Friday Fun Food Facts – August 2, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This week, Sean Umstead and Michelle Vanderwalker opened the highly anticipated Kingfisher in downtown Durham. At this intimate cocktail bar located next to The Durham Hotel at 321 East Chapel Hill Street, Umstead takes a chef’s approach, elevating North Carolina’s fruits and vegetables to star status, and artfully serving them in Vanderwalker’s hand-thrown ceramics. From one-of-a-kind ground-to-glass cocktails, hand-cut ice, farm-driven small plates, and a cozy interior in “America’s Foodiest Small Town,” Kingfisher is a refreshing reflection of the couple’s North Carolina home. Get familiar with it here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The folks over at Offline Raleigh shared that, In addition to Moore Square opening this weekend (Saturday, August 3rd), Square Burger, the cafe inside the park, will be serving their first customers. Coming to us from Empire Eats Restaurant Group, it will feature a menu of burgers (that are actually square), hot dogs, milkshakes, and fries, plus a few healthier options. They’ll even have wine and beer that can be enjoyed on their patio. Think of it as Raleigh’s version of Shake Shack in Madison Square Park! Check it out here.
  • Can you smell it? We are somewhere inside a month for the opening of Andrew Ullom’s Union Special Bread retail location in the redeveloped Gateway Plaza off of Crabtree Boulevard in the Woodcrest neighborhood. As you will remember, Ullom was executive pastry chef at Ashley Christensen’s AC Restaurants. Initially the retail shop will open serving breakfast and lunch and continue to serve meals into the afternoon and sell loaves of bread to take home for dinner. Later, a dinner service may be added. Thanks to Ruth Stanton for the update. A tentative date of August 17 is on the table, but follow Andrew’s Instagram account to get the latest and final word once that date is officially set.
  • The folks over at the ITB Insider shared the news that Rush Bowls will be making its way to the ground floor of the Sir Walter apartment building at 400 Fayetteville Street (think former Chick-fil-A). The eatery recently held a grand opening celebration for its Hillsborough Street location. No word yet on an open date. Get familiar with their other Raleigh location here.
  • Heard from Chana Lynn over at RaleighWhatsUp that there is a new bottle shop called Beach Shack Bottles & Taps coming soon to 6300 Creedmoor Rd in the shopping center at the corner of Lynn and Creedmoor roads. Their goal is to try and duplicate the same laid-back feel they get when they are in a Beach Shack on an island, but with more beer and wine choices. Looking to open sometime late September to mid October. Keep up with their progress and opening date on their Facebook page here.
  • Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing shared the news that after a few weeks of testing brunch menu items (can’t believe I didn’t get called in to do a little taste testing), they are swinging open their full-on brunch menu beginning this Sunday, August 4. Doors open at 10 a.m. Check them out here.
  • Over in Cary, the newest version of BurgerFi opened this past Saturday in front of Crossroads Plaza. This is their third location in Wake County and second in Cary. Visit the Cary Crossroads location here.
  • And down in Garner, reader Amy Brewer tipped us off to the fact that there is a new coffee shop coming to Garner called How’s it Bean? It will be located in the Timber Crossing shopping center between Food Lion and the new Big Ed’s (217 Timber Drive). Looks like the build-out has just begun. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page 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

  • David “Flip” Filippini has opened his newest Kokyu joint at 245 E. NC Hwy. 54 (near Southpoint) in the former Cure Deli & Cafe spot. The new joint features some throwback classics to get your food truck fix – DuckFat Tot, Fish TaKo, Truck Sliders, etc. It also features an entire wall with a pour-your-own beer, wine and Kombucha taps. Visit their website here.
  • Got word from Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City that the new Korean fried chicken place, Chicken Bee, located on Ninth Street is in soft-opening mode this week. Can’t exactly tell when they are going to begin “regular” hours, so check in with their Facebook page to get the latest.
  • Some interesting developments along Chapel Hil’s Elliott Road. On the ground floor of the Berkshire Apartments, the once-closed Living Kitchen is making a comeback. Saw a banner up as I drove by yesterday that they will be re-opening soon. A closer look indicated quite a bit of renovation work going on inside. That’s the good news. The bad news is that closer look also revealed a “Stop Work Order” from the friendly Town of Chapel Hill Inspections office. Uh oh. I’m sure it is just a temporary delay. So stay tuned! Visit their website here.
  • With this came the news that the Raleigh location of Living Kitchen at 555 Fayetteville Street has closed. Didn’t see that coming. They also have a location in Charlotte.
  • And just a few doors down, on the ground floor of the Berkshire Apartments, a new watering hole called The Casual Pint is on the way – where their mission is to share the craft beer experience in the neighborhood, one pint, one growler and one person at a time. They tout that they are a fun spot with an upscale, yet casual family-friendly atmosphere much like a coffee shop, with a focus on craft beer. Tim Coynesmith, “coffee” soon? Get to know them here.
  • And over in Mebane, the latest Chick-fil-A in the area opened yesterday (Thursday) in a stand-alone building at 1311 Mebane Oaks Road. Congrats to owner/operator Todd Perkins. Visit their Facebook page here.


  • Reader Chad Barringer shared the news with us this week that Growler USA in downtown Raleigh (314 S. Blount Street) has closed.
  • The Raleigh location of Living Kitchen (555 Fayetteville Street) has closed (re-opening the Chapel Hill location on Elliott Road).

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: THIS WEEKEND, 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.


  • Today and tomorrow (August 2 & 3) is the 10th Annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. In a nutshell it is two great days of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, cigar smokin’, and barbeque eatin’. Your admission buys you a sampling glass so you can enjoy an all-you-care-to-taste sampling of beer and bourbon. Get all the details and ticket information 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.
  • Here is an event we can get behind. On Saturday, August 10th the town of Morrisville will change its name to S’Morrisville as they honor and enjoy the delicious snacks made famous at campfires everywhere. This event takes place all over S’Morrisville with activities at four different sites. There will be music, games, t-shirts to win and, of course, lots of s’mores to enjoy. Get all the details on their Facebook event page 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 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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