What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Foodie news: New burger, pizza restaurants open in Triangle

Posted 9:02 a.m. Friday
Updated 10:05 a.m. Friday

— And then there were two. Al’s Burger Shack is opening a second burger shack in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village on Monday, Sept. 18. The new location will be serving up the same experience as the original Franklin Street shack, but with more seating, free parking and an expanded menu.

Wake County Restaurant News

Owners Missy and Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery announced this week that they will open a new venue inside a Whole Foods Market slated to open this fall at Alston Town Center in Cary. And if that is not enough, they also announced that they would expand their original location into the ABC store space next door in the Preston Corners shopping center in late September.

The Person Street Partnership shared the exciting news that Oakwood Pizza Box is now open at 610 N. Person Street on the edge of downtown Raleigh. Congrats to Anthony Guerra, whose family owned Bella Mia. Watch video below to see a sneak peek of Out and About's feature on Oakwood Pizza Box. Look for the full story and video next week.

Saw in the Beltline Buzz blog that Aladdin’s Eatery has opened at North Hills in the former Black Cat Cafe location at 4209 Lassiter Mill Road. They also have a location in Raleigh’s Brier Creek.

Saw in the ITB Insider update this week that work is now underway on a new restaurant calling itself Hearth Kitchen, which will soon open in the former home of Zydeco at City Market in downtown Raleigh. Permits were issued last week for the space at 208 Wolfe St We will keep an eye on this for you.

Also in the ITB Insider, they noted that CO Vietnamese, which offers a “modern take on traditional southeast Asian cuisine,” will be opening before year’s end at the AC Hotel in North Hills. The regional restaurant chain, which has locations in Savannah, Charleston, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, and Charlotte, features a menu with a focus on Pho, Ramen, Dumplings, Banh Mi and Sushi.

Just got word from Michael DePersia from DePersia & Associates, that they just closed on a lease deal putting Johnny Pavlik from Johnny’s Pizza of Cary into a new store in Wake Forest in the Harris Crossing shopping center off of US1. He plans to open in the first quarter of next year.

The News & Observer reported this week that the Brookside Market & Pizza location on the outskirts of downtown Raleigh at the corner of at Brookside Drive and Glascock Street is getting new life. Duane Williams is renovating the entire building and has lined up a coffee and cocktail bar from the owner of Brew, the coffee shop in nearby Seaboard Station. The space will also house a Pilates studio and a retro barber shop. He also hopes to bring in a restaurant or other retail for the remaining storefront in the plaza. Williams hopes to open the market before the first of October, the pizza kitchen before the end of October, and have the other tenants in by the end of the year.

In North Raleigh, Rebecca Calhoun notified us that Wayback Burgers will be opening a location at 6320 Capital Boulevard in the Plantation Square shopping center. No word on an exact timeline. They also have a location in Durham. Thanks, Rebecca!

And finally, it appears as if the Wahlburgers is still coming to Raleigh. The News & Observer reported this week that they still plan on occupying the former Oxford space on Fayetteville Street and should open before year’s end. Will believe it when I see it.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Got word from John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) that Grey Squirrel Coffee in Carrboro is moving this week (was inside YesterYears Brewery next to the Cats Cradle) and will reopen in a new space just around the corner on Sept.17. Their new home is also in Carrboro at 360 East Main St. #100 right next door to WomanCraft Gifts.


Chapel Hill’s Sandwich announced this week that they would close come mid-September. An exact date hasn’t been announced. That is the terrible news. The “good” news is there is someone coming into that space with a similar focus on “local” and most of the staff will remain. Thanks for the last 12 years Janet Elbetri! And thanks to Kitt Wolfenden for letting us know.

Reader Wendy Henderson shared with us this week that the Hillsborough Street location of Pieology in Raleigh has closed.

Got word from Michael DePersia that Latin Quarters in the Celebration at Six Forks shopping center in Raleigh has closed.

Food Trucks

Cousins Lobster Truck Visits Bombshell Brewery

Food Truck Friday returns Friday, Oct.13 from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream.

Food Truck Thursdays are back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine - shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up.

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 Sunday, Sept. 3. Check out the Durham dates here and the Raleigh dates here.


There will be a Rally + Relief event happening this weekend (Sat, Sept. 16) to benefit Houston Hurricane Harvey victims. So far, more than 20 businesses and restaurants are involved and donating a percentage of sales. Thanks to Jedidiah Gant for spearheading this.

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.

Abundance NC's Pepper Fest

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 Sept. 15 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!

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.

Celebrate all things pork at The Root Cellar's 6th annual Porkapalooza on Friday, Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. From country-fried to country ham and everything in between, this evening will be sure to invigorate your taste buds. Tickets are $50-$55.

The owners of Al's Burger Shack, Mel's Commissary & Luncheonette and Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up to host a special vegetarian Italian wine dinner on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. Dubbed Caffe Marrone, the six course meal will feature Italian favorites paired with wine for $50 (not including gratuity). The dinner will be at Mel's at 109 West Main Street in Downtown Carrboro.

On Oct. 8 from 1-4 p.m., TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana's Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle's most beloved chefs from Nana's, Nanataco, Rise, Foster's Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt's Grocery, J. Betski's, Rue Cler, and more.

Sip and Savor will take place on Oct. 15. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip and Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful.

Also on Oct. 15 from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro's Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50.

Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on Nov. 5. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area's best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks - all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.

On Nov. 4, it is one of my favorite events of the year - the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival, where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks - so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a "don't miss" event.

Terra Vita Preview

It is getting closer and now (before it is too late) is time to get your tickets for Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival held Oct. 18-21. Celebrating their eighth year, TerraVita has grown into a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days.

Food Bank Corner

Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to our warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all