Friday Fun Food Facts – December 16, 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!
  • And while we are on the subject of making reservations, the News & Observer has also put together a list of restaurants taking reservations for New Year’s Eve celebrations. It will be updated regularly between now and New Year’s. Check it out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • And the third time’s the charm. Mint, then Bolt, now Pizza La Stella. Tonight (December 16) and Saturday night mark the soft opening (5-9 p.m.) of the third restaurant concept in the space at 219 Fayetteville Street. Let me just go on the record after getting a tour and sampling one of the pizzas coming out of one of the two 7,000 pound ovens, this place is going to be a huge hit for downtown Raleigh. Rudy Theale brings a vision that is very exciting and a great fit for downtown and Raleigh as a whole. Look for them to go full-time next Monday, but tonight and tomorrow night get by while a percentage of sales will go to the Food Bank of Eastern & Central North Carolina. The space looks amazing! Check them out here.
  • Staying in downtown Raleigh, James Borden’s Raleigh Public Record noted a building permit has been issued for a new coffee shop going into the ground floor of The Edison at 145 E. Davie Street called Sir Walter Coffee. It bills itself on its Facebook page as a coffee barista bar, tea house and bottle shop. No word yet on an open date. Check them out here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that City Market Sushi, the newest restaurant in Raleigh’s City Market, is expected to open for lunch on Monday in the former Troy Mezze space. It is located at 315 Blake Street, a couple doors down from Cafe Lucarne. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, saw on Facebook that Brewery Bhavana, the brewery/dim sum restaurant/flower shop from the folks at Bida Manda (going into the former Tir Na Nog Irish Pub spot at Moore Square) is now hiring. That means we are getting close! Keep up with their progress here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that The new J. Alexander’s restaurant that’s been under construction for the last several months next to Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh is now open for business. J. Alexander’s is also finalizing plans to open another one of its brands, the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill restaurant, at Chapel Hill’s University Place. Check them out here.
  • Down in Cary, buddy David McCreary pointed out that there is a new sign up at the former La Pizza Volante spot at 1871 Lake Pine Drive for a Peruvian chicken concept called Marco Pollo. No timeline on an opening. Check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that a new Mebane-based franchise owner for the growing pizza restaurant chain Your Pie has signed a lease in Cary for what will be the brand’s first location in North Carolina. The new restaurant will open at 685 Cary Town Blvd. – in the building formerly occupied by the Tom Yum Tai restaurant, near the intersection with Walnut Street. They are targeting a date in March 2017 for the new Cary restaurant opening. Get to know them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • WRAL reported that tonight (December 16) is the night for the long-anticipated opening of The Bullpen in downtown Durham. Bull Durham Beer Co. has teamed up with local restaurant Heavenly Buffaloes for a new beer garden. It is located in a 2,000-square-foot space on the ground floor of the American Tobacco Campus’ Diamond View III building, and will feature live music with regular programming provided by the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Also in Durham, Luna Rotisserie & Empanadas continues 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.
  • And finally, a chef announcement. The JB Duke Hotel, the new hotel coming to the campus of Duke University, announced the appointment of its executive chef, Erik Lampe. In addition to serving as chef de cuisine and chef de partie at a AAA Five Diamond and Mobile Four Star-rated restaurant, Lampe’s experience includes serving as executive chef for military and private clubs, upscale hotels, university and conference centers. The JB Duke Hotel looks to open in early January.


  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • Looks like the trucks are into their hibernation…


  • On Tuesday, January 10th, Raleigh’s newest hot-spot in downtown’s City Market, Royale, will give New York Italian cuisine the “royal” treatment for one-night only when it introduces Big Night – an authentic New York Italian pop-up restaurant serving all the classics. Executive chef Jeff Seizer, a Brooklyn native who was raised on his grandmother’s traditional Southern Italian cooking, will share his passion for Italian-American home cooking on this night only. To make reservations and see the menu for Big Night at Royale, click here. Tickets are $95 per pair (tickets sold in pairs) or $35 per person with wine.

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.

One Final Word For 2016

  • So, with this stroke of the pen (or strike of the keyboard) I wrap up things for 2016. I’m looking forward to another trip around the sun with you in 2017. Never forget how blessed we are with all the talented chefs and wonderful dining options we have. And never forget those that go without. Please support our friends over at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and all those that help those without. Commit yourself in 2017 to making a huge difference in at least one person’s life (hopefully hundreds). We will need a lot more love in 2017 than we’ve ever needed before and I look forward to being part of that. God bless and thanks for all your support and kind words. See you in 2017!

    And to reward you for your intended good deeds in 2017 (and for reading this far), I ask that you email me and tell me what you plan to do in 2017 to make a difference. I will select one “winner” from all entries for a $50 gift certificate to your favorite local dining establishment. Look forward to hearing what everyone is up to!

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