What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Triangle Foodie News: Finch's prepares to say goodbye to Raleigh

Posted January 6

— The latest on restaurant openings, closings, foodie events and more in the Triangle and beyond.

Featured Restaurant News

And then there were three again! Today marks the "re-opening" of the Raleigh location of Tobacco Road Sports Cafe and Brewery. They have successfully completed the renovation and move into their new space around the corner at 505 W. Jones St. (the former Natty Greene's location). I went last night and the space is absolutely stunning - from the "bar area" that has the feel of the other locations in Chapel Hill and Durham, to the amazing game room, to the brewery (which will be operational very, very soon) to the amazing spaces they have for private events. They truly outdid themselves. Get by soon!

Wake County Restaurant News

And fresh on the news of the opening of the new Tobacco Road, WRAL reported this week that their old spot at 222 Glenwood Ave. will soon be home to La Santa Mexican Restaurant. They hope to open by the first week in February.

The Triangle Business Journal reported that the new AC Hotel is slated to open at Raleigh's North Hills in February. But the coolest part (me thinks) is it will feature a 5,100-square-foot rooftop lounge, bar and restaurant, called Level7 - which, of course, is on the seventh floor of the 135-room hotel.

We have an update on Sir Walter Coffee, a new coffee shop going into the ground floor of The Edison at 145 E. Davie Street. The coffee barista bar/tea house/bottle shop is aiming for a March 1 open.

James Borden's Raleigh Public Record blog reported last week that the owners of Sushi Nine have received the go ahead from the City of Raleigh to begin rebuilding the popular eatery on Western Boulevard, which burned nearly to the ground almost a year ago.

The News & Observer reported that there are only two weekends left (they are only open on weekends now) to eat at Finch's Restaurant before the building is demolished to make way for road improvements. Jan. 15 is their last day in their current location. Finch's is moving into the former Family Garden space at 3211 Chapel Hill Road in Durham, but it will take at least four months to retrofit the space.

James Borden's Raleigh Public Record revealed that permits were issued last month for work on the Raleigh's second location of burger chain Bad Daddy's Burgers, which will be located in the new Olive Park shopping center at 9400 Falls of Neuse Road in north Raleigh. The chain currently has a location in downtown Raleigh's Seaboard Station.

Rudino's Pizza & Grinders is expanding up into Wake Forest, more specifically, Heritage, with a projected opening date around the first of February. They will be located in the Publix shopping center on the corner of Rogers and Forestville Road. There is also a Chronic Tacos moving into that shopping center.

Also in Wake Forest, Olde English Tea Room, which has been a fixture in downtown Wake Forest for 20 years, has closed. The space at 219 S. White St. will become Sugar Magnolia Cafe and Emporium by the end of February.

Over in Cary, got an update on the Charlie Grainger's coming to Weston Corners. If you are not familiar with the concept out of Wilmington, they are known for their brisket, hot dogs and barbecue. They are looking to open the week of Jan. 23.

Also in Cary, reader Hugh Autry tipped me off to the fact that a sign went up recently at Centrum at Crossroads for Buldaegi Korean BBQ House in Cary next to Baba Ghannouj. I couldn't find a web presence for them, so we'll ask Hugh to keep an eye on it for us.

Need something to look forward to this year? WRAL's Out and About came up with a list of restaurants that will be opening in 2017.

There is no doubt we are blessed with amazing dining options throughout the Triangle. We are also blessed (Fr. Scott might not be pleased with my use of that term in this context...) with many breweries and distilleries. And 2017 will increase the number we will enjoy. The News & Observer did a great job compiling a listing of the new breweries on the way in 2017 throughout the Triangle.

And finally, the good folks over at the Western Wake Farmers Market are trying to secure a "forever" home in partnership with the Town of Morrisville. It would be a wonderful addition to the community and they need your support. If you are inclined, jump over to the site to see how you can contribute to make this a reality. Thanks!

Durham, Orange and Chatham Restaurant News

Some very exciting news coming out of Chapel Hill. Friend Colleen Minton (think Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival) informed me that Adam Rose has bought the little cafe in the Europa Center (Southern Comfort Cafe, formally Crook's Atrium Café) from Paul Covington. No word yet on any name change and/or an open date. Stay tuned! So good to keep Adam in the area - super talent!

The News & Observer's Andrea Weigl was the first to report that Alivia's in Durham has hired a new chef, Mark Mishalaine, who you might know from his victory on the Food Network's "Grocery Games." Mishalaine comes to the Triangle from California, and he's revamping Alivia's menu, which will now feature raw winter squash alfredo, scallop Florentine and something called mushroom candy.

Also in Durham, the News & Observer reported that Durham will soon be home to the Durham Food Hall when it opens in the Reuse Arts District at the Shoppes at Lakewood next fall. Durham native Adair Mueller and her partner, Andrew Smith, are the pair behind this ambitious new venture. The food hall will be part dining space, part communal space and part event space.

