Raleigh, N.C. — The latest on restaurant openings, closings, events, food trucks and more in the Triangle and beyond.
Featured Restaurant News
Two restaurants that were in the “waiting pattern” last week have now opened according to each of their Facebook pages. Soca has opened in the former Faire spot in Raleigh’s Cameron Village and is being brought to us by the owners of the popular eatery Buku.
And, over in Apex, the second location of Abbey Road Tavern & Grill has opened in the former Off Kilter Pub & Grille location at 1700 Center St.
Also, history is being made today in downtown Raleigh. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will change its iconic glazed doughnuts name by adding an apostrophe – O’riginal Glazed. Additionally, they are bringing back their specially formulated green doughnuts for this one-day-only celebration.
Wake County Restaurant News
Here is something to get up early for on the weekend. We told you about this back in January, but the date has been set and it is getting closer. Your weekend brunch options just got a lot more interesting with the April 1 (no kidding) launch of weekend brunch service at Poole’s Diner. Prompted by the closing of Ashley Christensen’s Joule, Poole’s brunch service will feature many of the dishes from Joule.
Next up in the “when will they finally open” category is Brewery Bhavana, a hybrid restaurant, brewery, flower shop and book shop located in the former Tir Na Nog spot adjacent to Moore Square. The brewery plans to open in March. Brewery Bhavana is the brainchild of brother and sister Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha, who also own the Laotian restaurant Bida Manda next door, and brewer Patrick Woodson.
Those who enjoy a good beer with a nice view of downtown Raleigh will be excited to learn that WRAL reported this week that we are not far from the re-opening of the Boylan Bridge Brewpub, which closed about a year ago due to a collapsed support wall. According to WRAL, they will open sometime this spring, just in time for the warm weather. Congrats to Andrew Leager for his hard work and his dedication to keep this landmark going.
City Barbeque announced that their newest location in Raleigh at 9424 Falls of Neuse Road will open on March 27. Their grand opening celebration will be April 1 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Over in Morrisville, got word that Potbelly Sandwich Shop opened its first Triangle area location at 9662 Chapel Hill Rd. across the street from Park West Village. Widely acclaimed for being a popular neighborhood hangout, Potbelly features toasty warm sandwiches, hand-dipped milkshakes and live music. Congrats to owners Mohit Kishore and Tulshi Bhakar.
In Apex, got word this week from owner Robert Royster that Ruckus Pizza, Pasta & Spirits has opened at 1021 Pine Plaza Dr. This is Ruckus number five!
In Cary, Eighty8 Asian Bistro held their grand opening this past Monday at 1077 Darrington Drive (in the same complex as Dean’s Seafood just off Cary Parkway). Eighty8 is an exotic twist on Asian cuisine serving a variety of sushi rolls, entrees and cocktails with unique, fresh, made from scratch sauces.
Down in Holly Springs, the News & Observer reported that Rise, the popular doughnut and biscuit spot, will open March 18 in the Holly Springs Towne Center along N.C. 55 at 169 Grand Hill Place.
Also down that way, the News & Observer reported that Chipotle has two locations coming to eastern Wake County. Garner opened its first Chipotle in White Oak Plaza, 68 Eagle Wing Way, and Fuquay-Varina’s Chipotle will open April 27 at the corner of Main Street and Hwy 401.
My friends over at Relish Cafe & Bar announced a change this week, but just in name. They are officially changing their name to Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar! After nearly six years of finding and perfecting their niche, they are thrilled to show off what they’ve learned about bourbon and what they’ve always known about the food that comes from their kitchen.
Durham, Orange and Chatham Restaurant News
A quick update on things at Eastgate Crossing in Chapel Hill as things heat up. The first (of five, I think) new eateries has set an open date. Signs for Chipotle went up this week, and they expect to open April 6. Shortly following that will be Chopt, which also has a location in Raleigh’s Cameron Village and is rumored to have a second Raleigh location in the works.
