Friday Fun Food Facts – March 8, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This could be the best news to come out of RTP ever (if you are a foodie). Boxyard RTP, a 15,000-square-foot cargotecture development (i.e. shipping containers) with space for up to nine food and beverage vendors, will be coming to the Frontier RTP campus (Highway 54 near T.W. Alexander Drive) in 2020. The outdoor venue/food court/retail spaces will feature covered spaces for seating, special events and performances. Check them out here or follow them on Instagram here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saw on Ashton Mae Smith’s Twitter feed that Longleaf Swine BBQ, a very popular BBQ truck around the Triangle, is opening a permanent location in the Transfer Co. Food Hall. The venture brings Adam Cunningham’s Eastern North Carolina background and Marc Russell’s Puerto Rican background blended together in a unique, whole-hog, wood fire experience. Check out their announcement here.
  • Just outside of downtown Raleigh, renovations are nearing completion of the Gateway Plaza shopping center. One of my favorite Raleigh institutions has remained open through the entire renovation – Gateway Restaurant – and will soon be joined by Union Special, a new bakery run by the baker behind the bread at all of chef Ashley Christensen’s restaurants; Brew Coffee, a Raleigh-based coffee shop that has a shop at Seaboard Station; and Mordecai Beverage Co., a small brew pub. Visit Gateway Restaurant on Facebook here.
  • Think you can’t impact the food scene in the Triangle? Check this out. Reader Kristin Stewart shared with me that she is a big fan of Denver-based breakfast spot Snooze, an A.M. eatery. On a recent visit after inquiring about opening a location in the Triangle, she was told they were coming to Charlotte. She expressed her disappointment and encouraged them to consider the Triangle. On her most recent visit to Denver, she was given the news that they had decided to come to the Triangle instead of Charlotte (perhaps they will do that further down the road). How about that! Well done Kristin! Now, get familiar with the concept Kristin is such a big fan of here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, we got word that local owner David Morris opened a location of Firehouse Subs at 11704 Retail Drive, near the intersection of Highway 98 and US 1. Check out Firehouse Subs here.
  • For the folks down in Garner, get ready. WRAL reported this week that there is a “Now Hiring” sign outside the Big Ed’s location in Garner’s Timber Crossings shopping center (231 Timber Drive) where it took over the former Just Cookin’ space. This will be their third location. Visit Big Ed’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Big news out of Durham. Getting word that we are just days away from the opening of the new Durham location of Dame’s Chicken and Waffles. Located in the Liberty Warehouse Apartment building at the corner of Foster Street and W. Corporation Street replaces their former location over on Main Street that closed for the move many, many months ago. This follows on the footsteps of the news last week that Dame’s is also bringing their concept to Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street. The Chapel Hill location will be their fourth location (Greensboro and Cary). Check them out here for any announcements about their opening before trying to go.
  • The other big news out of Durham is we got multiple reports of seeing the sign going up on the building outside the much-anticipated Durham Food Hall also in the Liberty Warehouse building (530 Foster Street) with Dame’s. Get all the details and a list of the vendors here.
  • And got word from the News & Observer that Mattie Beason recently sold his Black Twig Cider House to Denver-based Stem Ciders, and the bar will be renamed The Northern Spy. This sale marks Beason’s exit from the Triangle food scene – last year he sold Mattie B’s Public House and was originally part of the group behind the now shuttered County Fare food truck venue. The new owners plan to reopen this spring with a new menu and more beer options mixed in with cider. The new Northern Spy also will dedicate about half its space to its bottle shop. Get familiar with them here.


  • Got word from reader Kent Del Castillo that Sawasdee up on Capital Blvd. has closed, ending all locations now in the Triangle.

Food Trucks 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.


  •  Cooking for a Classic 2019 Finale is March 11at 1705 East in Raleigh! The chase for the prize (a restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler) is down to the final TWO. Tickets are $125 for the Finale. You can get all the details here and tickets here. The evening features six plated courses. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle. Get all the details here. And tickets here.
  • Tomorrow, March 9th, is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, water and a raffle to win a $1700 Myron Mixon BarQ-1700 Pellet Cooker. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.
  • Toast to the Triangle is this Sunday, March 10 from 6-9pm at the McKimmon Center on NC State’s campus. The event brings together 30 of the Triangle area’s best restaurants and beverage providers competing to be the favorite flavor of the night by providing samples of their fare. In between bites, guests can bid on over 100 silent auction items and packages, purchase a mystery bottle of wine, snap a photo in the green screen photo booth and more! All of the money raised is to support the Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation for the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities. Tickets are $100 each for the event and can be purchased here.
  • On Sunday, March 24, Postal Fish Company, Sanctuary Vineyards, and Vino Wine Shop are joining forces to bring you a truly local seafood and wine dinner, Sanctuary Vineyards Wine Dinner, that will change your mind about North Carolina wines. Tickets are $65. All the details and ticket information can be found on their Facebook event page here.
  • Also this past week, Brewgaloo was nominated as one of the top beer festivals in the country! That’s right, in the country! Right now we sit atop the leaderboard, but we need your vote to stay there. Please click through here and keep us there! Thanks to Jennifer Martin for bringing this to my attention.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Tickets are on sale now for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details here. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our first Fork + Bottle Dinner of 2019 is Thursday, March 21. Join award-winning chef Thomas Card as he welcomes local favorites The Kast Brothers to Counting House and 21c Museum Hotel Durham. Alex Kast is the director of Chapel Hill Creamery and brother Max Kast of Broadbent Selections, Inc. is the only Master Sommelier in the Southeast. The night will start with a tour of our current exhibition, Portraying Power and Identity: A Global Perspective, followed by cocktail hour and dinner. Chef Card has designed a menu to pair with Chapel Hill Creamery selections and wine will be poured to accompany the meal. Tickets are $75 a person and a portion of every ticket sold will benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Visit their Facebook event page here for all the details.

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