Friday Fun Food Facts – March 14, 2014

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News
  •  It was announced this week that The Black House at Straw Valley is now open for dinner. The multi-faceted complex also houses the Straw Valley Café which currently serves fresh juices and coffee (and will add a food menu soon). Straw Valley is the creation of Chef Adam Rose and Master Sommelier Fred Dex. Get all the details here.

Wake County Restaurant News 

  •  Hot diggity dog! New Raleigh reported this week that Tasty 8’s Gourmet Hot Dog Company is coming to the former Spize Cafe space on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. Look for a late April, early May opening. Get a sneak preview of them here.
  • Got word this week that City Barbecue has set April 12 at 11 a.m. as their grand opening in this market at 1305 Kildaire Farm Road. This is the first North Carolina location for the Ohio-based chain. Get more details here.
  • According to a Yelp post, it looks like a Hungry Howie’s is coming to Cary at 1904 NW Maynard Road (between the Starbucks and Jimmy Johns). At this point, the sign is up, but we’ll keep an eye on it.
  • Got word this week from reader Deborah Copeland that Uncorked in North Raleigh has reopened under new management (we reported that back in January). They have remodeled with a slightly larger bar, a barista station and more beer on tap.  Check them out here. Thanks Deborah!
  • New Raleigh noted this week that there is a new restaurant at the top of the Holiday Inn (formerly The Clarion) in downtown Raleigh. The new restaurant will be called Skye-Tower Restaurant Lounge & Bar.
  • In the rumor bin this week, New Raleigh is reporting that Eschelon Experiences (the parent company of The Oxford, Sono, Zinda, Mura, Cameron Bar & Grill, Dapper Style House, etc.) is in talks for a restaurant at the base of the new Charter Square building at 555 Fayetteville Street. We’ll keep an eye on it. Check out Eschelon here.
  • A new ice cream parlor specializing in the fruit-flavored ice creams popular in Jamaica has opened in Clayton. Caribbean Royale Ice Cream is the work of Hyacinth Reece-Headley, a Raleigh woman originally from Jamaica, who had an ice cream business in Chicago before she moved to Raleigh. They will have their grand opening on Saturday, April 1st at 11 a.m. Here is their site.
  • And if that is not enough sweetness for you, we got word this week that Sweet Traditions by LeAne (cupcakes and cakes) will be at Triangle Town Center on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting in April. Her kiosk will be right outside the food court. It was also noted that a Wake Forest location will be announced soon. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, visit them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  We noticed this week that Ed Mitchell was hiring staff via a posting on Craigslist for the soon to open Que in downtown Durham. That just means that opening day is getting closer and closer. Check Ed out on Facebook here.
  • We got word from WRAL last week that Durham’s Bull McCabe’s will close from March 19th through March 30th for renovations. Some of the renovations include a new exhaust hood and 100 more seats under a new covered and heated deck and new restrooms. They will reopen on March 31st at 11 a.m. Check them out here.
  • In the Durham rumor bin this week, it looks like Chef Jason Smith’s Harvest 18 concept (going into the old Doc Green’s location near Durham’s Southpoint Mall) is nearing completion. No word yet on an open date, but it is fast approaching. We’ll keep an eye on it.
  • According to the News & Observer, Carrboro Coffee Roasters, an artisan roaster that sells its beans at local places, has opened a pop-up coffee bar at Durham’s Golden Belt building. It is located in the former Blend Café space and sells brewed drinks such as coffee and espresso. Get more details here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, the Herald Sun reported the Elements in the East 54 complex will be adding a wine bar next door and should be completed by the end of the month. The wine bar will feature a 32-bottle wine dispensing system, a private dining room, and fine wines for retail sale. Check them out here.
  • We normally don’t report on the opening of pedestrian bridges, but Triangle Localista caught our attention this week when she dubbed the American Tobacco Trail bridge that just opened over Interstate 40 in Durham as the “bean to biscuit” trail as it allows folks to travel from Bean Traders (Bean) to Rise (for biscuits). Love it!
  • Smashburger did in fact open this past Wednesday in Durham at the Pavilion East development (think TGIF Friday, Chipotle and Hungry Leaf) near Duke University Hospital. This is the first Triangle area location and the Triangle Business Journal is reporting that owners, Jayshri and Ketan Patel, plan to open 5-6 more locations here in the Triangle. Check them out here.


  • Got word from David McCreary (aka Lunch Boy Says) that Daniel’s on Main in Fuquay Varina will be serving dinner for the last time this Sunday, March 16. But please note, the Apex location will not be closing. Check them out here.

Food Trucks 

  • Thanks to a tip from The Wandering Sheppard, we were reminded that the Fairview Garden Center’s second annual Flora and Food Trucks Spring Series will begin on March 29 and will happen again on April 19th and May 17th. Get all the details here.
  • A new food truck was spotted at the last Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and it should be hitting the road soon. It will be called Belgian Waffology, and will serve authentic Belgian waffles, among other things. Keep up with them here.
  • The Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo has just launched a kickstarter campaign for it’s upcoming year. A pledge of $25 or more gets you an “early bird” wristband for all 4 events this year. The dates are – May 11 (1-6 pm), June 8 (1-6 pm), August 10 (4-9 p.m.) and October 12 (1-6 pm). Throw your support their way here.


  • The Hibernian is officially open “full-time” and just in time for the annual Hibernian St. Patrick’s Day Block Party which will be held from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. tomorrow (March 15th) at the downtown Raleigh location of Hibernian (and surrounding streets). Get more details here.
  • Also this weekend is the Raleigh Tamale Festival (Saturday, March 15th), a Latino heritage festival, with tamale competition, soccer, music, dancing & more. It will be held at Peach Road Park from 1-4 p.m.
  • We are just weeks away now from an event that will get your attention and features Beer & Bacon. That’s right, a Beer and Bacon Festival is coming to Cary’s Booth Amphitheater featuring at least 75 craft beers and 10 varieties of bacon (did you know there were 10 varieties?). The event will be held on March 29 from noon until 6 p.m. Get all the details and ticket information here.
  • Wake Technical Community College will host their annual Culinary Arts Showcase on Tuesday, April 1st from 4-7 p.m. at the Raleigh Convention Center. Tickets are just $8 in advance. Get all the details here.
  • And if beer is your thing, the World Beer Festival in Raleigh is on April 5th with two sessions to purchase tickets for. The festival presents you with the opportunity to sample from over 250 craft and specialty beers from around the world – they just announced all the participants. Oh, and there is food to help soak it up a little. Get the list of participants and all the details here.
  • On the evening of April 6th, downtown Raleigh’s Café Helios will be converted into a pop-up Japanese noodle restaurant called The Lucky. Matthew Bettinger and Zach Neuman’s concept is simple: A casual spot that offers counter-service of hot ramen noodles cooked in a pork-based broth. The Lucky is the first of six pop-up events, with each being its own entity. The next one will be at least a month after The Lucky. Everything begins at 7 p.m. and lasts until the noodles run out!
  • It was announced this week that the 2nd Annual East Meets West food and performance festival celebrating Morrisville’s diverse community will be on Saturday, May 17, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission to the festival is free, tickets will be available for purchase to buy food, beer and wine. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • The Pit’s 6th Annual ‘Cuegrass Festival returns to Raleigh Saturday, April 26, with a jam-packed day full of great food and music, with all proceeds benefiting the Food Bank! Get all the details here.

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