Featured Restaurant News
Isaac Hunter’s Tavern is returning to downtown Raleigh tonight (March 11). It will open in the former Common 414 bar at 414 Fayetteville St. The bar is still a work in progress, but the larger space will mean the venue can host more events and offer a lot more seating.
Wake County restaurant news
Niall Hanley is at it again, and big-time at that. He has signed a lease on the 21,000 square foot (including the outdoor part) former Jillian’s space in downtown Raleigh and will convert it into a “food hall.” What is that? It will be a collection of food stalls and small restaurants as well as food retailers. Hanley is hoping for a mix of businesses and offerings, such as crepes, pizza, coffee shop, bakery, preserves, burgers, etc. Look for this concept to open around this time next year. This will be fun to watch!
Food truck guru Art Sheppard (actually his wife) happened to notice this week that the former Carino’s location in Raleigh’s Brier Creek has a “now hiring” sign on it for Chuy’s. This would become the third Triangle area location.
Got word this week that there is a new restaurant concept that has opened in the former Twisted Mango location at 411 Fayetteville St. in Raleigh called San Lorenzo Bistro & Bar. The concept was created by Mario Longo, Stefano Arcifa and Giorgio Pizzi, with Stefano and Giorgio both from Rome. Be prepared to feel like you have traveled to Italy.
Ashton Smith pointed out that Trophy Brewing, 827 W. Morgan St. in downtown Raleigh, is now open for lunch on Fridays. Mmmmm, pizza, beer and sunshine. Sounds great to me!
Ashton Smith also pointed out that James Borden had noted on his “development beat” that an interior completion job had begun to make way for Pieology Pizzeria on Hillsborough Street at the Stanhope development. It is kind of like a Moe’s for pizza - where you create your own pizza, and it is ready in three minutes.
And in Raleigh, Sushi Nine on Western Boulevard is planning to rebuild, the Raleigh Public Record reports. The restaurant was damaged by a fire early this year. Owners received a demolition permit late last month.
Over in Cary, the News & Observer reported this week that Bond Brothers Beer Company, a long-awaited addition to Cary’s downtown, opened last Friday. It is located in the space behind the former Dorry’s Downtown, and before that, The Food Factory. That space remains empty, but the tenant for that space will be announced shortly. Look for a grand opening party, featuring beer, food trucks and Chatham County Line, on Saturday, April 2 from 2 p.m. until closing.
Also in Cary, Newk’s Eatery opened this past Monday in the former Hibernian Pub location on Kildaire Farm Road. This marks their first restaurant in the Triangle. If you are not familiar with Newk’s, they offer Southern-inspired, made-from-scratch soups, sandwiches, salads and pizzas for lunch and dinner. This will be their 98th location in the Southeast. Check them out here.
In Garner, Buffalo Brothers Pizza & Wing Company has opened another location - this one in Garner in the White Oak Shopping Center at 7245 White Oak Drive next to Logan’s Steakhouse.
Durham, Orange & Chatham county restaurant news
Big news over at The Boot in Durham. Got word from the man himself, John May, previously a sous chef at Chef and the Farmer, has returned to Durham and has taken over as executive chef. He told me they are taking it from a Jersey red sauce kind of joint towards a farm to table, more traditional Italian. Congrats to chef May!
Over in Hillsborough, Bona Fide Sandwich Company opened this past Monday at 104 N. Churton St. Bona Fide is brought to us by Matt Fox and Dean James, the same folks behind The Wooden Nickel Pub, LaPlace and Hillsborough BBQ Company.
And another reminder that the newest location of Rise, this one in downtown Durham at 401 Foster St., will open Saturday, March 12.
Reader Bonnie Bendell brought it to our attention that Sardi's Den, a rib concept out of Clemson, S.C. that went into the former Oliver Twist space in Brennan Station shopping center in North Raleigh, has closed.
Jeff Puckett announced via Twitter that signs on the door at the WhichWich location in downtown Durham at American Tobacco indicate it has closed.
Durham has announced their Food Truck Rodeo schedule for the year and it kicks off this month with the Time Change Sunday Rodeo on Sunday, March 13.
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.
The World Beer Festival returns to Raleigh Saturday, April 2, at the exposition center at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Tickets are $45 in advance, $55 the day of the show. The VIP Experience tickets are $85. Tickets can be purchased online and at Tasty Beverage and at Bottle Revolution.
Learned from Holly Kahl that the folks over at Triangle Vegfest are holding a monthly market with the next one on March 20 from 1-4 p.m. at Fullsteam Brewery in downtown Durham. If you are interested in a plant-based diet (which we can only assume includes hops!), you might want to check this out.
Tickets to one of my favorite annual events, Farm to Fork, have gone on sale. The event this year will be held on the weekend of June 3 through June 5. Get all the details and tickets 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
The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina not only plays a critical role in our community serving the needs of so many people in our area, but they also fulfill that role while making it fun and enjoyable for those lending a hand. To see how you might get involved or what events they have coming up that you can get involved with, check out their listing of upcoming events here. Get involved today!
Sean Lennard covers food news on his blog, Triangle Food Blog.