Over in Hillsborough, friend Morgan Moylan made sure I knew about the good news from The Wooden Nickel. On Dec. 31, they announced on their Facebook page that they were moving, "our little pub a couple doors up the street into the former Bank of America building at 113 N Churton St."

Saw on a Yelp message board that there is a Pine Cone Ice Cream, Shakes & Coffee coming to Brightleaf Square in downtown Durham. No word on a timeline and I was unable to find a web presence for them. Stay tuned.


The News & Observer reported that chef Jim Anile has closed Revolution, a fine dining destination in downtown Durham for the last decade.

Got word from my friends over at Franklin Street Partners in Chapel Hill that the Five Guys location in Chapel Hill's Meadowmont has closed. The next closest one now is in Patterson Place in Durham.

Also, just down Hwy. 54 in Durham, the Char-Grill at the corner of 751 has also closed. Thanks to Mike Gorman for the tip on that.

Food Trucks

So this is exciting news in the "food truck world" - we got word from Art Sheppard that Gonza Tacos y Tequila has secured a way cool food truck (you can see a picture on Instagram here).


On Tuesday, January 10th, Raleigh’s newest hot-spot in downtown’s City Market, Royale, will give New York Italian cuisine the “royal” treatment for one-night only when it introduces Big Night – an authentic New York Italian pop-up restaurant serving all the classics. Executive chef Jeff Seizer, a Brooklyn native who was raised on his grandmother’s traditional Southern Italian cooking, will share his passion for Italian-American home cooking on this night only. Tickets are $95 per pair (tickets sold in pairs) or $35 per person with wine.

Who doesn't like a free burger? Well, if you count yourself among those, get by one of the two Raleigh locations of Steak 'n Shake on Tuesday, Jan.10 as they will be celebrating "Customer Appreciation Day" and will provide a free single steakburger to guests for the holiday courtesy of Steak 'n Shake franchisee Chandru Gurnani. Please note you can't get an indefinite number of steakburgers, the deal has a limit of one per person.

Go ahead and mark your calendar for Jan. 23-29 for the 10-year anniversary edition of Triangle Restaurant Week, a week-long celebration of culinary excellence designed to incorporate the premier Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding area restaurants. Dine at participating restaurants which offer special menus and deals throughout the week. No advance tickets necessary. Visit their website to see which restaurants are taking part this year!

Tickets are now on sale for the annual Triangle Wine Experience, which offers dinners, wine tastings and more from Feb. 2-4. At 7 p.m. Feb. 2, there are winemaker dinners at restaurants throughout the Triangle. Many are sold out but check the website for what is still available. Admission prices start at $150. At 5 p.m. Feb. 4, there will be a grand gala with live and silent auctions. The location of the gala is still to be determined. Tickets for that start at $225. All proceeds benefit the Frankie Lemmon School, a Raleigh nonprofit that provides support and instruction for children with special needs.

On Feb. 8, Piedmont's executive chef John May welcomes chef Justin Burdett - whose Local Provisions in Asheville was named by EATER among the "21 Best New Restaurants in America" - to collaborate on a 7-course winter menu featuring North Carolina seafood and a wide range of preservation methods. Look for dishes featuring pickling, smoking, curing and more, alongside sustainably caught North Carolina seafood from Locals Seafood. Reservations can be made by contacting 919-683-1213.

DPAC is partnering again with Tyler's Restaurant & Taproom and Sam's Quik Shop to host the 5th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, March 12. The event features the Harris On Stage Experience showcasing additional brewery and local food vendors, unlimited samplings and three floors of food & beverage options, so make sure you visit each level of DPAC's lobbies for the full experience.

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.

Food Bank Corner

First of all, thanks to all of you that help out/contribute to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina in so many different ways. Second, I wanted to share with you the many accomplishments of the Food Bank, their volunteers and their incredible staff in 2016 - as written by President and CEO Peter Werbicki:

Our Holiday Meals Drive that ended just last week was tremendously successful, exceeding the goal of 2.4 million meals and making an incredible impact in the lives of families, children, and seniors in need this season.

In order to continue our work and meet the changing needs of those we serve, the Food Bank purchased and moved to a new facility located at 1924 Capital Boulevard in Raleigh in October 2016. The larger facility will enable further growth, with the ability to distribute 60 million additional meals over the long term. A focal point of this growth is renewed focus on fresh foods, nutrition education and outreach, developing collaborations with like-minded community organizations to help expand access to food and provide services to reduce reliance on emergency food.

The Food Bank immediately responded to community needs following Hurricane Matthew. In our 34-county service area, 25 of our counties were affected by the storm. To date, the Food Bank has distributed over 3 million pounds of food and non-food essentials. We continue to assist with recovery in several of the counties we serve.

Our Kids Summer Meals program grew in the summer of 2016 to serve more than 249,000 meals to children in our communities who miss out on school meals. That’s an increase of 60,000 meals over last summer.

In all, we distributed over 64 million pounds of food to our 34-county service area. Over 22 million pounds of that was fresh produce... a new record!

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  • Charlie Duh-duh Jan 6, 2017
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    Finch's is probably the worst place ever to eat in Raleigh