What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Foodie news: Carolina Brewery announces new menu, renovations

Posted July 21
Updated July 26

Credit: Facebook

In Chapel Hill, Carolina Brewery will be celebrating their 22nd anniversary with lots of changes – following renovations to the physical space at their W. Franklin Street brewpub, they will unveil a number of menu changes. All offer a new, refreshing feel that reflect the community that surrounds them. The new menu will be unveiled on July 31.

Wake County Restaurant News

Pho Vietnam, a restaurant serving noodle soup, banh mi and other Vietnamese staples has opened over on Hillsborough Street near Dan Allen Drive. Another location already exists on Buck Jones Road. Thanks to Ashton Mae Smith for this news.

The ITB Insider reported this week that the next location of Chopt will reside in the former Tribeca Tavern building on Falls of Neuse Road. No word on an open date.

The folks over at Morgan Street Food Hall announced another tenant this week – MKG Kitchen. MKG Kitchen is from the same creators of Mekong Vietnamese Cuisine in Morrisville.

In Brier Creek this week the new Harris Teeter (which has a wine and beer bar in it!) opened at the corner of T.W. Alexander and U.S. 70. However, in that same center, it was announced that pizza chain Your Pie and breakfast joint First Watch would join Harris Teeter.

The Cupcake Shoppe Bakery gears up for Valentine's Day

Congrats to Sara Coleman Fitzpatrick and the team over at The Cupcake Shoppe in Raleigh as they celebrate 10 years of bringing yumminess to the Triangle. They will have a neighborhood birthday party all day on July 27 with free mini cupcakes, t-shirt giveaways, and more (with additional specials running through the weekend).

And over in Cary, reader Hugh Autry brought it to our attention that Cary is going to get a second Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, this one adjacent to the Craft Public House near the intersection of Tryon Road and Walnut Street.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Pincho Loco, a new Latin-flavored ice cream, popsicle and milkshake shop, has opened in Durham at 1918 Perry Street with plans to celebrate their grand opening with buy one, get one specials all weekend. Pincho Loco serves interesting creations like a churro sundae and a beer float (for those 21 years and older).

Pincho Loco

Chapel Hill’s iconic Carolina Coffee Shop has new owners. A group of UNC alumni and friends, led by Jeff Hortman, have purchased the institution. Things will pretty much continue the same through the fall before renovations and tweaks over the winter. Thanks to Michael DePersia at DePersia & Associates for the heads up on this news.

In Durham, got word from Michael DePersia at DePersia & Associates that Los Dos Sombreros (formerly Cinco de Mayo) located at 4818 NC Hwy 55 has been sold to Basera Indian Cuisine, a successful Indian restaurant franchise out of Plano, Texas. They should open later this month after completing renovations. We will keep you posted.

Local Yogurt

Also in Durham, WRAL reported that Local Yogurt has opened in their new location at 1114 W. Chapel Hill Street, conveniently located between downtown Durham and Duke University.

WRAL also reported that a new coffee shop in Durham called Kaffeinate will be taking over the former Respite Cafe spot at 115 N. Duke Street. No word yet on an open date.

Got word from the Chatham County Convention and Visitors Bureau that Phoenix Bakery Market Cafe will hold their grand opening at 664 West Street in Pittsboro on August 19.

Also in Chatham County, just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill, Marco’s Pizza will have their grand opening on Aug. 6 in the space in front of Harris Teeter where Fig & Honey used to be. From 1 to 4 p.m. they will have free pizza samples, DJ, face painting and other children’s activities.


Got word from Christine Rhyne Johnson that the Marco’s location in Apex has closed.

In Cary, got word this week from several sources that the Train Station bar and grill cross from the Amtrak station in Cary has also closed.

Over in Durham, WRAL reported that George’s Java on Ninth Street has closed.

And in Chapel Hill, the News & Observer reported that after more than three years on West Franklin Street, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom will serve its last slice in Chapel Hill this weekend.

Food Trucks

The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town July 23 from 12 to 4 p.m. at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl, and the kids have can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include free face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun.

And the dates for food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are here.


This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery and August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings.

PickleFest Durham 2017

The Rickhouse will host Durham’s 3rd Annual PickleFest on July 23 – a pickle-packed tasting event and market place showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi. Restaurants will sample their pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips.

Raleigh’s newest dining concept, 41Hundred (the new concept inside the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel), is holding their grand opening celebration on July 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. Enjoy complimentary bites from the 41Hundred menu and samples from TOPO Distillery, Bombshell Beer Company and Aviator Brewing Company.

The Second Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will take place on July 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Rickhouse in downtown Durham. This unique food competition features 12 teams of Rise chefs partnered with a local brewery or beverage company. Each team will prepare a special biscuit and donut that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage.

This is my annual shout-out/reminder to my good buddy Tim CoyneSmith – tickets are on sale now to the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater on July 28 and 29. Basically it is two days of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’ and barbeque eating.

Catering Works will hold their next Foodcation at their event space, The Laurelbrook, on Thursday, August 3rd with the “destination” being Asia! “Travel” through the Southeastern territories for their signature spin on authentic Asian street fare and onward to inspired Indochina fusion delicacies! Tickets are $45 for the seven-course meal/trip.

Spicy chocolate mousse

The Raleigh Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event will be held this year at NC State Fairgrounds in the Kerr Scott building on August 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join North Carolina brewers at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences for their fourth annual Natural Selections event on August 18. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind evening of beer and science among the museum’s dioramas, sample unique creations fitting the museum’s natural science focus from more than 20 North Carolina breweries and enjoy hands-on science of beer activities, a panel discussion, games and live music by Handsome Al and the Lookers. Price includes beer samples, activities, tasting guide and collectible Natural Selections tasting glass.

The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the Chef of the Year and the Pastry Chef of the Year awards.

The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for the Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9 and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers.

Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on September 14 for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m. on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. in the dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185.

Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24 this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in creative ways.

Terra Vita Preview

Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets early! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival scheduled for Oct. 18 through 21 in and around Chapel Hill. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

Nearly 300,000 children in the Food Bank’s 34 counties rely on the free and reduced-cost meals at school to get them through the day. For them, summertime doesn’t mean a fun-filled vacation. For them, no school means no meals. Stop Summer Hunger is the Food Bank’s annual initiative to provide additional food to feed these children and their families during this season of increased need. For example: A donation of $35 will feed a child for two months; A donation of $75 will feed a family of four for one month; and a donation of $150 will feed a family of four for two months. Help reach the goal of 3.4 million meals before July 31 and ensure that children will receive the daily, nutritious meals they need to grow healthy and strong!

Sean Lennard covers the Triangle food scene on his site Triangle Food Blog.


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