neuse Road in the Quails Corner Shopping Center. The ribbon cutting is at 10:30 a.m. and the restaurant opens at 11 a.m. There will be raffles throughout the day, but the first 25 paying customers will get a free mac and cheese bowl every week for a year. Start getting familiar with them here.

  • Locals Seafood is celebrating the grand opening of its new East Raleigh seafood market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, May 18. The event will include hourly chef demonstrations on how to fillet a fish, how to shuck an oyster, how to clean a soft shell crab and how to peel and devein shrimp. Customers also will receive a free “Locals Only” t-shirt with a $100 purchase. They will also be offering a 10 percent discount on several seafood packages during the grand opening. Their hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. The address is 1408 Corporation Parkway in Raleigh. Get all the details here.

  • Wolfe and Porter, formerly known as Drink Drank Drunk, is a homey, neighborhood bar that recently underwent expansion renovations at 905 W. Morgan Street (next to Irregardless restaurant) and opened back in January. However, they will be hosting Tiki Fest this Saturday, May 18 to celebrate their grand opening with live bands, food trucks and special cocktails. They open at noon, but the festivities begin at 4 p.m. In addition to the new name, the space downstairs is also new and is now a speakeasy called Cellar Liquor BarVisit them on Instagram here.

  • European inspired coffee house Press Coffee, Cocktails & Crepes will open this month in the 400H mixed-use tower in downtown Raleigh (400 Hillsborough Street at the corner with West Street). This is their third location serving high-quality coffee and cocktail beverages, along with a rotating menu of food offerings. After revitalizing downtown Graham with its opening in 2016, Press opened a second location in downtown Durham’s American Tobacco in 2021 with immediate success. Press was named Best New Restaurant in Indy WeekDurham Magazine, and Yelp and was chosen an ideal brunch location in Durham by Southern Living MagazineGet to know them here.

  • We learned last week that La Farm Bakery is opening a semi-permanent pop-up in downtown Raleigh at 122 Glenwood Avenue on May 22. They will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily. A ‘bread breaking’ will take place at 11 a.m. on May 22. LaFarm also announced that later this summer, a full-service bakery and café will open at Creekside Crossing Shopping Center in North Raleigh. Visit La Farm here.

  • On a recent drive down Hillsborough Street, I noticed that the CaliBurger, which is in the former Arby’s location, has opened at 3415 Hillsborough Street. The franchise is known for utilizing robotics and automation in some of its cooking and customer interaction. Check it out here.

  • Also in Raleigh, got word from a dear childhood friend, Becky McMillan Glendy, that Koi Grill and Sushi in the Colony Shopping Center at 126 E Millbrook Road has closed making way for a new concept called Masala. We’ll have to ask Becky to keep an eye on this for us as we were unable to locate a timeline nor an online presence for the new concept. Thanks friend!

  • Over in Cary, Twitter buddy BurgeoningBaker and reader Rachel Goer both informed me that Ricci’s Trattoria (which closed) will become a Himalayan momo shop called Third Eye Momo & Grill. Early indications are that it will offer a mix of Indian, Pakistani and Himalayan cuisine. It will be located at 10110 Green Level Church Road in Cary Park Town Center. No word on an open date nor could we find an online presence just yet. Stay tuned.

  • And big news down in Knightdale. Got word this week from a reader that the former location of Craften Food Hall (706 Money Ct.) has reopened as Tikila Tacos & Mezcal, which we first told you about back in September. They also have a location in Wake Forest at 1000 Forestville Road. Get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Joe Van Gogh’s SouthCourt Bakery & Café is now open in the SouthCourt building at 3211 Shannon Road (Suite 106) in Durham. This marks the Triangle-based coffee roaster’s sixth location. Conveniently located between Chapel Hill and Durham, the beautiful cafe offers a calm and relaxing space to enjoy a pastry and coffee, meet a friend, or work on your laptop. The café’s hours of operation are Monday thru Friday, 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. Check them out here.

  • We learned this week that Indian street food concept Curry Up Now, which was founded in San Francisco in 2009, is opening their Durham location on Shannon Road in the University Hill development (think bul boxApéritifHappy + Hale, and Cookout) on Thursday, May 23! The event will kick off with a giant “burrito cutting” ceremony at 10:30 a.m. They will be giving away free burritos to the first 523 guests through its doors as well as offering the first 50 guests in line one free burrito per week, for an entire year. Expect the Chapel Hill location to open in a new building in the University Place redevelopment later in 2024 or early 2025. Visit them here.

