What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Triangle Foodie News: Ponysaurus opening tap room

Posted October 2, 2015
Updated February 24

Ponysaurus Brewing Company

Featured News

One of the biggest foodie events in the Triangle, if not the Southeastern United States, is this coming weekend and a lot of the events that are part of it are close to selling out. The TerraVita Food and Drink Festival stretches out over three days (Oct. 8-10) with the “headline” event taking place on Saturday, Oct.10 - The Grand Tasting on the Green. The rain has kept you cooped up inside your house for the past two weekends. So get out and enjoy the very best our region has to offer next Thursday through Saturday!

Wake County Restaurant News

Big news in downtown Raleigh this week. Lou Moshakos, founder of LM Restaurants, Inc. (think Carolina Ale House and Taverna Agora, among others), recently signed a long-term lease as the master tenant of two adjoined buildings on East Martin Street in downtown Raleigh. Moshakos will use the spaces at 17 & 19 E. Martin St. to open two new restaurants. One concept would be reminiscent of a European bakery, with specialty coffees, sweets, breads and sandwiches, all made in-house. The second concept is slated to be a casual dining restaurant yet to be named. Moshakos did confirm it will not be a Carolina Ale House. Stay tuned for more details.

A quick update on Piebird over in Raleigh. A note from the owners indicated that they are in the middle of “restructuring” and are intent on re-opening. We will keep an eye on it.

And in Raleigh’s Five Points area, Cave 1912 Restaurant + Wine Bar + Shop, which opened at the beginning of September, announced that they would begin offering Sunday Brunch service this weekend. The service will run every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 pm.

Also in Raleigh, the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that after 27 years, Edwards Mill Bar & Grill came under new management as John Ray turned the restaurant over to Eschelon Experiences, the hospitality group owned and operated by Raleigh restaurateur G. Patel. But don’t expect much in the way of change.

Over in Cary, we got word this week that Chatham Street Wine Market, a boutique wine shop and tasting bar, is coming to downtown Cary. It is expected to open in late Oct. at 111 W Chatham St, in the space formerly occupied by Gather, a coffee and gift shop.

On a trek through Apex last weekend, I noticed a “Coming Soon” sign hanging up in the Beaver Creek shopping center for a Noodles & Company. It is right across from Panera Bread. No word yet on an open date. This will be the 8th Triangle area location.

Keeping in Apex, according to the developer of Nichols’ Plaza on Hwy. 64 (where Costco is going) they will be joined by Five Guys, Ruckus, Pei Wei, Chipotle, McAlister's Deli, Zaxby's and a Starbucks. Look for these to start opening in the spring of 2016. Stay tuned.

And one more Apex note, Los Tres (no Magueyes in it) is open now on Hwy 55 in the old Pizza Inn.

And in eastern Wake, got word from David McCreary (aka Lunch Boy Says) that Bellini Fine Italian Cuisine at 1436 N. Main Street in Fuquay-Varina plans to close its current location and move to Cary. According to the proprietors, plans call for the restaurant to relocate to 107 Edinburgh S. Drive in the MacGregor Shopping Center. Bellini will take over the space formerly occupied by Tribute Pizza Place. An exact timetable for the relocation has not been determined.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News

Over in Durham, Monuts owners Rob Gillespie and Lindsay Moriarty announced this week that they will be closing their original Parrish Street location so that they can focus on their larger/newer location on Ninth Street in the former Magnolia Grill location. Our very best to Rob and Lindsay!

But the other good news coming out of this was the announcement this week that the former Monuts shop space on Parrish Street likely won't be empty for long. as the owners of Durham's Pizzeria Toro are planning to open a small, dinner-only restaurant in that space. The Triangle Business Journal is reporting that the project is projected to open in winter 2016. Stay tuned. The folks at Pizzeria Toro certainly have a lot on their plate! Exciting!

After over a year of brewing in the unique nanobrewery housed above The Cookery’s Front Room entrance, the Ponysaurus Brewing Co. brewery and taproom is opening its garage doors at 219 Hood St. A Grand Opening celebration, featuring food trucks, live music, and local breweries will take place on Oct. 24 from 4 to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Also in Durham, I saw on a Yelp message board that Cook-Out is coming to the space formerly occupied by Sal's Italian Restaurant on Hwy. 55 (near the intersection with Hwy. 54), which closed a few weeks ago.

And keeping up with the former Merlion in Southern Village, the sign on the door now indicates that they will reopen at some point this month as Rasa Malaysia. Thanks to reader Julie Grubbs for that update.

Also in Chapel Hill, the folks over at Carolina Ale House are close to opening their newest location - this one on Chapel Hill’s West Franklin Street in the former Chrysler Building. They tell me that they plan to open by the end of October!


None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

A huge congratulations to the gals behind Pho Nomenal Dumpling food truck (formerly Dump Pho King Truck) as they were the winners of the Food Network's "Great Food Truck Race." That is great for them. And what is great for us (and isn’t it all really about us?), there won $50,000 which WRAL is reporting they plan on using toward opening a brick-and-mortar location. No timeline or location was released. Again, congrats!

The next edition (and final one of 2015) of Cary’s Chatham Street Chowdown that was scheduled for Sunday has been canceled. The next one will be April 17, 2016.

