What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Foodie news: Employees launch campaign to save Raleigh restaurant

Posted August 11

Courtney's Restaurant

— Awaiting the re-opening of "H-Street 2.0" with the return of student's to NC State, we instead got news that H-Street Kitchen is no more. Instead, Pizza La Stella's owners bought the space and, together with the H-Street owners, will launch La Stella Wood Fired sometime next month featuring a menu of wood-fired food. This will be a second location for Rudy Theale and his team, with Pizza La Stella remaining on Fayetteville Street.

Wake County Restaurant News

Got word from reader Allison Littrell that HappyCakes Cupcakery out of Morehead City is headed to Cary with a second location. I'm not familiar with them, but Allison tells me they won Cupcake Wars on Food Network and their cupcakes and cookies are super yummy. What I do know is the word "cupcakery" does nothing but bring a smile to my face. They are targeting an October opening. Not sure on the location, but Cary isn't that big...and did I mention cupcakery? We will keep an eye on this (someone has to!).

And for those missing your convenient morning brew that was available from Bruegger's at North Hills, the Triangle Explorer, aka John Huisman, brought it to my attention that the good folks at Oak City Coffee Roasters are operating a "pop-up cafe" just outside of the now-closed Bruegger's Monday thru Friday from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Saw on Namu's Facebook page that they are cleared and scheduled to open Wednesday, Aug.16. Namu Restaurant and Coffee Bar is the collaborative effort between Bulkogi Truck and Bo's Kitchen. They will be located at 5420 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd. where Bohme was and before that Straw Valley Food + Drink.


We also got word this week that The Pie Hole in Durham, serving up sweet and savory pies from scratch along with signature coffee and drinks, will hold their grand opening on Labor Day weekend. They will be located at 810 Ninth St.


Here is your chance to help prevent a closing. Courtney's Restaurant has been in Raleigh for nearly 30 years. This past year owner Jeff Seidenstein was diagnosed with cancer and has plans to close the restaurant this Sunday. However, the employees launched a GoFundMe page to try and keep the institution open. If you feel inclined, visit and donate to their page here. Thanks to the folks over at The Point for bringing this to our attention.

Food Trucks

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.


The 6th annual 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 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.

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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  • Kiara Babel Aug 11, 1:58 p.m.
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    Asking for donations to save a business? Wow. So you want investors to put money in for no return? This is not a charity. Your a business either you succeed or fail.