  • Out in RTP, we got word that Boxyard RTP is now home to its latest culinary concept, Will & Well. Founded by Ponce Tidwell and Rosalind Mitchell, Will & Well offers nutrient-rich salads and invigorating, health-conscious beverages, including house-made lemonades and refreshers, alkaline water and soon, wholesome smoothies. The grand opening celebration is taking place this Saturday, May 18 at 11 a.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by DJ P-Trol and DJ/MC Big Tiz to kick off the festivities. Get familiar with them here.


  • Probably by now everyone has heard that a good number of Red Lobster locations have closed. Those closures include the ones in Durham and Cary.

  • Got word from reader Jane Bell that Papa’s Pizza & Subs in Greystone Village shopping center in North Raleigh will be closing in July, according to a sign in the window. So there is time to get by a few more times at least. Visit them here.

  • Over in Cary, reader Chris Allen passed along the news that Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop at Waverly Place has permanently closed.

  • And out in Pittsboro, the owners of Dillingers Diner made the difficult decision to permanently close. Sorry to see them go.

Food Trucks

  • A Place At The Table (downtown Raleigh’s pay-what-you-can cafe) will hold their third annual Pay-What-You-Can Food Truck Rodeo on Sunday June 9th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the parking lot across from A Place At The Table – 300 W. Hargett Street. Follow along on Instagram.

  • 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.


  • This weekend is the Got To Be NC Festival at the NC State Fairgrounds. Gate hours are Friday from noon until 10 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.; and Sunday: 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. This is a mini-version of the State Fair! There will be rides, food, animals, farm equipment and more. Admission is free. Get all the details here.

  • This Saturday (May 18th) from 5 until 10 p.m. is the annual Durham Blues & Brews Festival in Durham Central Park (rain or shine). This event has become a Durham tradition, filled with music, food (featuring a food truck row), and outstanding craft beer! Get all the details here.

  • The annual Durham Greek Festival is this weekend – Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sunday, May 19 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. You’ll enjoy authentic Greek food and scrumptious desserts either in their outdoor tented dining or for take-out. Admission is free and the event will be held rain or shine. There will be continuous Greek music and scheduled folk dance performances. Get all the details here.

  • The News & Observer reminded us that the Frankie Lemon School and Developmental Center will hold their 2nd Annual Gettin’ Piggy With It event THIS Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th once again at Maywood Hall & Garden. The event is hosted by Lawrence Barbecue and Trophy Brewing. This festival celebrates 15 pitmasters from across the country. Tickets start at $100 and go on sale TODAY, Friday, April 19Get all the details here.

  • And if that is not enough pig for you, Saturday May 18th is also the date for the 17th Annual Carolina Pig Jig as part of the Got To Be NC Festival at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds (11 a.m. until 2 p.m.). All-You-Can-Eat BBQ tastings, hush puppies, slaw, and more! This annual BBQ competition features 25 teams from across NC all vying for your vote for the coveted People’s Choice Award. The event benefits the Masonic Home for Children and the Central Children’s Home. Visit their Facebook events page for tickets and all the details.
  • 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

  • NC F&B Podcast hosts the 4th annual Bubbles & Brisket on Saturday, June 8 from 1 to 5 p.m at Smoky Hollow in downtown Raleigh. The event welcomes 10 “pitmaster” chefs, who span from North Carolina to New York who will showcase their spin on brisket along with unique side dishes.  There will be an array of bubbles to imbibe on, from Champagne, cava, cremant, prosecco, beer, and sodas to non-alcoholic and boozy cocktails; there is something for everyone. Get tickets and all the details here.

  • Join us on June 9th for this year’s Roots for Reece Chef’s Picnic hosted at Haven Farm in Knightdale. The event will feature sample small plates and beverages from over 25 local food and beverage establishments. 100% of proceeds are donated to the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition to aid in the fight against the growing opiate epidemic here in NC. Get tickets and all the details 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

  • Picture this scenario: you have enough money to purchase food for the week, but not enough to cover your utility bills or transportation costs to work. Many of our neighbors in our own communities who face food insecurity struggle silently and have to make the difficult choice to go without meals to make ends meet. Every day at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, they hear stories from grateful children, families, and seniors about the impacts of having access to nutritious food and especially fresh produce. Your generous gift, no matter the size, has the power to nourish countless lives, ignite hope, and pave the way for a brighter future. Give today if you can.

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