Also, John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) informed me about the fact that every Thursday from September through November, the Town of Knightdale is hosting "Food Truck Thursdays" with a new food truck scheduled each week. The weekly truck will be parked at Knightdale Station Park near the amphitheater each Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art Sheppard's page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.


Tonight, Oct. 2, the Edenton Street United Methodist Women are hosting their 5th annual BBQ Dinner benefiting Methodist Home for Children and Urban Ministries. Catering is being provided by The Pit Authentic BBQ offering down-home BBQ plates with all the fixin's, along with children's chicken tender plates, brunswick stew and BBQ by the pound. Swing by Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh for lunch or dinner! You can dine in or drive through on this rainy Friday.

On Sunday, Oct. 4 from 1-4 p.m., the guys behind the soon-to-open Picnic in Durham (Wyatt Dickson and Ben Adams) will be joined by Texas (and soon to be South Carolina) pit-master John Lewis on Green Button Farm for a Sunday afternoon picnic. This is an opportunity to get up close and personal with these barbecue legends! In addition to the whole hog and beef brisket, they’ll also serve up seasonal sides, alongside chilled wine & beer from Wine Authorities, Ponysaurus and Fullsteam.

You’ll want to go ahead and mark your calendar for the 2nd Annual Triangle Oktoberfest coming to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre on Oct. 3 and 4. There will be some great authentic German fare as well as some amazing breweries.

The 30th annual International Festival of Raleigh will take place Oct. 9 through Oct. 11 at the Raleigh Convention Center. The event features food from 27 different cultures and countries and a biergarten with cask beer tastings. Get all the details and purchase tickets in advance here. Use promo code “WRAL15” and get $2 off adult ticket purchase.

The town of Holly Springs is holding their 6th Annual Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Holly Springs Farmers Market from 9 - 12:30 p.m. This is a wonderful community event, where both amateurs and professionals compete for both the judges’ approval as well as their fellow citizens with the People’s Choice award.

And if you are into eating healthier, you might want to go ahead and get this event on your calendar - the 2015 Triangle Vegfest which will be held at Moore Square and City Market in downtown Raleigh on Saturday, Oct. 17 from noon until 5 p.m.

While you’re at it, make sure you mark your calendar for Saturday, Oct. 17 (4-8 p.m.) for Knightdale's Drafts & Crafts Festival. This event will be held at the Knightdale Station Park and feature local wineries, breweries, vendors selling beer/wine related crafts/artwork, music and food trucks.

The Root Cellar Cafe & Catering announced that their fourth annual Porkapalooza will be held this year on Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will feature nine courses celebrating local pork: wood-fired suckling pigs; five-spice, beer-braised pork belly slider with pickled ginger; fried ravioli stuffed with Southern-style BBQ pork and macaroni and cheese, country-fried pork tenderloin pumpkin biscuit slider with bacon mayo and apple slaw, and more. The cost is $55 per person, including beer or wine pairing.

Chickenwire is holding their next “pop-up” dinner on Sunday, Oct. 25 in Raleigh (exact location is a secret until just before the event). This dinner has an Oktoberfest theme where you’ll grab your complimentary beer stein at the door, and enjoy German-inspired foods - passed hors d'oeuvres, a carving station and a smorgasbord featuring sausages and other culinary surprises. $90 gets you unlimited food and 2 drinks. Get your tickets and see a complete list of all the chefs and collaborators involved here. Thanks to Felicia Perry-Trujillo for the tip on this event.

The town of Garner will hold their second Downtown Garner Trick or Eat Food Truck Rodeo on Oct. 25 from 12-5 on Main Street. They’ll have 14 food trucks, 3 craft brewers, and some activities for children. You can find more details here or on their Facebook event page here.

The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, a single-elimination tournament highlighting the best of the Carolina's food, agriculture and culinary talent, is gearing up for its Battle of Champions series in which five top regional chefs will battle it out to take home the coveted annual championship title. Foodies from the Carolinas and beyond are invited to attend the four live dinner events Oct. 28 to 31 in Raleigh, savoring the full-service, six-course meals and serving as judges. Tickets to these interactive battles are on sale now.

And finally, this event isn’t until November, but I’m here to tell you if you wait much longer you won’t be able to get a ticket. Acme Restaurant in downtown Carrboro will host its 3rd Annual Salt and Smoke event on Sunday, Nov. 8. They describe it as “oysters and barbecue, music and friends."

Also on Nov. 8, another pop-up dinner is being held by the folks over at The Familiar Supper Club over in Durham. The dinner is at 6:30 p.m. The theme is Pumpk(hen) and will feature all that is bountiful in North Carolina in the fall. Join chefs John Childers, Evan Sheridan and Greg Gettles. Cost is $80. Get tickets and all the details here. Thanks to Felicia Perry-Trujillo for the tip on this event.

Food Bank Corner

As many of you know, September was Hunger Action Month. But even with September behind us, the work continues. And, unfortunately, the need is greater than ever. I hope you will take a look at some of the upcoming events and find a way to get involved. Check out the upcoming calendar.

Sean Lennard covers restaurant news on his website, Triangle Food Blog.

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  • Erin Lunsford Oct 2, 2015
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    There is a new coffee place near Millbrook/Glenwood. Torch opened 3 weeks ago in the building behind the McDonalds and Wells Fargo. I stopped in for a mocha yesterday. It was really good!