Friday Fun Food Facts – July 5, 2024

Featured Restaurant News

  • Raleigh Magazine shared the news this week that legendary restaurateur Giorgios Bakatsias isn’t slowing down at all. In fact, quite the opposite, as they shared the news that his latest venture, Giorgios Epicurean Market (or GEM) will take shape this summer at East End (2020 Progress Court, Raleigh). The concept is a culmination of all his experiences and travels under one roof – a gourmet market where you will experience a butcher, bakery, coffee bar, chef-prepared goods, quality ingredients, fine wines, and gourmet gifts. We don’t have to wait long as they anticipate an opening this summer. Get some peeks at the space on their Instagram.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Fresh off the opening of their first venture together (Flour & Barrel), Raleigh Magazine shared the exciting news that Anthony Rapillo and Katsuji Tanabe are already on to their next concept together. The magazine shared that they are breathing new life into a historic speakeasy under downtown Raleigh’s Sir Walter Apartments (formerly the famous Sir Walter Hotel) at 400 Fayetteville Street. In addition to the expected beverage lineup, there will also be extraordinary cuisine available (a Japanese-inspired menu by Tanabe according to RM). No word on a timeline nor a name…just yet. Stay tuned.

  • Saw over on Axios that Parallax Coffee Lab has opened in downtown Wendell serving up Black and White Coffee Roasters’ beans. Looks like they are serving up coffee, matcha, Sweet Sparrow Bakeshop doughnuts and Union Special pastries. They are open 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday noon until 5 p.m. You’ll find them at 18 E. Third Street, Wendell. Check them out on Instagram here.

  • And if that is not enough coffee news for you, my buddy Sachin Patel brought it to my attention that there is a new place to get coffee in Morrisville – Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee + Social. They are located at 218 Southport Drive, Morrisville. Looks like this is their second location in North Carolina, with a location already in Charlotte. Get to know them here.

  • Raleigh’s Otomi Comida y Cocteles, which took over the former Brookside Bodega spot in Historic Oakwood, will celebrate their grand opening (albeit they are already, and have been, open) on July 19th. Otomi is a collaboration between Irregardless’s owner Lee Robinson and Juan Carlos Lugo, the restaurant’s former executive chef who had worked there for 11 years. The grand opening celebration will be 6-9 p.m. on Friday, July 19 with live music as well as menu and drink specials. More details to come. Visit Otomi here.

  • Luna Pizza Cafe, a Neapolitan pizza concept founded in Greenville in 2018, announced that they will open their third location in Clayton this Sunday, July 7th. It is at 802 East Front Street in the Clayton Spinning Mill complex. Their other locations are in Greenville and Selma, as well as a food truck in Charlotte. Get familiar with them here.

  • Triangle Business Journal reported this week that MoonRunners Saloon (Highway 70 near the 401 split) is opening two new locations in former Simple Twist restaurants. One is located at 21 Technology Drive in Garner (off Highway 42 in Johnston County near Interstate 40). It will open this month. The second one is at 1125 E. Cumberland St. in Dunn. It will open later this year. Visit MoonRunners here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over on the Facebook page Triangle Table Talk, Julie Singer shared the news that México Lindo Y Querido has opened a second location at 4325 Apex Hwy. in Durham. They also have a location at 2103 N. Roxboro Street in Durham. Visit them on Instagram here.

  • 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.


  • BB’s Crispy Chicken, which had three locations, has closed their Raleigh and Durham locations. The Cary location (1147 Parkside Main Street) remains open.

Food Trucks

  • The next monthly edition of Raleigh Foodie Fare is this Saturday, July 6th at Raleigh Iron Works (2221 Iron Works Drive, Raleigh) from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. This monthly gathering is brought to us by The MAKRS Society. Visit them here for details.

  • The NC Food Truck Fair will take place next weekend Satruday, July 13th (5-9 p.m.) and Sunday, July 14th (noon-6 p.m.) at Durham Central Park (501 Foster Street). Expect food trucks (obviously), vendors, inflatables, a water slide, a DJ and more! Get all the details 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.


  • Over in Durham, Geer Street Garden’s Chinese Week summer edition will take place next week, July 8–13, with the addition of Dim Sum Brunch on the 14th. Probably best to visit their Facebook page here to see what is in store.

  • 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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