What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Foodie news: Durham restaurant reopens with new concept

Posted August 18

— The big news this week was the confirmation that A Place at the Table, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit pay-what-you-can cafe, has secured a permanent location in the former Café de los Muertos space in downtown Raleigh. This new restaurant is expected to begin renovations soon and will open in the fall of 2017 (hearing November) at 300 W Hargett St.

Also, I got word from my Twitter friend Burgeoningbaker that Rose’s Meat Market & Sweet Shop has reopened with their new concept - as a restaurant and bakery after four years as a combination whole animal butcher shop and sweet shop. They are located at 121 N. Gregson Street in Durham, just down from Brightleaf Square. You can get all the details on their newly designed website.

Wake County Restaurant News

Learned this week that Heirloom Brewshop, a specialty coffee shop, premium tea house and sake bar, will be opening their first location at The Dillon in downtown Raleigh. The Dillon is located in the Warehouse District at 223 S. West St. Look for Heirloom to open in the summer of 2018.

Got word from reader Paul Prause that Pickled Onion Restaurant & Bar will close its current location on Falls of the Neuse Road on Aug. 27 and relocate to 10750 Wakefield Commons in Wakefield. Look for them to open in the new location in mid-September.

Saw in Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly email that Raleigh Downtown Living Advocates reported that a new BBQ joint called Southern Charred is coming to a spot at 510 Glenwood South. They will offer a NC-style que blended with Memphis and Texas influences. This is from the same folks behind Anchor Raleigh, The Milk Bar and Mofu Shoppe. No word yet on an open date.

We got a little more detail this week on the opening of Morehead City’s HappyCakes Cupcakery in Cary. Reader and Morehead City native Monica Williams tells me that the Cary location will be at Shoppes at Weston Corners off Chapel Hill Rd.

Thanks to the sharp eyes of Barbara Calise we now know that PokeGo, Poke & Noodles is going into the former Yogurt Mountain location on Creedmoor Road (8107 Creedmoor Road) in Raleigh. No other details are available at this time.

This isn’t exactly restaurant news, but cool nonetheless. CurEat, a restaurant app that provides you with a list of unique, locally owned restaurants from food and beverage insiders, is now available on Android (it released on iTunes back in January).

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Saw this week that Saint James Seafood Restaurant and Raw Bar, housed in the iconic historic building that was formerly Fishmonger’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar in Durham, is slated to open in early September. Focusing on sustainability, the menu celebrates the South’s plethora of seafood. Saint James will be Matthew Kelly’s fifth restaurant in Durham, joining a family of restaurants that include Mateo Bar de Tapas, Vin Rouge, Mothers & Sons Trattoria and Lucky’s Delicatessen.

On a recent drive down Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street (getting my solar eclipse glasses from Morehead Planetarium) I noticed that Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza is now open at the corner of Franklin and Rosemary streets.

And finally (didn’t think they would ever open), we got word from Cherith Andes that Babalu Tapas & Tacos has set Aug. 28 as the opening date for their latest location in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Crossing shopping center. This is the Triangle’s first location and will feature latin-inspired taco and tapas dishes with a Southern twist. And I’ve heard the drinks are pretty amazing as well.

And they are now open! Namu Restaurant and Coffee Bar is the collaborative effort between Bulkogi Truck & Bo’s Kitchen. They are located at 5420 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd. where Bohme was and before that Straw Valley Food + Drink.

The Pie Hole in Durham, serving up sweet & savory pies from scratch along with signature coffee & drinks, will hold their grand opening on Labor Day weekend. They will be located at 810 Ninth Street.


Reader Jackie Atlas was the first to notify us that Crepe Traditions has closed their location on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. They still have two locations in Raleigh at North Hills and on Hillsborough Street.

Food Trucks

The RDU Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) is holding their first Tacopalooza Food Truck Rodeo & Competition Sunday, Aug. 20, at Knightdale Station located at 810 N First Ave. in Knightdale. It will run from noon to 4 p.m.

The Lazy Daze Festival in Cary has expanded to two days, Aug. 26 and 27. In addition to arts and crafts tents, it will feature more than 25 food vendors and trucks! It is not a party until a food truck rolls up! The entire festival is wonderful, but if you want to plan your food strategy before you go, do so here.

37th Annual Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival in Cary, NC on August 24, 2013.

Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on Nov. 5 from noon to 4 p.m. (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions).

And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are back in full swing. The next Durham rodeo is Sept. 3. Check out the Durham dates here and the Raleigh dates here.


Join North Carolina brewers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for their fourth annual Natural Selections event on Aug. 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. 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 Chef of the Year and the Pastry Chef of the Year.

How does beer and fresh produce sound? Count me in! The Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market at University Place will hold their annual Brewfest on August 26 from 8 a.m. until noon. The event will feature brews from 11 different breweries.


Tickets for 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 Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185.

And not to miss out on the Solar Eclipse hype, Krispy Kreme doughnuts will launch the first-ever Chocolate Glazed Doughnut Aug. 21 and during special evening Hot Light hours Aug. 19-20 in Raleigh.

Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on September 24 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 hundreds of creative ways.

Terra Vita Preview

Tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale now. It will sell out. Trust me!

On Oct. 12, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.

The Underground Kitchen hosts its second pop up dinner in Raleigh on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. Attendees will experience the great outdoors and a deliciously rustic, multi-course dinner in a wilderness-within- the-city locale. Virginia-based celebrity chef J. Ponder will pull out all the stops with a flavorsome exploration of aged meats, time-tested techniques, and truffle wine pairings!

On Sunday, Sept. 10 from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Raleigh's Mandolin Restaurant will hold their second annual BBQ Fundraiser to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle. It will be held across the street from Mandolin at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin Road. They will have live music and lots of great food and drink prepared by chef Sean Fowler which has been donated by Cheney Bros. food distributors, Topo distillery, Locals Seafood, Videri Chocolate, Neuse River Brewing, Lynnwood Brewing and Mandolin Sauces.

Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope on Sunday, Sept. 17 from 6-9 p.m. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their "mac and cheese" talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25.

Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event on Wednesday, Sept. 20 to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. G

Also on Sept. 10, the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund will host their 4th Annual Dinner in the Meadow benefit hosted by WUNC’s Frank Stasio and featuring dishes prepared by Triangle area and regional chefs. Held in Franklin County, the dinner is $100 per person.

Food Bank Corner

Go ahead and mark your calendar for Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week August 21-27. Participating restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe dinners for either $21 or $31 per person, depending on the venue (tax and tip not included).

As a special amenity to downtown employees and other daytime downtown visitors, some restaurants will be offering $5 and $10 lunch specials during Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week only! And new this year, they are partnering with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to donate $1 from each Restaurant Week dinner sold to those in need!

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


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