Friday Fun Food Facts – July 26, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  WRAL first reported this week that Al Bowers of Al’s Burger Shack fame is joining with friend Chris Baldwin to open 401 Main – an “upscale dive bar” in the former Cafe Carrboro/Jessee’s Coffee spot in Carrboro. It will feature seafood and veggie po’boys, draft beers, frozen cocktails and a large dog-friendly patio. Look for an August opening. The spot with the most information, with a few links to recent publicity on the new venture, can be found on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Today, Friday, July 26 is the grand opening of Just Salad’s first North Carolina location which is at Marketplace at Lake Boone – the official ribbon cutting starts at 10:30 a.m. Just Salad offers a variety of salads, wraps, smoothies, avocado toasts and more. There are now 38 locations, mostly in New York, but also in Chicago, Philadelphia and spots abroad in Hong Kong and Dubai – but local owner Peter Kim said he plans to open five Just Salad locations in North Carolina by 2020. As part of the grand opening celebration, they are offering $2 salads all day and the first person in line will receive a reusable unlimited salad bowl as well as additional swag items. The first 100 people in line will also receive a tote with a variety of Just Salad swag. Get familiar with them here.
  • In downtown Raleigh we caught wind that there is a new cafe operating at the North Carolina Museum of History. The cafe is not only open to museum visitors, but those that find themselves downtown. Haven’t been able to get additional information on the name/menu/etc., but it is good to know there is another dining option in downtown. Stay tuned.
  • Also in Raleigh, the folks over at ITB Insider noted that the Cha House, an “Asian-inspired tea house” will be moving into the former home of Pieology at The Stanhope on Hillsborough Street. Cha House, which currently operates a location on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, offers loose-leaf teas, brown sugar boba, and “signature Taiwanese street dishes.” Permits for the remodel were just issued so we don’t have an open date yet. Get to know them here.
  • Over in Cary the popular restaurant Anjappar, is celebrating their one-year anniversary by expanding into 1,100 sq. ft. of adjoining space at Stone Creek Village Shopping Center. The expansion gives them additional room in the main seating area, and the opening of a private dining room. Congrats to owner Prakash (Pete) Sambath. On August 3-4, Anjappar will offer a shared dining experience from southern India called Vazhai Ilai Virundhu (banana leaf feast). Together, diners are seated at long banquet tables pre-set with renowned Chettinad fare served on large banana leaves – with five seatings — 11:30am, 12:15pm, 1pm, 1:45pm and 2:30pm. Reservations are required. Call 919-377-1473. Dinner will remain a-la-carte. Get all the details here.
  • In Morrisville, reader Glenn Gillen noticed that Pho XO (which recently closed) is now Thai 54. It is located at 10290 Chapel Hill Rd. Ste 100. Visit them online here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, reader Kim Zimmerman informed us that bakery/cafe called Harvest Moon is now open in the former SiP Bistro location at 128 Bass Lake Road. Zimmerman reports that the double peanut cookie bar is fabulous and worth a trip by itself. Probably the best spot to get information at this point is on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Garner, reader Hugh Autry pointed out that there is a “Coming Soon” sign up for Teriyaki Madness at White Oak Crossing in the former Primavera Pizza spot (160 Shenstone Blvd.) which closed recently. This will be the first Triangle-area location for the chain. Get familiar with them here.
  • The summer pop-up fun continues through the summer where you can get a sneak preview of kō•än at their sister restaurant so•ca in Cameron Village! Follow them on Instagram here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Flip and his crew are days away from opening their newest Kokyu spot at 245 E. NC Hwy. 54 in the former Cure Deli & Cafe spot. They are holding invitation only events this weekend and looking to open early next week. The new joint will feature some throwback classics from the food truck (can you say duck fat tots!), new menu items, and a self-serve beer wall. Visit their website here.
  • Also in Durham, reader Edmond Miller brought it to our attention that Piper’s Deli in Durham (3219 Old Chapel Hill Rd) closed in late June and recently reopened, under the same ownership of Perry Evans, as Steel Spatula Burger Company. Same great burgers, with some remodeling done and more underway. Check out the new concept on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill we got glorious news this week with the re-opening of Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen, after suffering a small fire last month. Expect traffic in the area this weekend as cars queue up for the Chapel Hill institution.
  • Further up Franklin Street, the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Jaime and Miranda Sanchez will open will open Epilogue: Books Chocolate Brews, an independent bookstore and Spanish-style chocolatería, at 109 E. Franklin St. next month. The shop will sell books, local beer and coffee and pastries made on-site. Check it out here.
  • And speaking of Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street, we are very close to the opening of Peno Mediterranean Grill which will be opening soon at 105 E. Franklin Street right next door to Sup Dogs in the former Tama Cafe spot. The new Chapel Hill location will be the seventh for the franchise. Their menu includes gyrö sandwiches, wraps and bowls. Their site also indicates a location is coming to Raleigh. Get to know them here.
  • And we can’t leave Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street without sharing the news that the closed Asia Cafe will reopen on Tuesday, July 30 as Curry Point Express, an Indian fast food restaurant with a location in Durham. The space has been renovated and upgraded and the menu will retain some of Asia Cafe’s favorites. Get familiar with their Durham store here.
  • Down in Pittsboro, the Pittsboro Roadhouse, owned by Greg Lewis, closed for renovations back on July 15th. The good news is they re-open today (July 26) at 11 a.m. with some new paint, a new logo and who knows what else Greg has been up to. Get by today and see for yourself!
  • And over in Hillsborough, reader Rebecca Swartz brought it to our attention that a restaurant called Nomad is coming this fall to the theater property at 122 W. King Street. The News & Observer filled in the details that the venture, led by Sejal Patel and Nick Singh, will focus on small plates, seasonal flavors and locally sourced ingredients. Singh, co-owner of Viceroy, a Indian-British fusion gastropub in Durham. Hillsborough resident BJ Patel, also a Viceroy co-owner and Sejal Patel’s cousin, will be a partner in the new restaurant. They will have food from Asia, South America, Africa and Europe. The small plate concept is designed to give the diner an experience, so that as they go through the menu, they can try different parts of the world and experience the kind of food and also the different types of cooking techniques that are used in different parts of the world. Keep up with their progress on their website.


