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Foodie News: Neptunes reopens in downtown Raleigh

Triangle Food Guy Sean Lennard has details about Neptunes Parlour reopening in downtown Raleigh.

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Neptunes Parlour
Sean Lennard
, Triangle Food Guy
RALEIGH, N.C. — Triangle Business Journal reported this week that downtown Pittsboro got a huge boost this week with an announcement from Greg and Paula Brown Stafford that they have landed the final two major tenants for their much anticipated SoCo development, a dining and nightlife destination just south of the town-centered roundabout. Doherty’s Irish Pub & Restaurant and locally-run Havoc Brewing Company are the final two “pieces” to fall into place for the entertainment district that will feature food, drink and entertainment. Havoc Brewing (which plans to manufacture as well as sell onsite) plans to open in March and Doherty’s (which has locations in Cary and Apex) is aiming to open in September. They are joining The Mod (wood-fired pizzas) and The Other Side bar. Learn more about SoCo here.

Wake County Restaurant News

We begin with a huge congratulations to two of our “locals” that made the James Beard Foundation list of 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists. One in Raleigh and one in Durham. First up, Preeti Waas from Cheeni Indian Food Emporium is nominated for Best Chef in the Southeast. And Kingfisher, a cocktail bar in Durham, has been nominated for Outstanding Bar. Very well deserved accolades. See the full list of nominees here.
Got word from several sources this week that popular vegetarian restaurant Fiction Kitchen is moving from their downtown location on South Dawson Street to Gateway Plaza, which is located at the intersection of Crabtree and Capital boulevards in Raleigh (think Union Special bakery and Mordecai Beverage Co.). Fiction Kitchen will remain open at its current location until the new space is finished. Visit Fiction Kitchen here.
Additionally from Gateway Plaza came word that the folks behind Centro, Locals Seafood and Ex-Voto are teaming up to open a new Latin American bar and restaurant called Mala Pata. It will feature a variety of Latin American dishes that showcase the use of fresh masa, ground in-house from heirloom Mexican corn. Opening at the same time will be Peyote Mini-Mercado, a late-night ghost bar and market that will serve the communal alleyway. There, customers will be able to order takeout and to-go drinks as well as desserts and bulk items from Mala Pata’s masa production. Look for all of these concepts to open this summer.
Triangle Business Journal reported that Neptunes Parlour, located underneath the now-closed Garland restaurant, is once again open. The building is owned by Cheetie Kumar and her husband Paul Siler, who have passed the reigns to operate and manage the bar to Martin and Erin Wheeler. The Wheeler’s plan to maintain much of what made the spot so popular, and have plans to open another bar of their own also in downtown Raleigh. Siler is in the process of booking events at the upstairs venue, King’s. Visit Neptunes here.
Hospitality mavens Sarah Shepherd of Height House Hotel and chef Liz Grandchamp of Grandchamp Hospitality recently introduced Raleigh’s newest pop-up dining experience – Supper Club – hosted monthly at Heights House Hotel. That’s the good news. The bad news, the first one sold out almost instantly. Want more good news? They have three more on the schedule and tickets for those “open up” three weeks prior to each event. Mark your calendars for Supper Club March 13 (Piedmont), April 17 (Seafood) and May 22 (Italian American). After those, Supper Club at Heights House will then resume in the Fall. So get ready! Follow along here and get ready for the next one.
Local blogger EatRaleigh shared this week that the folks behind Premier Cakes, off of Falls of the Neuse Road, have taken over the restaurant space in the NC Museum of History (formerly Sweet Tea and Cornbread). They will be serving breakfast and lunch. Visit Premier Cakes here.
Just on the outskirts of downtown Raleigh, Tap Yard, a neighborhood bar, beer garden, and inclusive community is in soft-open mode. Their one-acre beer garden allows you to enjoy yard games, listen to live music, indulge in cuisine from a local food truck, experience local art, and more (well-behaved dogs…and children are welcome during the day!). The venue features three bars serving up 16 craft beers on tap along with a full menu of wine, spirits, and signature cocktails. They are located at 1610 Automotive Way (next to Pine State Coffee). Check the website here for soft-opening hours.
Mike DePersia of DePersia and Associates informed us that Pressed by Spanglish at 10630 Durant Road in north Raleigh has been sold. The new owner will do a life remodel and call it Falls River Cafe. No other details are available at this time. Stay tuned. Spanglish still has a location in downtown Durham at 104 City Hall Plaza.
Also up in north Raleigh, reader Katie Page informed us that a new restaurant has opened in the Bedford neighborhood. Bowlba Cafe is now open at 3607 Falls River Avenue, serving Asian cuisine and a variety of teas and specialty drinks. Get familiar with them here.
Over in Cary, Donovan’s Dish announced the opening of their second Take-Out Market location at MacGregor Village in Cary. Their grand opening date is this Monday, January 30th. The new location is at 107 Edinburgh S Drive, while they also have their original location at 800 W. Williams St. in Apex. Visit Donovan’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Durham Magazine shared the news that Afters Dessert Bar, formerly located at Durham Food Hall, will open its first brick and mortar location at Brightleaf Square later in 2023. The local favorite serves small bites and cookie cakes, and features a rotation of seasonal desserts. Keep up with them on Facebook here.