Over in Durham, this Saturday is the grand opening of ZenFish Poke Bar on Ninth Street (810 Ninth Street to be exact, by the Solis Apartments). Hint: Their soft opening is happening now! Congrats to Janet Lee!
Also in Durham, The Herald Sun reported that the team behind Nosh, Piper’s in the Park and Jo Rae Cafe is in the midst of renovating a 61-year-old service station on West Chapel Hill Street into a restaurant called Grub. The restaurant is expected to open at the beginning of May.
And finally, in Durham, certified cider expert Mattie Beason celebrates the first year anniversary of Black Twig Cider House – a cider-focused restaurant featuring the largest variety of cider in the Southeast – April 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with local cider on draft and bottles as well as games and food for the entire family.
None to report. Keep eating local, folks!
Durham is getting ready to get a new food truck called Medley. Their approach is a bit different, with a focus on a heartier, more balanced version of healthy food. Their larger goal is to help people broaden their definition of healthy eating, make it more approachable, and of course, taste great. Look for them to start rolling around the Triangle next week. Congrats to Sam Sager, Zach Strom and chef Johnny Carlo.
I never thought I’d see this. Chapel Hill is holding their first food truck rodeo – Rodeo on Rosemary. Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation in collaboration with the Downtown Partnership and the Raleigh Durham Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) will hold this milestone on March 26 from noon to 5 p.m. on the block of Rosemary Street between Henderson and North Columbia Streets. It looks like about 13 trucks so far.
Families Moving Forward in Durham launched Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that will pair the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness. The series features a dinner every other month (beginning April 17, my birthday) featuring one of the distinguished chefs serving three or more courses. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward.
The inaugural Cooking for a Classic series to benefit the Lucy Daniels Center moves into round two this month with local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned.
Bites of Bull City and Southern Food and Drink are teaming up to bring you a fun behind-the-scenes Taste & Sip tour of historic Brightleaf Square in downtown Durham on March 25 from 1 to 5 p.m. On this easy walking tour, guests will experience several Brightleaf Square/Main Street mainstays as well as get an introduction to several brand new restaurants and shops making a name for themselves in the area! Tickets are $50.
Acclaimed chef Scott Crawford is launching a guest chef series in April at his restaurant, Crawford and Son. “Oakwood and Friends” will serve food from Crawford and collaborators – chefs from renowned restaurants in the Southeast. The first dinner is April 23.
The North Carolina Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier will host Dames in the Kitchen on April 6, offering a culinary tour through North Carolina by eight Dame cookbook authors and chefs. Benefiting the Interfaith Food Shuttle, it will take place at The Root Cellar in Chapel Hill from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $65.
Clear your calendar for April 8 for the Beer & Bacon Festival in Cary at Booth Amphitheatre.
Also on April 8, the Bull City Homebrew Chili Challenge will take place at Bull City Homebrew on Highway 54 near the intersection with Highway 55. It takes place from noon until 4 p.m. If you’d like to enter your chili, register on their site. The event is free and kid friendly.
April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes.
The extremely popular craft beer festival Brewgaloo returns the weekend of April 21-22 all in and around downtown Raleigh. The weekend kicks off with a block party/sampler event on Friday night followed by Saturday’s big event from 2 to 10 p.m. featuring craft beer, food vendors and trucks, live music and more.
On April 30, the Taste for a Cure Gala will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Rickhouse in Durham, where guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 p.m. where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225.
Got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar.
Listen up, the dates for the Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South) have been released. Go ahead and mark your calendars. It will kick off on October 18 and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on October 21. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers. Tickets will go on sale in May.
Food Bank Corner
Now is the time to give to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. During the month of March, there is a special “matching gift” opportunity – the Table2Table Matching Gift Challenge! All donations from March 1 through March 31 will be matched up to $50,000. For this month only, instead of your $1 providing five meals, every dollar will provide 10 meals!