  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is 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.
  • And the remaining three dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo); Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm; and the make-up date on November 10th. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.


  •  The folks over at The Root Cellar Cafe (Pittsboro location) and Vino Wine Shop are teaming up for a Summer Wine Dinner on Sunday, July 28th featuring four (4) plated courses with five (5) wine pairings. Tickets are $69, which includes all fees, sales tax, and gratuity. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • On Saturday, August 3rd, the Raleigh and Cary locations of Sassool will host a birthday celebration for Cecilia “Sassool” Saleh, the restaurant’s namesake. In her honor, they will celebrate with their customers by having lots of special meal options, sampling of new retail products and plenty of dining fun! Sales for the day will be donated to Fill Your Bucket List Foundation that grants financial support to adults with cancer in order for them to create lasting memories with those they love. Get details on their event page here.
  • The ladies at Mofu Shoppe are celebrating 2 years! And they want you to join them on Sunday, August 4th – now pay attention, because there are two parts/events. The first part is a volunteer meal packing event in the morning from 10 am to noon where they will pack 10,000 meals with Rise Against Hunger. Following that, they will have a day party – a big luau themed bash including: Pig picking; Viet Cajun Crawfish/Crab Boil; Drink Specials all day; Indoor Summer time Boodle Fight; Frozen Sake/Kombucha drinks; Cakes/Desserts/Fresh fruits; and more! You must buy a ticket to enjoy the party/food in the afternoon, but the morning meal packing event will be open to everyone who wants to come donate their time and efforts! Ticket proceeds and sales during the day party will go towards funding the morning meal packing event. Here is the Eventbrite link with all the details.
  • Also on Sunday, August 4th from 6-9 p.m. at Market Hall in downtown Raleigh is the second annual Federation Feeds, a fun foodraiser for Jewish Family Services that provided over 3,300 nutritious meals for children, families, and older adults living with food insecurities in 2018. Federation Feeds pays tribute to the culinary excellence of local restaurants within our community during this special evening, restaurants present their signature dishes for the tasting while guests enjoy interactive activities, silent auction, cash bar, and music. Tickets are $54. Get tickets, a list of participating restaurants and all the details here.
  • The Downtown Raleigh Alliance shared this week that the dates have been set for the Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week which will be held August 12-18. Go ahead and mark your calendars. Here is their website which will be updated with additional details and participating restaurants as we get closer to the date.
  • The date was released this week for the third annual Savor the Triangle Food Festival produced by Mix 101.5. This year’s event will again be held at the Kerr Scott building at the NC State Fairgrounds on Wednesday, September 18th from 6-9 p.m. Savor the Triangle Food Festival is a culinary event with the opportunity to sample many of the Triangle’s most delicious foods and drinks all in one place. Get all the details and early bird discounted tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • This is it. Your last chance. I’ve been touting this amazing event that Colleen Minton dreamed up 10 years ago and now we are at the 10th and FINAL Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival in Chapel Hill October 16-19, 2019. Yep, you read that right. This is the grand finale. There will be no more. And tickets went on sale last week. And heed my last (and final) warning – tickets will not last. If you’ve never been – GO! If you’ve been, don’t miss the last one. If you don’t know, it is a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Get tickets and details here on all the events that week.
  • On Sunday, November 3rd, more than 30 of the Triangle’s finest restaurants will be paired with world-class wines at the third annual Sip + Savor – A Wine, Food and Music Experience.  Sip + Savor will showcase 30+ culinary all-stars, sommeliers, on-stage experience with live music, VIP lounge, and more. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  • While some kids daydream about trips to the pool and neighborhood games, others are worried summer will mean months with an empty fridge. But thanks to our generous corporate sponsors, you can help twice as many kids facing hunger this summer: Every gift you give before July 31 will be doubled – up to $102,500! That means that every $10 you give will be doubled to help provide 100 meals for children and families losing access to school-provided meals this summer. Double your donation today!

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