Friday Fun Food Facts – December 9, 2016

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Well ‘tis the season. And if you thoroughly enjoyed handing off the cooking to someone else for Thanksgiving, then you’ll know that there is nothing better than doing that again on Christmas day! So, the folks over at the News & Observer have put together a list of restaurants (including a special Chinese restaurant section) open on December 25th. Check it out here, but get your reservations in early!
  • Also, Raleigh’s Q Shack is doing locally raised, all natural fresh turkeys, hams and brisket and meals packed for reheating, for those that want to stay home, but don’t want to do the cooking. Get all those details on that here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In what may be one of the most visually stunning spaces I’ve ever seen for a restaurant, Lou Moshakos and his star-studded team announced this week that they will open the Mediterranean-inspired concept Vidrio on January 23. It is located on the first and second floors of the 500 Glenwood Avenue building which Moshakos owns and also houses his Carolina Ale House on the third floor. A few of his “team” include executive chef Ian Sullivan, previously with the University Club in Durham and the Urban Food Group, as well as chef de cuisine Saif Rahman, previously of 21c Museum and Hotel, also in Durham. James Beard-nominated best restaurateur Giorgios Bakatsias also consulted on Vidrio. It is going to be spectacular! Check it out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported that Chopt Creative Salad Company is coming to Raleigh’s Cameron Village with plans to open today, Dec. 9 at 420 Daniels St., near Village Draft House. This will be the Triangle’s first Chopt location, with a second location already announced for Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Crossing. Check out Chopt here.
  • Also in Raleigh, if you stroll past 219 Fayetteville Street you will notice the brown paper is off the windows of the former Bolt location revealing the redesign as it transforms into Pizza La Stella – it is absolutely gorgeous. David Sadeghi and managing partner Rudy Theale have done an incredible job transforming that space. Not much yet on their website here, but the opening is just around the corner. Stay tuned.
  • In downtown Raleigh, the much anticipated opening of Tobacco Road Sports Cafe (which closed their Glenwood Avenue location to move around the corner into the former Natty Greene’s location at 505 W. Jones Street) is not far off. They posted on their Facebook page that they are planning to open later this month. Keep up with the latest on their Facebook page here.
  • The Charlotte-based breakfast and lunch restaurant concept called Famous Toastery has plans for several locations in the Triangle in 2017. Their next location will open in March in Morrisville at Weston Corners Shopping Center. That will be followed by two more locations later in 2017, one in Holly Springs at the Holly Springs Town Center (right next to Blaze Pizza) and the other in Garner at the White Oak Shopping Center. Toast Cafe (same concept) is already open in Cary’s Waverly Place. Check out Famous Toastery here.
  • Got word that the guys from the locally owned Woody’s Sports Tavern & Grill in Cary and Woody’s at City Market in downtown Raleigh have opened a new hybrid concept bottleshop/bar/restaurant called BottleDog Bites & Brews at the Center 54 shopping center in the space behind Maximillian’s on Chapel Hill Rd in Cary (soft opening beginning today, December 9th). Thanks to owner Shawn Whisnant for the information. Visit Woody’s Sports Tavern here and Woody’s at City Market here.
  • Also in Cary, Academy Street Bistro is up and flying under the new ownership of Tom Havrish who also owns Lugano Ristorante. They have a new logo and are adding new menu items. Congrats to Tom on his newest endeavor. Check them out here.
  • The newest location of Another Broken Egg Cafe opened this past Monday in Parkside Town Commons at 1103 Parkside Main Street in Cary. The have additional locations in Morrisville, Raleigh and Durham. Check them out here.
  • And one more Cary announcement, reader Chris Creighton informed me that the second location of Johnny’s Pizza is now open in Cornerstone Village (intersection of Davis & High House) where Z Pizza used to be. Check out Johnny’s here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, got word from WRAL that The Empanada Factory, Latin street food,  opened this past week with a soft opening at 2010 S. Main Street (near the intersection with Ligon Mill Road). There is not much up on their website, so check them out on Facebook here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Let’s just say the beautiful and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard is excited about this next bit of news (as am I). The News & Observer reported this week that Acme Food & Beverage Company’s Kevin Callaghan will open Atlas Taco Bar in the new South Green development on Carrboro’s Greensboro Street, just off Highway 54. Also in that development will be a nano-brewery and bottle shop called Gimghoul Brewing & Bottle Company. They also announced that 40% of the tenants will be restaurants. The bad news is they don’t break ground until June of next year and expect a 22 month build-out. Good things come to those who wait…I guess.
  • A few more details this week thanks to the News & Observer regarding the Chapel Hill location of Guglhupf. Looking to open in April, 2017 in Eastgate Crossing, the Guglhupf Bake Shop will focus on fresh pastries, bread and specialty baked goods while also offering choice provisions and coffee service. Stay tuned and check out Guglhupf here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, the Daily Tar Heel reported that La Residence will reopen on January 5th. A fire back in June caused the popular Chapel Hill establishment to temporarily close. Check them out here.
  • Over in Durham, Luna Rotisserie & Empanadas is looking to spread a little love, at least (if not more) on the second Tuesday of each month. In light of a recent uptick in actions of hate, they will donate 10% of the proceeds each second Tuesday to organizations that provide direct support to disenfranchised and marginalized groups here in Durham. We say kudos! Get more information on their efforts on their Facebook page here.
  • Also in Durham, got word from Neal DePersia that the Cinco de Mayo Restaurant near the intersection of Highways 54 & 55, has been sold to Chris Thorpe, former area manager responsible for 16 Triangle-area McDonalds. While the name will be changing the concept and menu will stay pretty much the same. Stay tuned.
  • And down in Chatham County, got word that just four weeks after opening, the Breakaway Cafe will begin offering a dinner menu on December 14th. They have met rave reviews with the coffee and lunch service – now we get to see what a dinner might hold! Check out Breakaway cafe here.


  • Reader Chris Creighton sent me a note notifying me that Perkins on US 64 in Apex has closed.
  • As well, Chris Creighton noted that Ricci’s Pizzeria in Holly Springs has closed (but apparently they are moving to another location in West Cary – stay tuned on that).

Food Trucks

  • Looks like the trucks are into their hibernation…


  • On December 15th at 6:30 p.m., Teddy Diggs, executive chef of Il Palio, will join forces with international seafood expert, Barton Seaver, to craft a fresh approach to the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Hosted at Il Palio in Chapel Hill, this historic Italian feast will feature exclusively sustainably sourced seafood, showcasing recipes from Seaver’s acclaimed cookbook, Two If By Sea, and classics from Chef Diggs’ Italian repertoire. Tickets may be purchased for $135 by calling 919-918-2545 and include autographed copies of Seaver’s Two If By Sea
    cookbook, Italian wine pairings, tax and gratuity.

Food Bank Corner

  • Gifts went twice as far this #GivingTuesday thanks to a matching gift from our generous partners Allscripts, Delta Airlines, Harris Teeter, and Railinc. Every dollar donated was matched up to our goal of $40,000! We are pleased to share that we’ve met the #GivingTuesday goal of $40,000! Because of the support of our generous community, we were able to provide 504,865 meals as part of our Holiday Meals Drive! Although the match has been met, you can still make a donation that will count toward our Holiday Meals Drive in which we are committed to providing 2.4 million meals before December 31.We can still use your help…click here.

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