Featured Restaurant News
The owners of Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck are in the works for a brick-and-mortar-location in Raleigh that will be a collaboration with chef Andrew Schaumann from the former food truck Sol Taco. As you might remember, they were the winners of the most recent season of the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.” There has been some buzz that they will be moving into City Market. Nothing is official yet. We will keep an eye on this for you.
Wake County restaurant news
While we were sad to learn that The Borough would be closing at the end of this month, we were excited to learn that a new concept called Hadley’s will open in that space, after closing for a month for renovations. They plan to reopen the first week of March. A sandwich-and-soup shop with cocktails, Hadley's will aim to retain some of The Borough's best traits.
The News & Observer reported that the family behind the former Bella Mia coal-fire pizzeria in Cary is getting back into the business. Rick Guerra and his pizza-making son, Anthony, are opening Pizza Guerra at 105 E. Martin St. downtown, next door to Fox Liquor Bar. No word yet on a timeline.
Also excited to report that Glenwood South’s popular coffee hang-out Cafe Helios will reopen later this month as....you guessed it...Cafe Helios. Obviously it is revamped and under new ownership, but excited to have this option back in my rotation.
“Any day now” is the word from the News & Observer on the opening of chef Teddy Klopf’s Provenance restaurant on the first floor of the new Skyhouse luxury apartment building on East Martin Street in downtown Raleigh. Klopf describes the restaurant as “refined new Southern cuisine in a contemporary, casual setting.” He previously worked at McCrady’s in Charleston, S.C., and The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary.
Napper Tandy’s on Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh is currently closed for renovations according to their Facebook page. No word on when they will reopen or what the renovations entail. We will keep an eye on it.
The Hive, a late-night club above the Busy Bee at 225 S. Wilmington St., has closed and will reopen as Mash & Lauter, a Belgian inspired concept with a focus on a new food menu that will feature local products meant to pair and complement both bottled and draft beers. They are looking to open the new concept next week. Check out the video above for more.
A little more information was revealed on Gary Bryant’s effort on the former Varsity Theater spot on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. Bryant is joined by chef Adam Rose on this project and it was revealed in December that it will be called H-Street Kitchen. It is still too early for an exact open date (other than Spring 2016), but the restaurant is taking shape nicely.
It was announced today, Jan. 8, that Midtown Grille has a new executive chef. John Childers, who has been the chef de cuisine at Heron's at the Umstead, will take over the kitchen next Monday. Former chef Ben Harris returns to Charleston to assume the position of executive chef at Poogan’s Porch. He was chef de cuisine there prior to coming up to Midtown Grille.
Up in north Raleigh, the Triangle Business Journal is reporting that following its entry into Cary last year, Duck Donuts is opening a second Triangle location at 8323 Creedmoor Road in the Kroger-anchored Towne North shopping center, just south of Strickland Road. The Facebook page is still listing a mid-January opening.
Also in North Raleigh, the Triangle Business Journal is reporting that the owner of the Triangle's only Toppers Pizza restaurant in Chapel Hill has formed a new partnership to expand the brand into north Raleigh later this year. They are actively looking for at least three new locations between the Glenwood Avenue and Capital Boulevard corridors in north Raleigh over the next three years.
Over in Cary, the owners of Cafe Caturra in Cary’s Stone Creek Village have closed the wine bar and plan to open the Triangle’s second Tazza Kitchen in its place. They did a similar makeover with the former Cafe Caturra in Raleigh’s Cameron Village which is also a Tazza now. Tazza’s menu is inspired by the rustic outdoor cooking of southern Italy and Baja California. Construction is set to begin in the next few weeks, with a target opening of mid-spring.
Also in Cary, David McCreary (aka Lunch Boy Says) confirmed that Bellini Fine Italian Cuisine has opened in their new location at MacGregor Shopping Center in Cary. Bellini’s moved from Fuquay Varina.
The owners of a Holly Springs’ My Way Tavern have opened their second location, in Raleigh at 522 St. Mary’s Street, in the former Ciago’s location, near the Glenwood hospitality district. The My Way Tavern menu includes a variety of freshly made all-American foods such as appetizers salads, soups, burgers, sandwiches and entrées.
And down in Garner, got word from Hugh Autry that Larry’s Southern Kitchen moved into the old Mayflower space at 4205 Fayetteville Road across from WalMart.
Durham, Orange & Chatham County restaurant news
Thanks to the News & Observer we got two updates on happenings over at the American Tobacco complex in downtown Durham. Nana’s Scott Howell has announced that he hopes to open Nanasteak by Feb. 1.
Also in American Tobacco complex, Tyler Huntington, owner of multiple Tyler’s Taproom locations in the Triangle, will be opening a “biscuit and barbecue concept” this spring. No word yet on the name or official open date. We will keep an eye on it.
