What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Triangle Foodie News: Soca aims to open next month

Posted January 27

Soca in Cameron Village (Facebook)

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

Featured Restaurant News

He’s back! WRAL and the News & Observer reported that renowned barbecue pitmaster Ed Mitchell officially launches his food truck - Ed Mitchell’s Q on Wheels - today, Friday, Jan. 27, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Hampton Inn & Suites at Brier Creek. The hotel is at 8021 Arco Corporate Drive. He also plans on opening a brick-and-mortar location in Brier Creek.

And looking for a great restaurant read (and/or to kill 15 minutes at the office today)? There is nothing more fun to read than the annual listing of the area’s “best” restaurants according to the News & Observer’s Greg Cox, as well as his pick for the “Restaurant of the Year.” Well done Greg! No spoilers here, you’ll have to read it yourself.

Wake County Restaurant News

​This past Tuesday, the guys over at Trophy Brewing Company opened Trophy Tap and Table on South Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh in the former Busy Bee location. They will feature both Trophy Brewing as well as guest brewers and will have a menu centered around rotisserie chicken. So it is like a backyard cookout with someone else pouring you your beer and you don't have to cook. Giddy up! Thanks to John Huisman for the tip on that!

WRAL reported this week that signage has gone up for Soca in the former Faire spot in Raleigh’s Cameron Village and will likely open next month. Soca is being brought to us by the owners of the popular eatery Buku, Sean Degnan and Tony Hopkins. Where Buku tends to focus on updates of popular, approachable dishes from Asia, Soca will shift its eye to South and Central America, the menu bouncing between Colombia and Mexico, Trinidad and Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Chile.

Thanks to a tip from Bob Newell, we learned that over on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street Bob Jewett, owner of Bocci Trattoria and Pizzeria in Cary and Durham, is opening a third location in the former spot of Porter’s Tavern and later McDaids. Jewett, an N.C. State grad who got his start in the restaurant industry at the beloved Two Guys Pizza, said he hopes to open by early April.

Got word from reader Joanne Gehas that there is a Vietnamese restaurant called Mekong Vietnamese Cuisine coming into the Alexander Village shopping center at 2121 T.W. Alexander Drive near Brier Creek. It will be located in the same shopping center as the Food Lion. They note that you will be able to enjoy authentic dishes from the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam. No word yet on an open date, so we will keep an eye on it.

The newest Triangle-area location of Moe's held their grand opening this past Wednesday. It is located in Cary's Alston Town Center on Hwy. 55, just south of Interstate 540. Their actual address is 5020 Arco St., Cary, NC 27519, but being a new street, it still doesn't show up on some mapping services.

Also in Cary, got word this week that the third Triangle-area location of First Watch is on schedule to open next month in the Shops at Bradford (Publix grocery store) at the corner of High House and Davis Drive. First Watch is a breakfast- and brunch-focused restaurant chain with locations on Glenwood Avenue and on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh.

Over in Wake Forest, WRAL noted that it looks like sometime around the 1st of February the Triangle will be able to enjoy the next location of Panera Bread. This one will be located at 11665 Northpark Drive.

And speaking of Wake Forest, WRAL also noted that we are getting closer to the opening of the second Triangle-area location of MOD Pizza at 2815 Rogers Road as signage has now gone up on the building.

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

Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City let me know that the Durham version of Beer Study is now open in the Rockwood Shopping Center where 15-501 Business intersects with University Drive. It is a joint effort of Beer Study and Starpoint Brewing.

Also in Durham, saw on a Yelp message board that Pho & Poke recently opened just off Erwin Road in the same shopping center as Nosh and Black Twig Cedar House (where Chai's used to be).

And speaking of poke, we have a quick update on ZenFish Poke Bar which is coming to Durham’s Ninth Street (810 Ninth St.to be exact). According to their Facebook page, the holidays and then snow slowed their progress, but they are now slated to open in February!


Got word this week that the North Raleigh location of Tribeca Tavern on Falls of the Neuse Road will close Sunday, Jan. 29 as Tribeca Hospitality focuses on its other properties. This ends a six-year run. You can still frequent the Tribeca Tavern in Cary. Tribeca Hospitality also owns the First Watch franchise brand which has two locations in Raleigh and is opening a third in Cary next month.

Gregory Hamm announced via Facebook that he will be closing his P.G. Werth’s Restaurant & Market in downtown Raleigh by mid-February. He plans to continue operating his Café 121 restaurant and event venue in Sanford and Chef Hamm Inc. Catering, as well as continue to teach culinary classes.

Also in Raleigh, got word this week that the Shucker’s location at 510 Glenwood Ave. will be closing. You can still visit their original location in Wake Forest.

Reader Steve Solloway informed us that Moonlight Swirl in north Raleigh in the Shops at Falls Village has closed.

Speaking of sweets, the beautiful and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard informed me that the Ben & Jerry’s location on Broad Street in Durham has closed.

Food trucks

Everyone remembers Steven Goff, right? Former butcher at Standard Foods. We told you awhile back that he was working toward bringing a food truck to the Triangle (and entire state). Well, looks like we are just days/weeks away from him hitting the streets with his Brine Haus Food + Provisions food truck! In fact, he’s is already booking the truck for events.


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!

This is cool. This Sunday at 6 p.m., chef Josh Young at Humble Pie in downtown Raleigh is hosting a Trash Ramen Pop-Up Dinner. What is that? Glad you asked. The wonderful U.S. of A. wastes more food than any nation on the planet. That's not cool! Chef Josh Young is doing something about it. He's making ramen broth utilizing stock and scraps and vegetables that are left over or likely thrown away to make a delicious, nourishing soup. He'll be dishing out his magic this Sunday, Jan. 29, beginning at 6 p.m. sharp until there's nothing left. The bar will be open and ramen is only $12 a bowl. Even better, a portion of the night's proceeds will be donated to NO KID HUNGRY NC. Come on friends and slurp up some delicious ramen for a good cause. No reservations, just show up on time.

Also on Jan. 29, City Barbeque will host its first-ever charitable Pass the Pigs competition. Contributions from playing a modified version of the classic game- where throwing two small plastic pigs results in a score-will directly benefit local food banks in the area. During the competition, guests who donate $5 or more to support each joint's food bank partner will receive a free Pass the Pigs game set, and donations of any amount will be accepted. The highest scorer in each restaurant will win a $50 gift card, and the highest score across all restaurants will win a $250 gift card.

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.

The Lucy Daniels Center is proud to announce the inaugural Cooking for a Classic series. This unique philanthropic event held at 1705 Prime (1705 E. Millbrook Road) in Raleigh throughout February and March will feature the talents of 16 local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned.

Food Bank Corner

Want to host a "food drive"? From the comfort of your office and your computer? Huh? Well, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina’s Virtual Food Drive is a food drive online! Through an existing drive or one that you start yourself, participants can browse through our virtual grocery aisles, select items to add to a shopping cart, and check-out by making a monetary donation.


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