What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Triangle Foodie News: Spring brings expanding Raleigh restaurant lineup

Posted February 12, 2016
Updated February 15, 2016

Featured news

Scott Howell and Aubrey Zinaich Howell, owners of Nana’s, NanaTaco and Bar Virgile, will open their steakhouse, hopefully next week. Aptly called NanaSteak, it is located on the ground floor of the Aloft Hotel in downtown Durham next to the DPAC.

Wake County restaurant news

The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Charlotte’s Luna’s Living Kitchen will take up space in downtown Raleigh’s Charter Square. For those not familiar with Luna’s, it is an organic, mostly raw restaurant serving plant-based cuisine and cold-pressed juices. No word on an exact date, other than sometime this year.

And speaking of downtown Raleigh’s Charter Square, I spoke with b.good’s Steve Woodward and he indicated that things continue to progress with their second location and all indications are that they will be open next month. Grand opening plans will be released soon. In the meantime, you can check out their location in North Hills.

The Boylan Bridge Brewpub has closed indefinitely after a wall in the basement collapsed, causing cracks in the outdoor deck’s support beams. Initial inspections suggest it is just the deck that is impacted, with the main building unaffected. Owner Andrew Leager hopes to get the main building reopened as soon as possible.

Also in downtown Raleigh, saw on the blog The Raleigh Connoisseur that Raleigh Raw is that much closer to opening up a cafe at 7 West Hargett Street after the successful completion of their Kickstarter campaign. If they are on schedule, they should open later this month when they will offer “healthy grab and go food, local organic coffee, kombucha and smoothies.”

Durham, Orange & Chatham county restaurant news

The short-lived Cafe Symmetry space in Carrboro’s Carr Mill Mall will not re-open as previously thought. Instead, Younes Sabouh and Emma Dunbar, who have both most recently been at Chapel HIll’s City Kitchen, have teamed up to create Tandem, a new locally sourced restaurant specializing in modern American cuisine. Look for an April opening.

The News & Observer reported this week that Chapel Hill’s The Bagel Bar will open a second location in downtown Durham at 104 City Hall Plaza, directly across from City Hall. Look for it to be very similar to the Chapel Hill location and they are aiming for an opening sometime in May.

Kudos to craft brewery and Chapel Hill institution, Carolina Brewery, which is celebrating 21 years in the microbrewery business this month! On Friday, as part of that celebration, the brewpub will be giving away limited edition anniversary glasses to the first 500 beer customers at the flagship location in Chapel Hill.

Saw on a Yelp message board that in Durham’s Sutton Square, the former Sunset Grille, which became 58Fifty Bistro, has now changed, at least on their Facebook page, to Pale & Porter. The 58Fifty website remains, so we’re not sure what all this means.

On a recent visit to Chapel Hill’s Tandoor Indian Restaurant with my buddy Omar Zinn, I learned that the Chapel Hill institution had recently changed hands and is now under the guidance of Bhadresh Patel, owner of Biryani House on Chatham Street in Cary. Patel said an infusion of flavor would be the biggest change to the restaurant.


Got word from multiple sources that The Square Rabbit, a 25-year institution in downtown Raleigh, had closed as of this past Saturday.

Thanks to a heads-up from reader Joseph Deem, we learned that Los Potrillos on Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill will close their doors this Saturday, apparently to make way for a hotel.

Food trucks

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. Get all the details here.

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


Valentine’s Day (guys…that is this Sunday, February 14th) is here and WRAL's Out & About has a great list going of all the special events for your sweetheart.

February 20th 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. Get all the details and tickets here.

The 30th Anniversary of A Toast to the Triangle will be held on Sunday, March 6, at NC State University’s McKimmon Center from 5:30 pm-8:30 pm. Toast provides impressive offerings from the Triangle’s finest restaurants, caterers and purveyors of fine wines and specialty beers, as well as a raffle and silent auction that boasts an array of exciting items. A Toast to the Triangle benefits Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation. Through February 19, all tickets are $14 off. A pair of tickets can be purchased for just $107, receiving the group ticket discount in addition to the Valentine’s Day promotion. Use using the coupon code VAL16. Get all the details here.

SEEDS announced this week that their Fork Less Traveled, a chef dinner series that pairs Durham chefs with local farms and beverage purveyors, will kick off this season on March 13 and will feature Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint. The series is one way they support Durham garden-based programming.

The 4th Annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience will be held on April 10, but tickets have already gone on sale. Looks like tickets will be available through DPAC again this year and you can 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

Show your heart for hunger relief by making a gift in honor of a loved one through the Hearts for Hunger Valentine’s Day Honor Drive. There is no better time to show your heart for hunger relief than this special time when we recognize and honor those we love. Send your honoree an exclusive Hearts for Hunger eCard by email or print a Hearts for Hunger Honor Slip to insert into your own greeting card!

Sean Lennard covers food news on his blog, Triangle Food Blog.


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