What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Triangle Foodie News: La Farm announces expansion plans

Posted July 22, 2016

La Farm Bakery in Cary

La Farm Bakery announced Friday that it will be expanding into downtown Cary. Later this year, La Farm plans to open a new production bakery at 220 W. Chatham St. Next year, owners Lionel and Missy Vatinet will open a small retail bakery and cafe adjacent to the production bakery. The cafe will allow customers a chance to view bakers in action.

Wake County Restaurant News

The much-anticipated H-Street Kitchen is aiming to open by Aug. 2 in the former Varsity Theater on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street, according to the News and Observer. A huge congratulations to Gary Bryant and Adam Rose as this project, which will be a huge boost to the revitalization of Hillsborough Street, has been a long-time coming....but it will be well worth the wait.

The Triangle Business Journal reported that Raleigh chef and restaurant owner Jason Smith has confirmed plans to open a second iteration of Cantina 18 - the contemporary, Tex-Mex-style restaurant he owns at Cameron Village in Raleigh, with plans to open the new location in Morrisville’s Park West Village in early 2017.

The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Jeff Mickel and Michael Thor are targeting the second week in August to roll up the garage doors at downtown Raleigh’s newest watering hole and restaurant, Whiskey Kitchen. This place looks so cool.

New Raleigh reported this week that Brewerks Bakery and Cafe in Oakwood (formerly Quality Grocery) plans to open by the end of the month at 701 E. Lane St. Look for fresh brewed coffee, in-house baked pastries and breads as well as breakfast and lunch dishes.

WRAL reported that Chihua Grill will be opening “any day now” in Raleigh’s Villa Latina Plaza just outside of downtown Raleigh next to Renaissance Park.

Got word a little earlier this month that the newest Five Guys is now open on Capital Boulevard (5501 Capital Blvd. to be exact) in Raleigh. This looks like the 11th Triangle area location, with another in the works for 64 West in Apex.

Also on Capital Boulevard, WRAL reported this week that McAlister’s Deli will open their second Raleigh location at the Shoppes on Capital (in the same shopping center as Five Guys) on Monday, July 25.

Over in Cary, got word this week that Giardino Gourmet Salads, a new concept out of Florida, will be coming to the Bass Pro shopping center on Harrison Avenue next to the former Firewurst spot (where Dame’s Chicken and Waffles is going). Get familiar with Giardino's here.

Got a tip from David McCreary (aka Lunch Boy Says) that Blaze Pizza is coming to Holly Springs and will be located at Holly Springs Towne Center. Blaze also has another location heading to Durham.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

The News & Observer reported this past week that chef Matt Kelly, who is building a restaurant empire in downtown Durham, has signed a lease for the former Fishmonger’s restaurant. Kelly, who owns Mateo, Mothers & Sons and Lucky’s Deli and is still a partner in Vin Rouge, hopes to open the new seafood restaurant by Christmas. We will keep an eye on it.

And speaking of fish, the Durham Convention and Visitor’s Bureau announced this week that Durham’s popular Ninth Street area will soon be home to Zen Fish, a new Poké style restaurant slated to debut this fall. So what is poké? It is a Hawaiian dish with marinated raw fish and a variety of toppings, including a greens, rice, edamame and scallions. The new venue will be located in the Solis Ninth Street mixed-use community.

Last edition, we told you that Urban Food Group’s Durham venture, Lucia, was closed for “big changes.” Well, they weren’t kidding. They have completely converted Lucia in Durham’s West Village to a new concept called Motto, which will be run by chef James Huff and manager Brandon Carr and will serve New American cuisine. They are also bringing over a lot of the staff from the recently closed Four Square. Expect Motto to open later this month.

And finally over in Durham, we got word this week that a location of Built Custom Burgers is on the way to the food court at the Streets at Southpoint mall.

Over in Chapel Hill, got word that there are two additional restaurants coming to Eastgate Crossing as part of their renovations (Zoe’s has already been announced). Joining them will be Babalu Tacos & Tapas (serving up chef-inspired gourmet tacos and Spanish-style tapas with a Southern twist) and Chopt (self-described as salad specialists, looking for ways to push the boundaries of what a salad can be). Both are targeting a spring 2017 opening.


None to report. Keep eating local, folks.


If you want to quickly check out some of the coolest spots to eat on Durham’s Ninth Street, you’ll want to mark your calendar for Saturday, August 6. From 1-4 p.m. the folks over at Bites of Bull City will start you out at Happy & Hale and take you on a tasting frenzy to include 3 other stops. All within easy walking distance. Tickets are $30. Get tickets and all the details here (you even get a car magnet!).

The good folks over at the Downtown Raleigh Alliance recently announced the dates for the Downtown Raleigh Restaurant week - it will be held this year August 15-21. Go ahead and mark your calendar.

Got word that Panciuto is hosting an outdoor cookout on Aug. 16 to benefit Girls Rock NC! Noodles, pork tacos, beer and rock 'n' roll - all for a good cause. What more do you want? The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Eno River Farmers’ Market Pavilion and tickets are $50. Reserve tickets by calling Panciuto at 919-732-6261.

Piedmont’s new executive chef John May will welcome chef Jay Pierce of The Marshall Free House in Greensboro for a seven-course celebration of sustainably raised NC shrimp on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m.. The $65 per person menu is also available with beer pairings for $85. Contact 919-683-1213 for reservations.

Tickets to TerraVita are now on sale. And you better jump fast, as many of these events will (and are already) sell out soon. Trust me. If you aren’t familiar with TerraVita, it is arguably the premier “foodie event” in the southeast and it will take place Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 right here in Chapel Hill. In a nutshell, it is 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.

Food Bank Corner

We have only one week left to reach our 3.3 million meals goal before July 31. Nearly 300,000 children in our 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 our annual food and funds drive that provides additional food to feed these children and their families during this season of increased need. Find out more and how to donate here.


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