Friday Fun Food Facts – June 28, 2024

Featured Restaurant News

  • This past Monday saw the return of executive chef Katsuji Tanabe to downtown Raleigh with the opening of Italian small plate concept Flour & Barrel Kitchen & Bar at 400 North West Street (in the former Little City Brewing & Provisions spot). You’ll remember Tanabe came to Raleigh and opened High Horse in late 2019 in Raleigh’s City Market, and subsequently closed in the middle of covid. Check them out over on Instagram. Congrats to Tanabe and owner Anthony Rapillo.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • And just down from there in the Smoky Hollow development, we will see the opening tonight (June 28) of the newest hot spot, Neighborhood. Self-described as a “good time bar,” it will occupy the former New Anthem space and is brought to us from the same people behind Madre. Stop by for cocktails, beer and wine on draft, a few tasty snacks…and the spinning of a little vinyl! Check them out here.

  • Raleigh Magazine shared this week that PJ’s Coffee will soon be opening multiple locations throughout the Triangle. The New Orleans-based coffee chain announced they will open five locations in Raleigh and Durham. While the site doesn’t list the exact locations just yet, these will be their first stores in the state of North Carolina. On the menu will be your typical coffee and espresso beverages along with classic coffee shop bites. Get familiar with them here.

  • Out in Morrisville, reader Diane Pisano shared that t’s been over a year, but Hokkaido Ramen House is finally open at McCrimmon Corner shopping center in Morrisville (4051 Davis Drive). Check them out here.

  • The News & Observer shared this week that a new Chick-Fil-A location opened in Raleigh yesterday at 4411 New Bern Ave., just outside the Raleigh Beltline. It is owned and operated by Raleigh native Donovan Carless Jr. If you are not familiar….ok, just kidding. Visit this Chick-fil-A location here.

  • And speaking of chains, Triangle Business Journal shared this week that Alabama-based chicken finger restaurant Guthrie’s, with 65 locationswill open in Midtown Raleigh. It will be located at 2907 Wake Forest Road, the former home of Raleigh Auto Spa across from the Midtown East shopping center anchored by Wegmans. The eatery will serve chicken fingers and sandwiches, Texas toast, fries, coleslaw and their signature sweet tea. Looks like this will be their first venture into North Carolina. Look for them to open this winter. Get to know them here.

  • And down in Fuquay-Varina, David McCreary shared that he recently saw a post on Facebook from FRESH. Local Ice Cream that they plan to open a new location at 202 S. Main St. in downtown Fuquay-Varina in the former Elliotts Pharmacy building. This will be their fifth location, with locations already in Raleigh, Cary, Apex and Holly Springs. No word on an open date. Visit them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • This week in Carrboro, Michelle and Stevie Webb, founders and owners of Carrboro’s The Cheese Shop, shared their evolved vision, branding (new name) and design plans for their new 2000-square foot location, Wedgewood Cheese Bar. The new location will open this fall inside the historic Carolina Car Wash building on Brewer Lane alongside Belltree Cocktail Club. Wedgewood is a complete reimagining of the Webbs’ current 80-sf cheese counter located inside Glasshalfull. Wines will be curated by Rocks + Acid Wine Shop sommelier Paula de Pano. The Cheese Shop location will remain open in Glasshalfull through 2024. Wedgewood is expected to open this fall. Visit them here.

  • Also in Carrboro, La Montana owner and chef Yung Nay shared that beginning July 6th, their entire menu will change drastically under the temporary residency of award-winning chef and restaurateur, Chuan Tsay, who has come out of retirement. This new menu is modern Southeast Asian American cuisine. Visit them on Instagram here.

  • Over in Durham, Alley Twenty Six, the James Beard award-nominated craft cocktail bar, is bringing back its seasonal pop-up, “Islands in the Alley,” starting Tuesday, July 2nd. As summer heats up, guests can escape to the downtown Durham bar and restaurant adorned with vacation-themed decor and serving food and cocktails befitting an ocean view or other far flung destinations. The pop-up will feature timeless mid-century cocktails like the Saturn, alongside imaginative drinks inspired by seasonal travel and adventures. The menu will continuously evolve on a weekly basis until the pop-up concludes on September 1. Visit them here.

  • And in Pittsboro, there will soon be a new spot to grab a little pizza. Hoops Pizzeria is shooting (get it?) to open the week after the 4th of July. They are located at 697 Hillsboro Street, Suite 400. You can start getting familiar with them here. Thanks to Neha Shah, director of the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau.


  • Black & White Coffee shared the news this week of the permanent closure of their Rolesville cafe. Their last day of operation will be (tomorrow) June 29th. They still have locations in Wake Forest, Raleigh and their newest location in RDU. And of course their roasting operation is still turning out some of the best bean around!

Food Trucks

  • Raleigh is bringing back their downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo thanks to the folks at Shop Local Raleigh. The rodeo on Fayetteville Street will return this Saturday, June 29th from 12 noon until 6 p.m. Visit their Facebook page here.

  • 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.


  • Join the Carolina Ale House as they celebrate 25 years of being in business at their 25th Anniversary Party. The parties will take place on Saturday, July 20th at all locations, including drink specials, giveaways, live entertainment, and activations. They now boast 24 locations throughout North Carolina (7 here in the Triangle) and spanning into South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee. To find a location near you as well as additional details, visit them here.

  • Buddy Greg Lewis (39 West Catering and The Sycamore) shared with me this week that Welcome Chatham (the Chatham County Welcome Center) is introducing a new event called A Taste of Chatham on July 21st at 4 p.m. Guest will be able to enjoy tastes from numerous local restaurants, breweries, wIneries, local mead as well as enjoy local music. This is a fundraiser to support the county Welcome Center which sees over 3,000 visitors annually and is not supported through any government source. Just 500 tickets will be available for $50 per adult, $25 for ages 6 to 11, with under age 5 free. Day-of tickets will be $60 for adults. Get tickets and all the details here.

  • Back by popular demand! Join the team at Mandolin in Raleigh as they celebrate everyone’s favorite summer ingredient — tomatoes! Mandolin has created an exquisite, 5-course tomato menu, with each course capturing the beauty and variety of tomato season here in North Carolina. The dinners will be held on July 21, 22 and 23. They’ll be featuring 8-10 different varieties from Mandolin Farm and other local growers. The 5-course menu is $95 per person. Wine, Beer & Tomato Cocktails will be available, too! This event will sell out quickly so snap up yours! Visit them here to book your tickets!

  • This is pretty cool. Catering Works and chef Rich Carter will hold a second exclusive Chef’s Table dinner on July 26th where culinary artistry meets cultural heritage at the North Carolina Museum of Art. In celebration of the exhibition To Take Shape and Meaning: Form and Design in Contemporary American Indian Art, this dining experience features sustainable practices inspired by Indigenous traditions. Start with a cocktail hour and gallery tour with exhibition guest curator Nancy Strickland Fields (Lumbee), director/curator of the Museum of the Southeast American Indian at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Then in East Café, enjoy a thoughtfully crafted menu that includes elk chili, bison short ribs, and a fresh corn salad highlighting the Three Sisters—corn, beans, and squash. This is an opportunity to savor flavors deeply rooted in Native American history, all while supporting sustainable cuisine. 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 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.

  • USA Today Food & Wine Experience is coming back again to Raleigh on Saturday October 26th at the Big Field at Dix Park. Chef Jared Bobkin coordinates this event visiting approximately 12 U.S. cities annually. Get 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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