Closing / Cancelations

None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

Looking to find your favorite food truck (or stalking them and simply don’t want to have to admit it)? We understand. Find them on Street Food Finder here.


The next Flights & Bites is coming up on Sunday, Jan. 29, where The Wine Feed will be teaming up with Plates Neighborhood Kitchen. The event takes place at The Wine Feed (602 Glenwood Ave.) and runs from 12 to 5 p.m., with four seating times (indoor and outdoor seating available) and costs $30 per person. It includes three pours of wine and three small servings of paired food items from Plates. Guests can expect to be there for an hour or so. The Wine Feed crew will be around to chat and answer questions about the wines and chef David Mitchell, head chef at Plates, will be there to talk about his dishes in more depth. Get all the details and tickets here.
Lula & Sadie’s is joining Pour Taproom for a beer pairing dinner with 5 courses prepared by Lula and Sadie’s and paired perfectly with Fullsteam Brewery Beers on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. The cost is $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Get all the details and tickets here.
As if you need another reason to eat at Cape Fear Seafood Company (two locations here in the Triangle – Village District and North Raleigh, with a third on the way to Wake Forest), throughout the month of February they will donate $1 from the purchase of every Surf & Turf Chimichurri App to the Trawick Pediatric Cardiology Research Fund at Duke Children’s Hospital. The funds will be matched by CFSC’s founders for a total of $2 per appetizer sold going towards research. The fund was established to further the research for thousands of children born each year with congenital heart defects. Get more information here.
The 30th Annual Triangle Food & Wine Experience to benefit the Frankie Lemmon School & Developmental Center is Feb. 2-4. The three-day foodie-foray will feature lavish dinners and tastings and a grand auction. Each experience will spotlight local and visiting chefs like Ashley Christensen, Cheetie Kumar, Caroline Morrison, Sunny Gerhart, Steven Devereaux Greene, Oscar Diaz, Jake Wood, Matt Kelly and Ricky Moore. Get details on all the events over those three days and tickets here. Tickets sales on most have closed, but looks like a few remain open, so don’t delay!
You can now buy tickets to the Reviving the Supper Club Chef Series’ virtual event on Feb. 7, 2023, featuring chef Saif Rahman of Vidrio in Raleigh. The fundraiser aims to address food insecurity in Wake County and eastern North Carolina. During the event, Rahman will show guests how to cook a Pan-Seared Chicken with Curried Sweetpotatoes, Carolina Gold Rice and Bengali Tomato Salad. Guests also will learn how to make — and enjoy — a special cocktail from Vidrio. There also will be a limited number of tickets to dine at Vidrio at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7, watch the cooking class and enjoy the same amazing meal. Tickets cost $100 per person. Get all the details here.
Lilly Den Farm and Postal Fish Co are pairing up to bring you their first annual Pigs & Pearls. What is that? Basically a huge oyster roast and pig pickin’! Sign me up! It will take place at The Plant on Sunday, February 26 and the menu will feature whole hog, smoked chicken, steamed Virgina oysters, cornbread, collards, baked beans and filled to order Banana Rellenitos by Carlolina Cravings. Also look for local beverages, music and fun. Get all the details and tickets here.
Everyone knows what April 15 is. Nope, that is April 18 this year. April 15 is the date for the 13th annual Cuegrass Festival which is returning to Fayetteville Street and will feature a large covered area with draft beer options, plenty of seating and extra beer stations throughout the event. Get all the details here.
And looking to continue dining outside even as the temperatures start to drop? No problem. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has compiled a list of restaurants in downtown Raleigh keeping you warm all-year long! Check out that list here.

Food Bank Corner

Looking for an easy way for you and/or your office to make a HUGE DIFFERENCE in people’s lives this Holiday season? Host a VIRTUAL Food Drive! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… create a food drive without the heavy lifting using our Virtual Food Drive, and maximize your donation times five! For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide FIVE meals! You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members, or coworkers. It is easy! Start here. #noonegoeshungry


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