Also in Durham, the News & Observer provided an update that the long-anticipated collaboration on a new barbecue joint (called Picnic), between former Piedmont chef Ben Adams, caterer Wyatt Dickson and farmer Ryan Butler, will open in early February. It will be located in northwest Durham at 1647 Cole Mill Road.
M Sushi will open in downtown Durham at 311 Holland St. on Jan. 19, according to the Bites of Bull City blog.
The News & Observer also gave us a quick update on the next two locations of Rise Biscuits & Doughnuts. One will open in the old Daisy Cakes place in Durham in February. And over in Carrboro, it will open by mid-February. That location is owned by Rick Robinson, former Mondo Bistro chef and owner who has returned to the Triangle, and his colleague Ken Priest. The store’s general manager will be Silvia Pahola, who worked for many years at James Beard Award-winning chef Andrea Reusing’s restaurant, Lantern in Chapel Hill.
Over in Hillsborough, the News & Observer reported that the Hot Tin Roof bar plans to add a kitchen and start serving sandwiches, subs, hot dogs and burgers by early March. Additionally, one of the bar’s owners, John Bland, also plans to open two more restaurants this year in downtown Hillsborough: a white-tablecloth steakhouse and a more casual restaurant with a banquet space.
The News & Observer also reported that Mystery Brewing Co. owner Erik Lars Myers hopes to add a restaurant in his taproom by the brewery’s fourth anniversary in early May. Myers said it will offer more varied pub fare from Belgian frites to lighter, fresher food including vegetarian options.
Liz Maznik made the difficult decision to close The Borough in downtown Raleigh at the end of this month. But the good news is a new concept has already been announced and plans to reopen in early March. See the details above.
Battistella's has closed their doors in downtown Raleigh’s City Market.
McDaids Irish Pub on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh closed last Friday.
The Hive, a late-night club above the Busy Bee at 225 S. Wilmington St. in downtown Raleigh, has closed. The Busy Bee continues as normal. See the story above about the changes coming to that spot.
Was sad to learn over the holidays that after three years of establishing a very cool concept and brand, that Bill, Chas and Dan Morgenstern decided to close all locations of Firewurst. My best to the three of them. Nicest family you’ll ever meet.
I was first tipped off by Kevin Donnelly that the Cafe Caturra in Cary has closed their doors. See the story above as to who will replace them in that location.
Over in Durham, learned from the Burgeoning Baker (and confirmed on Yelp) that Brightleaf’s Chamas has closed.
After nine years, Carrboro’s Southern Rail closed their doors. No word yet on what might go in that space.
Over in Chapel Hill, Franklin Street's Fitzgerald's Irish Pub has closed. Apparently a new sports concept will be taking over that space. We will keep an eye on it.
It won’t be long before the weather starts turning warm and food truck rodeos start dotting our calendars again. To help you get in the mood, here are some important dates to go ahead and get on your calendar.
The Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo has announced its dates for this year: May 1, June 12, Aug. 7 and Oct. 9. VIP early admission wristbands, which let you get in to buy food before the general public, are on sale now.
And over in Durham, the first Durham Central Park food truck rodeo, appropriately named Winter Rodeo, takes place on Sunday, Jan. 24. from 12-4 at Durham Central Park and will feature more than 50 trucks.
And got word from John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) that there is a new food truck in town serving up Carolina style steamed buns. Baozi describes itself as Asian/Southern fusion! Love it!
Things are gearing up for Triangle Restaurant Week. It will be here before we know it. The next rendition will take place Jan. 25 through 31. Start planning your week now.
Thanks to a tip from Felicia Perry-Trujillo, I was reminded that the Triangle Wine Experience, which benefits the Frankie Lemmon Foundation, is Feb 4-6.
February 20 is the date for the 6th Annual Care to Share Gala to benefit the Guiding Lights Caregiver Support Center. It will be held at the Kerr Scott building in Raleigh. The event features a chef challenge in addition to the auction.
The 4th Annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience will be held next year on April 10, but tickets are already on sale. Visit the DPAC ticket center to avoid service charges.
Durham Magazine and Chapel Hill Magazine will sponsor the third annual TASTE: A Celebration of Food & Drink, happening from April 21 to 23, 2016. The event will feature more than 30 top local chefs and establishments in Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Raleigh. A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to the Durham Branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.
Food bank Corner
A huge thank you to all that helped support the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina’s Holidays Meal Drive. They reached their goal of providing 2.4 million holiday meals this season by raising over $485,000 in online donations prior to December 31! We are so very thankful and deeply humbled by the outpouring of support. Thank you for your partnership to help provide hunger relief in our region!
Unfortunately the need continues. If you are looking to fulfill a New Year’s resolution to get involved in your community, I encourage you to take a look at the Food Bank. Find out how you can volunteer here.
Sean Lennard covers food news on his blog, Triangle Food Blog.