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Foodie news: Giorgios Bakatsias announces two new concepts

Sean Lennard, the Triangle Food Guy, has the scoop on openings, closings and foodie events.

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Giorgios Bakatsias
By
Sean Lennard
, Triangle Food Guy
Littler owners Gray Brooks, Cara Stacy and Jay Owens announced this week that their famed restaurant, which closed temporarily in March 2020, will soon reopen. The restaurant will operate under the leadership of chefs Elizabeth Murray and Tanya Matta – who have returned to North Carolina after working in some of the best restaurants in the country. Murray will lead Littler’s kitchen, and collaborate with Brooks on the bistro menu, while Matta will be spearheading the pastry programs at Littler, Pizzeria Toro and Jack Tar & The Colonel’s Daughter. Both natives of North Carolina, Murray is from the Blowing Rock-Boone area, while Matta is a Durham native. Littler is located at 110 E. Parrish Street. No word yet on an exact opening date. Re-familiarize yourself here.

Wake County Restaurant News

Here he grows again! Giorgios Bakatsias, owner of Giorgios Hospitality Group and James Beard nominee, is bringing two new concepts to the growing North Hills area of Raleigh where he already operates Rosewater Kitchen & Bar. Las Ramblas, a Spanish tapas bar, will take over the former pizza restaurant Piola space and Giorgio Pizza Bar will take over the former Zoe’s Kitchen spot. These two additions will be Bakatsias’ 13th and 14th restaurants after he earlier announced the opening of East End Bistro in Raleigh’s new East End Market and Krill’s opening in Durham. Both Las Ramblas and Giorgio Pizza Bar are on schedule to open in 2022. Check out the Giorgios Hospitality Group here.
And down in Fuquay-Varina, Chris Creighton shared the news that the owners of the Medi Bites food truck will take over operations of Nil’s Bakery Cafe at 513 Broad St. The transition will take place around the middle of January. Congratulation to Mustafa and Sibel Karaca on their retirement after 16 successful years! Visit Nil’s here and Medi Bites here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

And if Littler reopening isn’t big enough for Durhamites, the other great news is that Matt Kelly will reopen St. James Seafood in January. Here is hoping the third time is the charm! You will remember it first opened in 2017, replacing Fishmonger’s, only to close in 2018 after the gas explosion just outside Kaffeinate coffee shop on North Duke Street. Then it reopened in early 2020, only to have to close again due to the pandemic. Kelly also owns Vin Rouge, Mothers & Sons Trattoria and Mateo Bar de Tapas. Thanks to Andrea Weigl as well as Indy Week for sharing the details of the reopening. Keep up with updates on their Facebook page here.
WRAL’s Sarah Krueger shared the news that a new vegan restaurant is coming to Erwin Terrace in Durham (2816 Erwin Rd.) near Nosh. The Pure Vegan Cafe will take over the space formerly occupied by The Northern Spy. With locations in Raleigh and Cary, their menu features all vegan food, cold pressed juices as well as bowls and smoothies. An opening date has not been announced yet. Keep up with their progress here.

Closings/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.

Events

Please brace yourself. All Chick-fil-A locations will be closed Saturday (Christmas Day) and the following Sunday (duh) – so an entire weekend without Chick-fil-A! You have been warned. If you have children, plan accordingly.

And speaking of warnings, please note that the Super Bowl AND Valentine’s fall on the same weekend in 2022. The Super Bowl is on Sunday, February 13th, the day before Valentine’s. And we know everyone typically books their Valentine’s date nights on that weekend. You have been warned. Guys, don’t screw this one up.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has officially launched their Sip and Savor the Season guides, which gives you all the intel you need to pick a drink or dinner spot while shopping in downtown Raleigh. You’ll find festive and seasonal cocktails, coffees, ciders, beers, and more. Check it out here.
Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies is doing a holiday charity collaboration again this year with Christmas House. Donations will go towards the purchase of grocery gift cards that will be distributed to local families in need (as identified by Orange/Chapel Hill/ Carrboro School system social workers). Additionally, during the month of December, they have partnered with Tandem restaurant in Carrboro to sell Carrie Brogren’s “Partridge in a Pear Tree” holiday cocktail with a portion of the sales from each cocktail added to the Christmas House donations. Make your donations here. Visit Tandem here.

Food Bank Corner

Double your impact with your holiday donation to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina! Because of the ongoing economic effects of the pandemic, and the rising cost of food, many of our neighbors are struggling this year. They are having trouble making ends meet and the holidays will only add to the pinch as heating bills soar and kids miss school meals during holiday break. Fortunately, there’s a chance now to make twice the difference for families facing hunger this year. Compassionate friends are matching all donations up to $600,000 to help our neighbors have a happy and bountiful holiday season. Your gift today can provide two times as much food to families in our community.
Sean Lennard, a Raleigh native, has been around the Triangle food scene for...well, a long time, but professionally since 2002 with the the Triangle Food Blog, formerly known as Friday Fun Food Facts, in 2008. You can find his blog here. And you don't have to wait until Friday for updates as you can follow Sean throughout the week on Facebook and Twitter.

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